In most respects, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan is just like any other action game. The major share of the game's levels certainly contain the same sort of platform-jumping, enemy thrashing, and puzzle-solving that you've experienced in other side-scrolling games. What makes Ty 3 unique and ultimately satisfying are the many instances within the game in which players get to step out of Ty's shoes and instead take the reins of a giant robot, helicopter, or fighter plane.
Ty's preferred weapon is a boomerang.
People of all ages should be able to appreciate the story and characters, which are wacky and clearly Australian in origin. The game's hero, Ty, is a marsupial superhero who uses boomerangs as his weapons of choice. His buddies are a koala, turtle, and dingo, who sell Ty the upgrades that he needs and chime in with advice or jocular phrases like "bonza" and "fair dinkum." The story itself is loosely based on an aboriginal legend concerning ghostly creatures, called Quinkan, that enter the living world at night. In the game, Ty returns from his previous victory only to discover that a group of evil Quinkan has invaded the outback and soon intends to resurrect their supreme ruler. Naturally, Ty decides to stop the Quinkan, but to do so he'll have to use his boomerang skills to get through the various levels and bosses that stand between him and the inevitable final confrontation.
The majority of levels are typical action-game fare. There are paths to follow, ledges to jump between, obstructions to destroy (or unlock), and cookie-cutter enemies to skirmish with. Some levels include lengthy swimming segments or collect-a-thon tasks. There are midbosses in some levels, and, of course, waiting at the end of each of the game's three main worlds is a nightmarish Quinkan leader versed in various methods of pain infliction. The level designs and basic gameplay are competent, but nothing special.
Ty's weaponry adds a dash of flavor to the overall experience. He can run up next to enemies and bite them, but boomerangs are his main method of attack. You'll start out with regular 'rangs, but by collecting opals you can purchase new ones imbued with elements, such as flame, freezing cold, or lightning, or embellished with the ability to activate warps, reveal invisible items, or act as a grappling hook. It's quite amusing to freeze a Quinkan solid and then shatter it with a subsequent attack. Without a doubt, the best aspect of Ty 3 is that players aren't stuck controlling Ty the entire time. Some levels put Ty into the cockpit of a helicopter. Players have to fly around, pick up Quinkan eggs, and take them back to the Bush Rescue HQ. Other levels put Ty behind the controls of a fighter plane. In those levels, you get to shoot down the Quinkan air force in side-scrolling missions that play out like simplified versions of Gradius or R-Type. Roughly one third of the game's levels put players into the cockpit of giant robots called "bunyips," which can punch enemies and unleash powerful weapons, such as plasma beams and water cannons. In the previous Ty game, bunyips were employed briefly in some levels to get past a specific obstacle. In Ty 3, entire levels are devoted to piloting bunyips...and that's a good thing.
You probably won't be blown away by the game's presentation--the magnitude of detail and panache doesn't quite reach what we've seen in similar games recently. But the graphics and audio are solid nonetheless.