Released APR 19, 2023
|MSRP: $19.99||Category: 2D Metroidvania|
|Publisher: Maximum Games||Developer: Rain Games|
|Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch||Also on: PS4 & 5, Xbox One & Series S/X, PC/Steam|
Discover another tower in the magnetic North!
Lumina, a young Teslamancer, finds herself stranded after her airship crashes in Wyrmheim, a remote and treacherous land to the North. Embark on a dangerous adventure, exploring a gigantic, abandoned tower looming over a fjordside valley, on a quest to get Lumina home and back to her family.
Use electromagnetic powers to survive the dangers of a wild and untamed land. Defend yourself against Viking raiders, face gruesome beasts inspired by Nordic mythology, and triumph against epic bosses! As your journey progresses, you’ll discover new skills and equipment needed to uncover the secrets of the land and delve into the dark past of Lumina’s ancestors.
Teslagrad 2 is a 2D Metroidvania physics-based puzzle game based in a steampunkish Scandinavian world where electromagnetic powers are used to fight back against Viking invaders and nightmarish creatures.
The visuals in Teslagrad 2 are stunning overall, with beautiful hand-drawn characters and environments, plus modern looking lighting and particle effects. The only drawback to the visuals is an odd lack of enough animation frames that make everything looks kind of like stop-motion. It’s a little hard to describe and better seen in action (you can check out gameplay in the video below). If the animation of the characters had been smoother it would have better complimented the beauty of the designs.
The audio in Teslagrad 2 is very good, combining a beautiful orchestral soundtrack inspired by Nordic folk tones and with modern electronic music. The sound effects are also well done and it all combines to enhance the overall gameplay experience, however…
Gameplay is the main thing that needs to be considered carefully for Teslagrad 2. Despite being a Metroidvania-style game, in that you gain additional powers to unlock access to new areas and the world map is relatively open for you to traverse, the game doesn’t have traditional combat. It’s pitched as a physics-based puzzle game, and that means you will generally be avoiding enemies instead of combating them, and using your character’s powers to solve environmental puzzles. So just understand going in that it’s really a puzzle game, not an action Metroid-like game.
On top of the lack of action, Teslagrad 2 has somewhat floaty jumping, which can be a major frustration point during some of the environmental puzzles. Speaking of frustration…some of the puzzles are VERY frustrating, and while I edited out the five minutes or so of constant deaths on some of the puzzles in the gameplay video below (trust me you don’t want to have to watch that) I almost gave up a few times because it was so frustrating.
You can watch some of my gameplay from Teslagrad 2 below:
So…is Teslagrad 2 fun to play? Well the answer is mixed. I tend to prefer action based Metroidvania games, instead of mostly puzzle based games, but that’s not a major issue in this case as the puzzle gameplay is interesting. The biggest issue with Teslagrad 2 is that some of its puzzles are extremely frustrating, especially when combined with your character’s floaty jumping style. I literally died hundreds of times in my first hour of gameplay, and often 8 out of 10 of those deaths were on one or two puzzles that were very hard to navigate. The issue with the puzzles isn’t that they are too difficult to understand (that would be more interesting if it were the case) but some of them are obvious to solve but just too difficult to execute due to the controls, and that’s why it leads to frustration.
FINAL VERDICT AND SCORE
Teslagrad 2 is a beautiful looking and sounding 2D puzzle-based Metroidvania with some very interesting concepts, but is held back by floaty controls and frustrating gameplay.
If you like challenging puzzle-based games, this might be right up your alley, but if you like more traditional action-based Metroidvanias (or if you simply don’t’ want to pull all your hair out) you may want to either skip this one altogether, or pick it up on sale.
- Really good looking hand drawn 2D characters and environments
- Music is beautiful and compliments the setting nicely
- Interesting premise with Nordic setting and electric powers
- Character animations seem like they lack a few additional frames of refinement
- Some of the sections are extremely frustrating, which takes away from the overall enjoyment
- Jumping is a tad floaty and that makes the frustrating sections extra frustrating