Verfasst: 22. März
There are two reasons to name drop Nikola Tesla. 1) You want to get some sweet nerd cred. 2) As a shorthand for electricity-based science magic. Since this game features monsters that run around in the dark and kill you called "grues" I think we can safely assume this game has all the nerd cred it needs and we're looking at the latter use of Tesla's name. Now don't take that as some snarling criticism of Teslagrad. Despite having nothing else to do with Tesla, dropping his name in the title does set you up for abusing wondrous electricity and magnetism based powers amidst an oppressive Eastern European backdrop. It certainly delivers on that count.
I'm going to assume you've already watched the trailer and been wowed by how good looking this game is with its smooth, forceful, hand-drawn animations. It's certainly a beautiful game, but don't let that vibrant animation fool you. This is a grim game about grim Eastern European seeming people doing grim Eastern European things with lightning! And as somebody with a grim Eastern European family, I knows from grim Eastern European things (not with lightning though, that's new). Teslagrad tells a basic story, but it does it elegantly without a single word of spoken dialogue or cumbersome written exposition. Once again, this game is a stone-faced immigrant staring you down, and made all the more unsettling by inhabiting a world that looks like it was drawn by Walt Disney.
You've seen the trailer, though (or you need to just go do that already), and are already sold on the aesthetic of this game. So let's talk gameplay. Teslagrad is a bit of a Metroid game and a bit of a puzzle game and a bit of a precision (i.e. frustration) platformer. You'll notice I said Metroid and not metroidvania. The Castlevania games have always been a bit more combat oriented and Teslagrad features almost no combat. There's a tiny bit toward the end and you kill some bosses in round-about ways, but for the most part Teslagrad is all about exploration and evading hazards. And, remember, this is a grim Eastern European game with ligthning so everything including the floors want you dead. And don't think they will go light on you because you are playing an adorable child! There is no food for adorable children, only being lightninged into ashes!
When I said frustration platformer up there, I do mean that. Teslagrad is absolutely unforgiving with the timing you require to navigate its many hazards, and not just for optional secrets. Combine this with some imprecise mechanics (especially when magnetizing yourself to float), and I will bet many boiled cabbages you will not be able to beat this game without sighing, growling, or outright screaming "BS!" So before you pick up Teslagrad, best make sure you're strong like bull and smart like tractor, or at least possess adult reflexes and patience. That said, the game is pretty liberal with checkpoints. Stick an incinerator on the end of your most barf-inducing carnival ride and you'll have an idea of the speed with which your ashes will be scattered. But then you just pop right back up at the start of the room or right after the last ridiculous challenge you overcame.
Overall, Teslagrad is a great looking game with a large environment to explore and a wide variety of puzzles that make use of simple, elegant mechanics. It would be nice to see an easy mode where the timing on some of the challenges is relaxed, but hey, in mother Teslagrad you must work hard at pixel forge for many achievement.
In other words, it's difficult, but satisfying. Go play it if exploration-precision-puzzle-platformer sounds good to you.