Teslagrad is a puzzle platformer that feels like something between Metroid and Mario. It’s a ton of fun to play and unexpectedly enjoyable.
But, how does it hold up to other games on the market right now? Is it worth the money to experience the game? Let’s find out.
Teslagrad is a blast to play. Its gameplay is unique, to say the least.
When you go throughout the game, you collect various upgrades to overcome magnetic-based challenges. The colors on screen act as negative and positive fields to push and pull various objects to solve these problems. One such puzzle was that I needed to fling my character across the room to the other side. The color portrayed a negative field (blue), so I simply put a positive field (red) around my character and off I flew through the stage.
These puzzles were enhanced because of the great powerups and abilities your character acquires. My favorite ability was the faze ability; it allowed me to go through walls and jump more horizontally.
All in all, the puzzles make this game. They were great brain teasers and extremely rewarding.
The bosses are a real toss up in Teslagrad. They are all uniquely designed and intricate. But, the problem is that your character can only take one hit before he’s dead. This makes the bosses extremely unforgivable. The bosses were all too long, and it would’ve helped to have an extra hit. Having some amount of leniency would’ve made them much more enjoyable.
One boss that I remember, shot lasers at you while you tried to aim your gun at it from across the stage. I had finally beaten the three forms this boss had and a cutscene started where I was careening down a pit with the boss. Thinking the boss was done I put down the controller and wiped the sweat from my brow. Only to realize the boss hadn’t been bested but shot me as we were falling down the hole.
I was livid. It felt unfair and extremely jarring.
This game takes place in some kind of Russian City. I assume the cities name is Teslagrad due to the history of how some of the Russian cities were named, such as Stalingrad.
The story is a dark telling of how the Czar came to power and asked the Teslamancer for aid in an all-out war on Europe. When the Teslamancer says no, the Czar goes to war anyway and loses. The Czar gets mad because of this and starts killing all the citizens of Teslagrad in retaliation. There were several images of mage heads on spikes and other such graphic images.
I honestly didn’t expect this, but it was a nice touch, however dark it may be.
I loved Teslagrad’s art design when it was doing the Marionette puppet design. I kind of hoped the whole game would’ve had this. However, there’s this weird transition where the game jumps from puppetry to a kind of flash game kind of art style. It was just a little bit off-putting.
Overall, the art isn’t bad. I just would’ve liked a tiny bit more consistency. Particularly more use of the puppetry.
While I’d say the sound design isn’t half bad, some of it doesn’t fit.
I had this huge epic boss fight with some monstrous trash compactor where epic music was playing. Then after I killed the thing, I was rewarded with this pitiful victory sound that didn’t correlate at all with what just happened on screen. It felt out of place.
But, I can’t really complain about the soundtrack overall. It just wasn’t that memorable.
Teslagrad is a lot of fun, but it’s a tad short. I finished the game in about five hours. Granted, about 45 minutes of that was trying to beat the final boss.
Again, the bosses have the issue of being unforgivable. The bosses were extremely well designed, but only having one hp was a huge problem. Restarting the boss a million times because of one tiny error was not enjoyable.
The art was good, and the music was passable. I honestly would’ve loved to see them make the whole game based on the puppet art. It would’ve been beautiful and made this game shine more than it already does.
I enjoyed Teslagrad. I’d say it’s worth the $20 if you like Metroidvania adventures, especially if you want to experience something with a unique gameplay such as Teslagrad provides. The magnetic puzzles were refreshing and new, and I’d recommend Teslagrad to anyone who loves a good brain teaser.