Whenever you get a game to review, half the problem is putting aside personal opinions on genres, generally speaking, I like puzzles in games, but find that puzzlers can be a little throwaway, so could this point and click puzzle do enough to make its mark on me as a gamer?
Can you as the player put aside the thoughts you have about a genre that has been somewhat demeaned by phone games that are aimed at exploiting ‘pay-to-win’ formulas. Or will it become another game destined to be branded “good, but only if it’s your thing”?
Well dear reader, truth told, this seemingly simple, elegant puzzler should be your thing, its puzzles are fun, without being soul crushing, yet present a challenge and food for thought in equal measure, the learning curve is well balanced enough to keep the challenge, whilst not punishing the player (even when that challenge does lead to a face palm.
But don’t be fooled by this games simplistic approach and charm, as I will hint at later (and as I learned the hard way), there is still plenty of challenge to be had!
The game also utilises a scoring system whereby you collect up to three gold blocks, these are optional, but progress into the later themed levels requires higher and higher numbers to achieve unlocking.
These worlds, levels, are thematic, each posing a different thing to consider, a different set of mini-rules to apply to your logical thinking, things like the stickiness of jam, shells that you cannot pass through but can pull things through, water you can be shot through, cannons that turn, cannons that don’t.
Some worlds/levels also require you to unlock them using keys, these keys are tough to get and therefore make the game diverse enough to satisfy all the puzzler fiends out there.
The controls are simple enough that this could serve as a puzzle game to introduce new gamers to systems, and perhaps to help encourage younger players to attempt complex tasks to help improve coordination, problem solving, games like this really need to be at the forefront of how newer generations are taught.
If Minecraft can be used in classrooms, why not something like tetrobot? I mean I consider myself an intelligent guy, and this pushed me to really think, more than once.
The story (as much as it exists) is told through snippets found by completing levels in a codex/diary entry accessible via the menu. and I guess this is the biggest let down of what otherwise is a well put together game, I read some of the excerpts I unlocked, but quickly got annoyed with having to seek them out.
If you play phone puzzle games, or are a fan of logic puzzles, this game will feel like a homecoming, it is a game that does what it sets out to do very well, and that is all that matters in the end.
Put aside the technical merits of a big world or a fancy title and a game boils down to it’s fun factor. And this game is, rather great fun.
I do want to take a moment before I sign off to say that, there were puzzles in this game that genuinely stumped me on first pass, and it was only with learning and rethinking my approach that I was able to clear these puzzles.
This is such a compliment to this game, that it makes you think not only about what you can see but what is in the level map with you, many puzzles require you to work across screen areas to complete the next segment of the puzzle.
So seriously to the designers of Tetrobot well done.