Let me give you a little insight into my time with Tyler: Model 005.
I’ve had to restart because my avatar glitched and would not perform a wall run, which prevented me from progressing through even the tutorial. I’ve also had to restart because my avatar got stuck in the environment. These glitches are annoying but are compounded by the fact that Tyler: Model 005 is bad from the beginning. They result in having to repeat various sections of the game… even when I am struggling to stick it out for even a single completion.
Tyler: Model 005 is a platforming adventure game where you play as a little robot called Tyler who must navigate through a house to uncover a mystery. That mystery being just what exactly has happened to Tyler’s creator and home in the 12 years that Tyler has been lying dormant. This isn’t well explained in the game though. In fact, nothing really is.
There is a tutorial which at least tries to help you understand what to do. This is where I encountered the wall run issues; it simply wouldn’t work so I had to restart the game. Funnily, it had saved my EXP progress and health status, but kicked me back to the very beginning. In general the save system is another mystery. It works, but it never gives you a notification that it is working. My health was in a dire state as the first enemies nearly wiped me out, all because I was not informed how to wield my sword, and instead relied upon my fists.
Of course after that, the wall run skill worked all the time… even when not required. Yep, further frustration caused.
Later in the story time travel is introduced. Not only as a gameplay mechanic where Tyler can travel back in time – just like a Rewind feature in Forza or similar to that of Prince of Persia, but also as a major plot device. However, even for a four-to-six hour indie game, it is awfully confusing and in the end you’ll find yourself going from point-to-point to simply finish the game rather than try and ever understand the story.
There are other ways to die too, and one that can happen almost instantly in the tutorial is by not keeping Tyler’s solar charges live. See, Tyler relies on solar power to stay alive, which means not straying too far from a light source. It’s a neat feature at first but quickly becomes as loathsome as everything else when most of the items you are looking for are hidden high up in the rafters where a light cannot reach; it gives you a limited window in which to reach them but add to this the fiddly controls and astonishingly bad jumping mechanics and you will find that window shortening along with your patience.
I’ve been thrown across rooms and stuck on and in the environment when jumping up bookcases. I’ve bypassed shelves and shot up to the top before falling through – nothing works when pressing A in this game. It is a lottery, and for a platformer such as this, pretty inexcusable.
It is not solely a platformer though; Tyler has RPG mechanics including a levelling-up system and customisation options which are able to give him a unique look. The customisable items are hidden throughout the house and will need to be collected before being used. Certain groups can also be worn together, and these will help buff your stats once you find them and equip their combo card.
Also hidden throughout the house are survival towers that test your skills in a series of tower defence-esque minigames. The problem with these are that they involve more of the tiresome combat found in the main game; there is no skill involved and it is extremely basic.
Another area that gives untold frustration is with the voice-acting of Tyler himself. The script is bad in the first instance and this leads to issues with the voicing of the robot. He comes across as the kind of person that would happily talk to themselves at the back of the train, chewing the ear off the unfortunate soul that ends up next to them. As someone who commutes to and from work I have my fair share of these, I could have done without another eccentric when I arrived home.
All this is a shame because for the most part – as in when you aren’t getting stuck in or falling endlessly through things – the game looks really good. Lighting plays a big part due to Tyler being solar powered and is put across well graphically. The two timezones present in the game are a stark contrast between each other; one is drab and dreary with overgrown plants and dusty ornaments, the other offers a retro-futuristic feel with neon boxes.
There are 11 achievements in the game, and that includes two bumper 200G achievements. In amongst that are four achievements worth 420G in total that are for completing the story. The rest are for finding the collectibles dotted throughout the house, but once you have access to the whole home this should be an easy completion and not cause any difficulties. Should you be able to get through at least!
Tyler: Model 005 is simply a bad game. Good graphics cannot hide the multiple issues: bad voice acting, poor combat and crucially, terrible platforming. In a game where platforming is a major component it is imperative that jumping works, and here it does not at all. In fact, this may well be the worst example I’ve ever seen.