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Tetrobot and Co Review

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Having originally released on PC, developer Swing Swing Submarine has now brought Tetrobot and Co to the Xbox One. With a healthy dose of platformers and puzzlers already out on the platform to choose from, can this small indie title find a way to stand out? Through pure gameplay and challenge, it manages to succeed.

Tetrobot and Co doesn’t have a whole lot to say in terms of story. Essentially, the protagonist of the tale is Maya, who has developed a micro robot named Psychobot (you). You are charged with repairing all of the other robots that have malfunctioned. Of course, it’s not as easy as simply walking up to them and repairing them. You will face repeated challenges on the way to each one.

tetro pic 1

The game consists of ten chapters, with each chapter having five levels and a sixth level to obtain a key. Each chapter represents a different robot that must be repaired. Along the way, you will have the option of collecting memory blocks, which will give more depth to the story through journal entries and cut scenes. The amount of challenge you get from the game comes strictly from the amount of memory blocks you want to collect. If you just want to get through the game, you will face the occasional obstacle that requires some trial and error, but you will be able to navigate each level and finish the game in around six-seven hours. However, if you are a completion nut, you will experience real challenge in attempting to get every memory block. It requires unconventional thinking and a lot of creativity at times. There are no difficulty settings to the game – it is as difficult as you want to make it.

Normally I am not a fan of games with a story that is barely existent, but Tetrobot and Co makes up for that with the variety of puzzles and the truly interesting characters in the game – the blocks themselves. Each type of block has different attributes and reactions to elements, and you will need to use them to help you complete each level. The attributes of each kind of block can be found on the block’s in-game FaceBlox page (remind you of any other site?), where you will learn about each block and its reaction to different elements. For example, wood blocks will burn when touched by a laser, and metal blocks will stop a laser. Some will produce an electric charge. Also, blocks of the same nature will stick together when connected to each other. As you learn to manipulate each kind of block in the environment, you will have an easier time getting through each level and chapter quickly.

tetro pic 2

Controls in Tetrobot and Co are very simple. In fact, only a Telltale game gets more point and click than this. However, the simplicity of the controls do not take away from the experience in the game in any way. The point of Tetrobot and Co is not to use your reflexes and skill, but to use your brain. This is not a party game or a competitive game, but rather a cerebral experience that challenges you to outthink each puzzle and challenge. That said, it is still a relaxing and enjoyable experience with the added bonus of many “ah-ha” moments that feel very rewarding when you figure them out.

Visually, Tetrobot and Co is about what you would expect from an indie title being ported over to console. Nothing spectacular like we recently saw in a game like Unravel, but nothing worth docking points over either. The game looks crisp and colourful, but doesn’t blow you away with visuals. On the other hand, the soundtrack to Tetrobot and Co helps bring a soothing tone to the game that adds to the player’s experience. Even when you have to attempt a level repeatedly to figure it out, the score to the game does not become repetitive at all. It is a nice addition that certainly supplements the experience the developers are trying to deliver.

The largest drawback to the game, as is the case with many puzzlers, is the replay value. I don’t find myself wanting to go back and revisit the game again anytime soon. That’s not to say it was bad, but once you have completed it, there isn’t a feeling that there’s anything left to do. Additionally, there is a decent amount of repetition to the game, but that’s also a common issue for puzzlers. If you are a fan of the genre, there’s a good chance you have already come to terms with these two issues and it shouldn’t stop you from giving this solid title a shot.

tetro pic 3

While it most likely won’t be taking the stage at the Game Awards this December, Tetrobot and Co is a solid experience that offers many rewarding moments for fans of puzzlers. Swing Swing Submarine has done a valiant job delivering a unique title in an arguably oversaturated genre. Once you jump into the game, you will find that the real stars of the game are the blocks, and the real fun in the game is using and manipulating them as they interact with the various elements you will come across.

At just $7.99 USD/£6.39 GBP, Tetrobot and Co is a worthwhile experience that I would recommend to fans of the puzzler genre or any player looking to sit back and use their brain instead of reactions to play a game.

 

Tyler
Tylerhttp://www.thirdsungaming.libsyn.com
Host/Executive Producer of The Gaming Hub Podcast, which can be found right here on The Xbox Hub. When I'm not working, I love playing and talking about games. I also enjoy hockey and baseball.
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