What in the name of Holy Cow is Teslagrad? You may have noticed, up there yonder, we have a section dedicated to video games. Why? Being dorks here at Professional Moron we’ve played them solidly for 25+ years. It’s a hobby we heartily embrace, and now the industry has gone mainstream gaming is no longer considered the pursuit of weirdos.
Indeed, there are some almighty creative highs, one of which arrived in late 2014 courtesy of Norwegian developers Rain Games. They released the short but sweet Teslagrad, an inventive and beautiful title (everything was hand drawn) which wowed even Arnold Schwarzenegger (probably)!
We’re not sure what the plot of Teslagrad is. In the opening scenes we see a man delivering his child to a house, followed by the depiction of time passing, then the now child-teenager hybrid sets out on his adventure. Whatever this adventure is. We have no idea!
There’s an overriding feeling of Soviet era Russia with the setting; lots of rain, cold, and the use of magnetism and electromagnetic physics manipulating the gameplay. For some reason brutish looking men are after him, and the protagonist (we’ve no idea what his name is) must collect power-ups to help him (YOU!) along. As with many of the best Indie titles it’s a Metroidvania experience (a merger of the classic series Metroid and Castlevania), and it’s ruddy awesome.
Plots tend to be irrelevant in video games – what we essentially have here is a unique puzzle/action game with a NES era styled difficulty setting. We’re talking one hit kills, occasionally cryptic puzzles, and long periods of repeating sections over and over until you get the job done. None of this drags in any way, as it’s such a fun and unique experience. Beautiful to behold, and complemented by a Vangelis styled soundtrack (think Blade Runner), we have a title which we consider to be something of a minor classic.
Don’t Forget your Speed Runs
It is minor, too, as you can have the thing completed within an hour. This is quite unusual these days, as many modern titles demand at least 30+ hours of play time (some like WoW and Skyrim don’t end – you can put 300 million hours in and the thing won’t stop).
Frankly, as Teslagrad promotes competitive speed runs, this is a refreshing change. It’s like dipping into a gloopy pool of honey; the honey’s organic, and there isn’t a rampaging horde of angry bees there to chase you off. Good analogy? You bet! It’s an even better game.
The groovy news is it’s available on every format (other than mobile and Xbox), so Wii U, PS4, and Steam users can pick it up for about £7 ($10 or so – €9.44). A total steal.