Tandem Trouble

Tandem Trouble is a homebrew game for the Nintendo 64 made by Team Terminal Viscosity and released on 7 Dec 2021. It’s a platformer where you play as a character that can switch form to overcome different obstacles. It was made for the 2021 64brew Game Jam.

You can download the ROM from the download page for this homebrew game by using the password escapeviscosity or see the source code on Github and download from Drive (PAL, NTSC)

Tandem Trouble style and gameplay

Style & story

Tandem Trouble is a 3D takes place in a cave filled with lava and fire. There isn’t much of a story to the game, either within it or in the supplementary material. Though after you finish the game there is the quote:

Thank you for saving me! But our princess is in another tunnel!


There are two sections to Tandem Trouble – The platform area and the fire cave.

It starts out in a straightforward cave which leads to an area with floating platforms above a lava pit. There are three platforms moving side-to-side in the first part, and one vertical one in the second.

Then the game moves to a tunnel section that has rows of deadly flames coming from the floor and ceiling which have to be avoided by either jumping or rolling.


  • Move with the Control Stick
  • Press Z to Swap Characters
  • Press A to Jump
  • Press B to Dash (red) or Roll (blue), depending on the character in play.

‘Control’ theme

The way that the development team interpreted the theme was to have two characters with different control schemes, and that control of the character would switch between player 1 and player 2


The team behind this game is Team Terminal Viscosity which consists of:

  • Kivan117 (Gameplay programming)
  • Quilt (Art assets)
  • SpiritOf1776 (Engine)
  • Pixel (Audio)

Review and Conclusion

Tandem Trouble is a fun game with a great concept and execution, but unfortunately suffers from the limitations that the short deadline puts on it.

The game is fairly easy to understand, the controls are simple and straightforward – fairly reminiscent of N64 platformers from back in the day.

The first section is quite difficult to get the hang of. Because of the perspective, it’s hard to tell where your character is in relation to the moving platforms. The jump also feels a bit floaty so that makes the timing even more tedious to get right. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to beat the game without dying pretty much every time.

The flame tunnel section is a bit more interesting since it camera position is a bit clearer and it also forces you to take advantage of your two special skills. The dash allows you to cover a large distance in the air, while the roll lets you go under the flames that come from above.

There is only one fairly short level, the whole game can be completed in less than a minute if you don’t die. Even then, there is a checkpoint after the lava pit so it’s not very punishing.

As with many of the games in 2021’s game jam, Tandem Trouble has built an interesting concept but is cut short due to the deadline that comes with participating in a game jam. The character at the end of the level is reminiscent of the Toads in Super Mario Bros, indicating that there is more to the game that we are not able to see which makes things just that much more underwhelming.

That said, this fire-tunnel-hopping adventure is a fun way to spend a few minutes.

Articles across the web

Tandem Trouble is a game where you traverse a tunnel filled with lava and fire to save the princess. Made by Team Terminal Viscosity.
Article published on N64 Squid


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