Originally posted November 22nd on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Oh boy… This is by far the longest delay for a review ever. I feel quite bad about it, but at the same time I also feel rather good about it. I’ll express just why it took me so long in a minute, but for now, enjoy my Teslagrad review.
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 9/11/2014
The main game/story
This is yet another Metroidvania game on the Wii U eShop. Using the powers of electricity, can you find your way through Tesla tower?
As for the story, this game decided that it was fed up with endless cutscenes with a ton of voice acting and confusing plot elements, to the point it decided to make the game take a unique approach: The game has barely any text at all. Instead, the story is told through occasional plays throughout the journey, so it’s up to the player to decide for yourself. It’s hard for me to explain the story in this case, so I’ll just simply ask to find out for yourself and see what’s going on in Tesla Tower.
A pretty simple 2D art style. At first it seems like a lazy attempt to avoid making more complex or pretty 2D animations… Until you realize that the nice, smooth movements of everything around you makes exploring the tower feel very unique, and helps add to the already gorgeous scenery.
Music and sound effects:
Right off the bat you hear a wonderful tune on the file select screen. It’s pretty simple, but it helps warn the player of the challenges yet to come. Even inside of the tower, the quiet music helps fit the mood without being distracting to the player. In fact, the music helped me focus after losing to a difficult puzzle, instead of giving up entirely.
Now we get to the main core of the game. The part that made me take 2 months just to get this review done. You see, in Teslagrad, you can’t really fight enemies. Sure, you get the ability to punch to change polarity, and that helps solve puzzles, but you can’t beat up the enemies to death like in nearly every other game in the genre. You must use your brain.
This pretty much makes it a puzzle platformer Metroidvania game, and a good one at that. The puzzles are clever, and you usually can solve them with enough practice instead of walking in circles trying to find out what to do. Anytime enemies die, it’s because you solved a puzzle that helped kill them or get them out of your way, and it helps the player think of a different way to go through a Metroidvania for once.
So you may be wondering, why the heck did I take two months to complete this game? Well… The answer to that question is that the boss battles are VERY difficult. Not impossible by any means, as they are also like miniature puzzles, but they are quite the challenge. One hit from any hazard and you die.
In the case of boss battles, you start from the beginning. There’s no mercy, and you have to give it your all. Eventually I was able to finally defeat these bosses with a little practice and thinking, and it left me very satisfied. For the first time in many years, a game has left me feeling the sense of desperation during a boss battle, with the knowledge that if I mess up it’s back to the start. There may not be many of them, but they sure are remarkable when they do show up.
Overall, Teslagrad is certainly a game that likes to try new things, and it does it in an amazing way. With clever puzzles, lots of stuff to find in the Tesla Tower (Like scrolls, which you need in order to fight the final boss), along with a very challenging main story, this is certainly worth the $15. However, for those who aren’t the best at these games, you might want to be careful, as this game requires a lot of perfection and challenge in order to get absolutely everything. Regardless, if you enter this game ready to fight the challenges up ahead, I strongly encourage you to try to find everything in this work of art! I give Teslagrad a 9 out of 10
Thanks to Rain games for the review code.