Teslagrad (Wii U) Review
Greg Johnson / Sep 22nd, 2014 No Comments
The puzzle-game Teslagrad, developed and published by Rain Games, is now available for Wii U and serves as an engaging adventure slowly rising up the gaming ranks.
Part mystery, part puzzle-platformer the game will test players ability to quickly solve puzzles while also providing an endurance test of the reflexes. Teslagrad is both cute and whimsical while at the same time being dark and mysterious, but the secretive story and forgiving gameplay is sure to delight gamers across the spectrum.
In Steampunk Russia… The Situation Is Pretty Bad Actually
Teslagrad opens with a quick shot of a man leaving behind a baby with a woman. The characters’ names are not known, but once the police force of this strange steampunk dystopia come for the child, players are quickly queued into the situation. Throughout the exploration of the world, players will collect snippets of the world’s story and be able to piece the area’s history together.
The city in Teslagrad hosts traces of your typical tyrannical government, carries a heavy steampunk style and creates an aura of fear that players and characters must share. Gamers control the baby–now grown into a young boy–and must stay alive while unraveling the secrets of the city and its inner workings.
Teslagrad: Electric Boogaloo
While the world of Teslagrad may be daunting, players have some fancy electric powers to help them navigate the world. Initially, players are merely able to run and jump, creating the distinct set-up of a puzzle-platformer. As progression is made, new abilities, such as magnetizing objects and a teleportation or “blink” style ability, are gained in order to help traverse more difficult terrain and counter enemies.
The gameplay itself is incredibly forgiving as deaths will simply start gamers back at a room’s entrance, which is especially gracious during boss fights. There is no steep learning curve in Teslagrad, which allows players to jump right into the gameplay rather than having to learn a lot all at once or wade through an awkward tutorial. The polished and smooth controls really shine through, and while some puzzles may drive the player up a wall, ultimately Teslagrad is well put together and provides some great challenges.
Shock It To Me Baby
Artistically, Teslagrad is nothing short of beautiful. It is a well detailed world that lends itself to a dark whimsy and engages the player from the get-go. While some areas are a tad too dark in terms of lighting, this minor issue is easily overshadowed by the rest of the world and its design. The simple character models are easily distinguishable from one another, while still keeping in style with the rest of the world. One other important fact is that despite the size of the world, Teslagrad sends it home with level design that doesn’t get so repetitious as to aid in getting players lost. Often, open-explore puzzle games have level design repetition issues that make playing the game like traversing a maze, something which Teslagrad avoids well (giving players a map certainly doesn’t hurt this point).
Ominous music aids in the world-building aspect, while also providing a score that doesn’t overpower the other parts of the game. The electric hums and other power-related noises setup a great ambiance that pulls gamers into the character’s shoes as the mystery and wonder are maintained through sound. While some areas of Teslagrad can get pretty tight, overall the game has a very open feel and the echoing sounds and light music accompaniment brings that feeling from a mere display to a full effect. A few choice enemy noises also help quickly identify the odd inhabitants of the world and understand the puzzles quicker.
Teslagrad is well worth a play. At just $14.99 the Wii U version offers an incredibly fun game that the whole family could get into. While some of the story elements may be on the darker end, there’s nothing too questionable that should make parents wary.
Teslagrad really does well in the puzzle-platformer genre as not just a game, but an experience–something not a lot of puzzle games get right. While solving the puzzles is ultimately the end-game, it’s nice to see a game like Teslagrad telling a story and thereby creating a purpose for the puzzles and their many challenges.
tags: Rain Games , review , steampunk , Teslagrad , Teslagrad Review , wii-u