Rain Games recently launched their 2013 platformer Teslagrad on the Nintendo Switch. I played Teslagrad during its original release, so I was interested to see how well the gameplay experience translated to the Nintendo Switch.
Teslagrad is a puzzle platformer adventure game set in a fictitious, vaguely-Serbian, city. The looming Tesla Tower dominates that city, and within its imposing walls is where the core of the game takes place.
Utilizing various gadgets, the young hero must out-wit the tower’s elaborate obstacles and….well, I’m honestly not too sure what was going on in the story. Something about an evil king who was evil and everyone disliked him because…he was evil. Something like that. The protagonist stumbled into the king’s old tower, the aforementioned Tesla Tower, after he ran from bad guys…it’s all very vague. The plot, and lack of any real narrative, was a sore spot for me, especially when the game could have used an interesting narrative to hold together the simplistic, puzzle-based gameplay.
As many obstacles as there were in Teslagrad, the hardest was the game itself. Sections of the game seemed purposefully difficult, like one particular segment that required the player to use their momentum to roll a ball with themselves inside of it, hamster-style. Missed jumps due to odd ledges, made some of my deaths feel cheap and easily avoidable, had the jump just connected. There is one portion of the game that takes place in an aboretum and some of the platforms are branches. Due to the art style, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly where the ledges begin, and that zone in particular was frustrating.
The art style, however, was the high-point of the game. I really enjoyed the animated character models, and apart from a few design decisions, Teslagrad is a very appealing game to look at.
Teslagrad wasn’t my type of platformer. I prefer a good amount of combat or action to break apart the puzzle platforming elements (Trine 1 and 2 do this well, for example). The generic puzzles that typically revolved around a red and blue magnetic force, were simple not enough to keep me entertained.
Teslagrad is a great game, if you appreciate a puzzle-heavy platformer, with little to no action. The Nintendo Switch version ran flawlessly; in undocked mode, which is how I use the Switch the most, I encountered no framerate issues and the resolution was crisp and the game’s visuals vibrant.
A retail copy of Teslagrad was provided to Epic Brew for the purpose of this article.