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Shockingly Fun! Teslagrad [Wii U] - Review

Home > Shockingly Fun! Teslagrad [Wii U] - Review

Teslagrad Screenshot

Teslagrad from Rain Games can best be described as an atmospheric, metroidvania, puzzle-platform in the style of Limbo. A big jumble of genres for a small indie game, but each is an important ingredient in the delightful indie stew that is Teslagrad on Wii U.


Platforms: Wii U [Reviewed] | PS3 | PC | Mac | Linux
Developer: Rain Games
Release: September 11, 2014
MSRP: $14.99
Press Copy provdided by Rain Games


The only context you'll get is that your father left and hasn't come back. Strange men are chasing you. You're running. One of the best features of Teslagrad is presented right away, and it's how the game makes you figure out what's going on. There's no hand-holding, it doesn't explain things to you. You'll have to do that yourself, and I love it.

Teslagrad Screenshot

The young boy you play as (Nikolas Tesla I presume, but that isn't confirmed) will discover various technologies throughout his adventure that allow him to interact with either blue or red electric waves and magnets. The girth of the gameplay is puzzle-solving in relation to electricity in a semi-linear, metroidvania style environment. Puzzles include whizzing through a tesla coil while avoiding obstacles, using momentum to launch off magnets, and avoiding black creatures while teleporting through iron cages. Puzzle solving is clever and innovative, and most of the time extremely difficult.

Teslagrad Screenshot

Teslagrad is very difficult, there's no sugar-coating it. If you're a casual player looking for a platformer to wind down and relax with, then turn away now. On the other hand, if you were planning on replacing your gamepad, Teslagrad is perfect. I can guarantee it'll be thrown into your wall at least four times before you've finished the final boss. Speaking of bosses, Teslagrad features five; four of which caused me to rage quit before I had finished them. Taking damage of any sort is instant death in Teslagrad. There's no limit on lives and you'll respawn at the entrance of any room, but there's no room for error. This means that taking damage from any boss will force you to start again. It's not always obvious how to deal damage to them either. For me, it was sometimes frustrating to the point that the game lost enjoyment. I'm not a patient person and repeating sections of a game dozens of times gets old fast. While the difficulty certainly doesn't make Teslagrad any worse of a game, it does mean that casual players probably won't enjoy it.

Teslagrad Screenshot

Most of Teslagrad is puzzle-solving, but the story it tells is interesting (although not entirely unique) and adds a lot to the game. There's no sign of text or spoken word in the entire game. The story is told in bits by collecting scrolls that showcase transpired events via pictures. While it's certainly a nice change from traditional story-telling, it also makes it hard for those who aren't completionists to get the full story, which isn't something I'm too fond of. Pieces of the story are also told in theater rooms, presented in the style of plays. The visuals, graphics, and environments in Teslagrad are all hand-drawn and depicted beautifully. A darker, atmospheric, steampunk graphic style is used, which is fitting for the silent nature of the game. The soundtrack of Teslagrad is definitely pleasant and well written, but it's nothing I'd be willing to pay for. The game runs smoothly for the most part, but you're almost guaranteed a lag spike when entering a room.

Wii U The Wii U port of Teslagrad is nearly identical to other versions, bar a few Nintendo easter eggs. The game supports off-tv play using only the gamepad, or can be played using the gamepad as a controller and map/hub. There's unfortunately no Pro Controller support, which seems downright silly. The game fits the Wii U well, and is certainly an excellent port.

Teslagrad Screenshot

Teslagrad is an excellent platformer with clever puzzles, beautiful visuals, and an interesting story. It can be difficult beyond what seems fair at some points, and seems rather exspensive to me. However, the pros definitely outway the cons and Teslagrad is an excellent addition to your Wii U library.


Pros:

  • Fun gameplay
  • Nice pacing
  • Unique puzzles
  • Beautiful visuals
  • Great challenge
  • Interesting story

Cons:

  • Repetitive due to difficulty
  • $5 too expensive
  • You won't get the full story unless you 100% complete the game
  • Occasionally laggy

Verdict:

Great

Great

Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.




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