Teslagrad – puzzles, magnets & lighting
‘Teslagrad’, a game of puzzles, electricity, and well mostly those two things actually. The opening sequence of this game left me confused, as for the first ten seconds i didn’t even know that i was controlling my character, or even if it was a WASD or arrow key control. I was standing there, motionless. A bleak stare into the surroundings filling me with more confusion as i try and piece together what is going on in this world.
The art style sucking me in as i finally take my first steps, being chased over rooftops and through buildings by soldiers. Learning about the platforming mechanics as i scramble up ledges and leap across the crumbling rooftops. A desperate leap onto a closing drawbridge ending the prologue. Safe from the soldiers but now trapped inside this tower filled with trials.
First impressions of this game were tremendous. The art style really captivating me and wanting me to press on. The complete lack of any spoken dialogue makes the game feel lonely at times, but the story of the world is told through small puppet shows that the player can come across. The puzzles at the start are not extremely gut-punching, although there are some that made me feel like throwing my plush sub-zero across my room with reckless abandon in a fit of rage and realization of my stupidity.
These puzzles involve the use of the ‘Nintendo power glove™’ that the character accquires soon into the game and is used in changing the electrical and magnetic properties of platforms, boxes, and other metal objects. And while most of these puzzles are simply understanding magnets and how they opperate, some puzzles require timing, being hit by small drones to change your own electrical properties to levitate, and even creatures that i can only really describe as black blobby things that eat you.
However, after the player acquires the teleport move it becomes a whole different ball game. The puzzles after this point go from a difficulty curve, to a difficulty wall. Each puzzle being bookended by around five minutes of exploration and simple platforming and teleport jumps. The main offender of these puzzles is the one titled ‘Maze’, which i spent a whole evening and most of an afternoon trying to find out what path i had to take o not get instantly vaporized by these flying blocks of bullcrap.
However what made me want to stop playing, was the second boss fight. The first one was simple enough, jump, punch a box, repeat. But the second boss is all about the teleportation. Teleport in, teleport out, teleport through a wall of lightning. But, you can’t move and teleport through, you can’t jump and teleport through, and you can’t stand still and teleport through,so you die a lot. Then you jump and teleport through and it works…oh okay, very nice game, thank you.
But still, this game is beautiful. From the art style to the music, it all just ties the game together with a steampunk fashioned bow. Whenever i get frustrated by a giant mechanical bird flapping at me, or a maze of metal boxes, i can just sit back and calmly take in the beauty around me until i take another shot and get instantly fried alive again.
“While i may not be the best when it comes to platformers, or play a whole lot of them, ‘Teslagrad’ is one that i can say is not a badly made one.”
+ Absolutely amazing art style and music
+ Solid platformig
+ No spiders
– Less a difficulty curve, and more a difficulty heart rate monitor
– Some puzzles felt more like filler content
~ Lachlan Lamey