Teslagrad is a 2D side scrolling puzzle and platforming adventure game released on Steam in late 2013, then released on the Wii U in late 2014. Teslagrad plays like all side scrolling adventure and puzzle games play, really nice. Along the way you encounter platforms and puzzles that can trick your mind, or give you a good challenge to encounter on the way. The game does not use dialogue and text, it tells the story through its visuals, almost like a picture book. The game looks and feels very nice, almost like it could be a good arcade game for major consoles like the Xbox. The controls flow very nicely and the game has little to no hiccups in the quality of the game. If you have a good PC to run Steam or a Wii U and in the market for a good platforming puzzle game then Teslagrad is a must to fill those needs of yours.
As far as gameplay in Teslagrad is concerned, mechanics are nothing that have never been seen before. The player character and/or the objects in the world can be coloured red or blue, with same coloured objects attracting to each other and different coloured objects repelling. Using that one basic idea, the player can climb walls, scale extensive gaps and avoid strategically placed obstacles. Teslagrad’s puzzles are bound to present the player with a clear problem to progress.
Teslagrad, however, commits the one sin of puzzle games – making it so you can see the objective and how to do it, but the execution is fiendishly difficult. This makes the game quite frustrating, as few things are more annoying than seeing how to do something but not being able to due to precise movements or time-based obstacles.
The final few bosses, for example, introduce abilities late in the fights which becomes fairly obnoxious, and dying will cause a full restart of the boss battle. That being said, my winning bout was extremely satisfying when I finally managed to beat the final boss of the game.
The collectible system is small but could have been handled more elegantly – hidden throughout “the tower” there are 36 capsules, each containing more story depth and images. More often than not, collectibles are presented clearly, with a open goal on how to receive it – in this form, the optional collectibles are fantastic, but this isn’t the way they are presented throughout the entire game. In other ways, they are hidden inside a tedious exploration puzzle – if you do collect all 36 capsules you will receive a cool reward, however.
In conclusion, Teslagrad is highly rewarding and a fantastic game – however, some tedious procedures and a not so great collectibles system hold back the game from being perfect.
(Teslagrad is available on Mac, Linux, PC, and most recently, Wii U.)