Not Quite Squared Away
HIGH Unique puzzles that were tough, but not frustrating.
LOW The out-of-place boss battle in the final stage.
WTF Why ruin a decent game with that baffling final stage!?
A world plunged into chaos, a missing son, and the ability to rotate the world to reach new areas – this strong concept for new puzzler Tetragon had me hooked instantly. This is Tetragon, a recently-released puzzle.
Tetragon follows the story of Lucios, a father searching for his son in a world turned upside down, sometimes quite literally. Players control Lucios and search over 40 different levels for the missing boy.
In the world of Tetragon, levels are the size of a single screen. Upon reaching small glowing totems scattered around a stage, players can rotate the level to reach objects and goals. Gravity always pulls from the bottom, so players must be cautious as rotating the screen can result in Lucios falling too far or having large items fall and squash him.
Gravity isn’t the only thing that can be manipulated in Tetragon. Early on, Lucios gains the ability to manipulate certain stone columns. In addition to rotating the level, players will have to carefully adjust these columns to create steps and platforms to reach inaccessible areas.
Tetragon is unlike anything I’ve played before. Puzzles have a range of difficulty, but even the more challenging ones never feel unsolvable. Many appear to have multiple solutions as well – one stage had close to 20 moveable objects, but I was able to solve it with only two movements. Tetragon starts strong and continues this way until it takes an ill-advised turn for the final stage.
The final stage is a boss battle unlike any of the prior stages. Players are now tasked not just with solving a puzzle, but with defeating the creature that plunged the world into chaos by moving columns to deflect an energy beam this villain shoots.
The problem arises with the fact that this stage is controlled not by the player, but by the demon at the center of it. The columns that must be moved to deflect the energy beam and protect Lucios are too numerous — it’s difficult to make the right moves, so untimely deaths from energy blasts and sudden plunges became discouraging.
After a dozen times, I threw in the towel. It’s a shame, because up until the final stage, I enjoyed Tetragon. It has fantastic graphics, a decent story, and many challenging puzzles. Unfortunately, the end battle is so frustratingly out-of-place that it ruins everything that came before it.
Disclosures: This game is developed by Cafundo Estudio Criativo and published by BUKA Entertainment. It is currently available on XBO, PS4, Switch, and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PS4. Approximately 6 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was not completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E. There are no warning descriptors. This game is safe for gamers of any age, just know that the main character can die from falling too far or from being squashed by large stone columns. However, there’s no blood or gore, just the character falling over and the stage restarting.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game offers subtitles. The subtitles cannot be altered and/or resized. There do not appear to be any sound cues connected to gameplay. The game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable. Players move with the left stick, including jumping up to higher levels. The X button is used to advance dialogue. Rotating the screen is completed with the L2 and R2 buttons while standing near one of the totems. L1 and R1 are used to select the moveable columns while the right stick is used to move the column once hightlighted. The O button is used to return to player movement.
When he does find time to play, Brian’s preferred games of choice are platformers, beat-‘em-ups, or a good adventure game.He still enjoys the retro gaming scene, could talk about the Nintendo 64 more than he might like to admit, and misses playing in actual arcades. Brian also gets to pass on his love of gaming, as his oldest son is just now starting to join the fun.
As for that GameBoy - it’s sitting in Brian’s nightstand, waiting patiently for four AA batteries.