Tetrobot and Co is a quirky puzzle game from Swing Swing Submarine. The game may look like a basic puzzler with pleasant visuals, but it actually has much more depth and complexity than first appears.
The game is a sequel to the indie game known as Blocks That Matter, that also has the robot known as Tetrobot. This instalment has different gameplay mechanics that focus on puzzle platforming. I didn’t play the original game and heard that it was much more of a side scrolling platformer that felt more like a Mario title.
In Tetrobot and Co you play as a girl called Maya, who is the youngest person to ever graduate from her college in Sweden. Maya is an engineer who repairs Tetrobots that are sent to her. Maya has built a tiny robot known as Psychobot that travels though the Tetrobots she is working on. The game sees you remotely controlling Psychobot through the Tetrobot robots in order to fix them. As Maya begins working on the robots she comes across many objects including photographs stored in the memories of the robots that reveal more mysterious and bizarre story elements. She also finds letters from her friends, Alexey and Markus, about a new project they’ve been working on.
You work your way through five levels per robot and then a bonus level is unlocked once you fix the robot, where you obtain a key that is used later. The game has around 40 levels in total and sees you facing some challenging puzzles set in a unique world. The setting for the game captured my imagination and sees you guiding the small robot through some interesting areas. You use blocks that come in different types of materials to trigger switches and solve puzzles. The blocks come in all sorts of materials including stone, wood, glass, sand and many others that possess different attributes. When you find a new type of block it will be added to your ‘faceblox’ menu, which is basically an encyclopaedia of all the materials you find in the game. These blocks are used in different ways in order to solve puzzles and progress further.
During the various levels you will start to find parts of something, a golden Memory Bar that you can choose to ignore or attempt to retrieve for some bonus in-game content. These are well worth finding as they tell you more about the robot you are currently fixing, and are necessary for unlocking levels further down the line. The gameplay is easy to get a hang of in terms of controls but the difficulty does get increasingly challenging as you progress. The levels themselves are fairly straightforward in terms of layout and making your way through them, but the challenge presents itself in the puzzles and having to collect the three Memory Blocks and complete the Memory Bar for that level. The gameplay feels fun and does a great job of slowly introducing you to the mechanics you will be using during the course of the game.
As I said the gameplay can get challenging but not to the point that it becomes frustrating or tedious. You may find that you get stuck on occasions but if you stick at it you will eventually progress. I found there were a few instances where I felt stuck only to then solve a puzzle that made me feel amazed I didn’t see it straight away. As the game progresses, getting the Memory Blocks becomes more and more of a task, and you’ll have to start thinking about the stages as a whole rather than just individual rooms. You will have to do some backtracking in order to retrieve more Memory Blocks once you reach a point when you need more to unlock the next level.
The presentation isn’t anything mind-blowing, with a simplistic style and muted colour palette, that’s not to say the game doesn’t look good though. The visual design works well within the context and the setting and theme itself is what make the experience stand out for me. I loved the idea that you are navigating a tiny robot through larger robots in order to repair them. The game doesn’t have a huge emphasis on story but I appreciated the way that photographs and notes you find give a bit more detail to the world.
Overall I enjoyed playing through Tetrobot and Co and the challenges it presented. The game isn’t too hard if you pay attention to your surroundings and focus on the puzzles. My favourite aspect of the game is the setting and idea of controlling a miniature robot within other damaged robots. I would have liked to have seen a bit more variety in the designs of environments and more of a story would have helped to give more of a purpose to the puzzle solving. I would recommend this game if you want to experience a game with a unique setting, decent puzzles and plenty of puzzles to figure out.
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