Game Review: Teslagrad
A young boy sets out to fight the tyranny that has taken over his town and secondly to find his father. Teslagrad incorporates perfectly intricate puzzles with a hand painted scenery that awes the eyes while also challenges the mind. Anyone that loves paintings and puzzles, this game is for you.
The game tells the story secondhand; by this, I mean that the story isn't outright told to you because there isn't any voice acting in the game other than some grunts. Throughout the game you can collect scrolls that have paintings on them that tell the backstory to the beginning of the game and the actual story is told through background art in the game, meaning you would want to keep the graphics of this game high to see every detail that the background has to tell you. I can give a brief background story, but this if from my experience and may not exactly be the story.
There was once a dwarven kingdom and they came under attack by evil technologists that managed to win the battle. The dwarves were manipulated through electrical power and changed to become evil people. Then the kingdom was under attack by the wizards, and both sides lost a huge amount so they made a peace treaty that lasted a couple monarchs. Technology and life prospered in the times of peace; however, they had to come up with a ruler of the area and the wizards thought that a new ruler was in need for both sides to rule as one. They appointed the leader's son for the technologists to rule over the land; however as the times went by the new leader wanted more and more land, but as he sent troops off to fight to obtain the new land, they were killed off. He grew shrewd and wanted all able kids to go fight in a suicide war. It was prophecised that a young fighter would destroy all the evil in the town and bring back peace and prosperity, so the kid's father, who was still in his prime set out to kill the monarchy to bring back peace and prosperity to the land.
The game uses a style of red and blue magnets to complete all puzzles and advances through the story. Because they are magnets, blue repels blue and blue attracts red and vice versa. All the boss battles incorporate the magnets as fighting pieces as well. The player needs to know when to use the magnets in order to boost them up a ledge or move certain environment pieces around to continue on with the story. There isn't much fighting that goes on in the game, but it still an intricate game that could take many hours to solve every puzzle and obtain all the scrolls.
Visually the game looks like an updated 16-bit game that rid itself of edges by having a huge anti-aliasing level. It looks like it could be played on modern day cell phones instead of the modern day gaming consoles; however, the controller needs of multiple buttons for all the actions and precise timing for the magnets requires it be a console game. Each visual in the game was hand painted, including all sprites, backgrounds, foreground, and actions. For the game to look as stunning as it does and also to know that each visual item in the game was hand painted is amazing!
The Good Parts
The game has many puzzles throughout it ranging from easy to hellishly difficult depending on if they were meant for the continuation of the story or for scroll obtaining. For instance, anyone who has played it and in the one tower where you have to fly up a long tower and avoid all the electrical portions with enough speed to obtain a scroll that is going up too is by far the most hellishly difficult. I died countless times in the game because of the puzzles.
The Bad Parts
A Secondary Story
Playing the game for the countless hours that I did, the story didn't really seem to make sense all that much. If it wasn't for me trying to obtain all thirty-six scrolls, the story would've gone right over my head. For example, I still don't understand why there was a giant mechanical bird that pooped out smaller exploding birds and it's purpose to the story other than adding a small boss to the story. Without voice acting or at least a told story before the beginning of the game, the game doesn't seem to have an understandable story unless all collectibles are collected. For casual players, the story may never come to them and that is quite awful to know. They don't get to fully understand everything that had happened in the world to get to this point and it is a fantastic story if it were told to the player beforehand.
I really loved the game because of the story that was given to the players that obtained all the collectibles and the intricate puzzles because it was a game that finally gave me struggle to get through most of them. I do recommend this game to anyone that enjoys paintings, visual stories, and/or intricate puzzle games because I know that they would enjoy this game. I give this game a 8/10 because the game isn't for everyone and there is a lack of story for those that don't collect everything in the game.