Clunky movement aside, Tetragon manages to create a beautiful-looking puzzle platformer with the right difficulty. Puzzles are not too hard but still manages to leave you stumped at times.
Genre: Puzzle Platformer
Developer: Cafundo Estudio Criativo Eireli
Publisher: Buka Entertainment
Release date: 12 Aug, 2021
Tetragon is a puzzle platformer where you can rotate the screen and move pillars to reach the exit. The game offers 42 levels in total with varying difficulties.
Tetragon boasts of beautiful visuals with nice animation movements that are presented after you finished each level. Each region has a different theme that looks unique, yet still pleasant to the eye. The first region is my favorite – it is focused on a forest-like area with a lot of greeneries in it, making you feel calm whenever you see it. The animation that happens after you finish each level also looks great with it zooming in to the next level, giving an impression that you are making progress.
The main menu looks weird compared to the in-game visuals. There doesn’t seem to be any effort to it, especially since there are only texts that are placed behind a beautiful-looking background. I won’t have any complaint if it looks good, but the font doesn’t match the background at all.
The story is confusing to me. The storytelling is done through a series of images at first, showing what you need to do. However, the dialogues that happen afterward seem to contradict that scene. Sure, you might still follow your initial objective, but there isn’t any correlation between the dialogues and your goal. The ending also doesn’t seem to be that important either, and the twist that was happening at the end feels empty since I didn’t know what happened. There seems to be some kind of background in the world of Tetragon, but the game doesn’t explain it enough for me to understand its importance.
Tetragon‘s gameplay focuses on rotating screens. Doing so can only be done by touching a certain object that is placed on the level, and you can only move the screen based on what the object dictates. More mechanics will be added later on, including the ability to move platforms around. Some decoys will also be placed on the map, so you must plan your move carefully. Luckily, restarting a level is simple and fast.
The controls are clunky. Your character doesn’t behave like platformer games – he is so heavy that you need to hold an arrow key longer than usual to move it a bit. Holding it for a longer time will move it faster, and while the speed is alright, the acceleration is not. There were a lot of times when I released my arrow button only to find that my character is already one or two tiles forward, killing him in the process since there is a hazard waiting for him.
You need to wait for the character to finish doing any action before doing the next, or risk getting stunlocked. The game already restricts your movement so that you can’t move any platforms while you are moving, but there are cases when you can register action right after you move the platforms around. I got stunlocked once with my character floating on the screen because of this and I found that the character’s movement will often mess up if you do this, forcing you to press either the left or right button to fix it. Controlling the character becomes weird and stiff as a result, which is more noticeable at the last level since it focuses on moving around.
Each region focuses on a certain mechanic. 4 regions in total with varying levels will await to be cleared. Although most of them require you to traverse the area to reach the exit, some will have variations in it, allowing you to solve a puzzle before you can move to the next one. Secret levels and collectibles will also appear on some level which can give a harder challenge for those who seek it. However, I found it weird that the third region has harder levels than the last one.
Length and Difficulty
I finished the game in 5.2h. I replayed it again to get one achievement and finished it in 1.5h after skipping collectibles and secret levels. The game’s difficulty is on the easy to the medium side – you might get stumped on some puzzles, but you’ll be able to solve it as long as you are observant. The exception can be said for the last level since that one requires a lot of trial and error. In fact, I loathe that level very much since the game clearly isn’t designed for it. The clunky controls and the RNG-based mechanic don’t help either – it took me more than 30 minutes just to figure out how to beat it properly.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Games with switching screen mechanics aren’t new these days, but Tetragon still manages to be its own thing with the said mechanic. The addition of the moveable platforms to cater the screen rotating helps to increase the difficulty and uniqueness, while the beautiful-looking backgrounds and soothing music help you to get immersed in the game. Clearing the levels is fun and although I got stuck on some levels, it doesn’t take long before I could clear them, save for the last level. The last level feels like a downgrade from what the game was supposed to be and the clunky control that wasn’t a problem before turns into an annoyance. I would recommend this, but not at a full price – it clearly needs some polishing to make it more enjoyable.