Thursday, August 16

Review: Tetra's Escape [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Puzzle fans have got to be among the happiest people owning a Switch, the platform has attracted a great variety of titles and many of them have been excellent. Happily, coming along for the ride have been titles that may be lacking in polish but that have managed to deliver a creative and distinct experience. That’s roughly where Tetra’s Escape comes into the picture, bringing a somewhat humble appearance and ideas to the table but delivering some nice challenges along the way.


On any given stage you’ll have a number of little blocky characters to work with. Most of these will have the ability to transform themselves into tetronimous shapes (get it, Tetra’s Escape?). Using this base ability and then new enhancements you gain with each world (rotating, mirroring, etc) you’ll then need to work with what you have to get to the portal that represents the exit, trying to pick up as many stars as you can along the way. While this starts out relatively simple, with the flow of the level pretty well dictating placements, the further in you get the more open things will be, stepping up the challenge.


Each stage has an added bonus trophy that will only appear when all stars have been collected that can throw an interesting twist into your planning as well if you’re a completionist like me. This will often require that you to replay the level to be sure you not only get to each star but then leave a way to get the trophy once it is revealed. Sometimes this will mean you need to be sure you’re in the right position not to be cut off and others you may need to put a piece in a spot that takes a bit more manipulation to secure.


For the most part that defines the game from top to bottom, and aside from the unusually-long load time when you first boot up the game there really isn’t anything that stands out as a negative aside from its pretty humble presentation. Tetra’s Escape slowly but surely manages to introduce new elements throughout that progressively remove the training wheels and result in some legitimately tough puzzles as it moves along. Especially if you’re insistent on getting each level’s trophy you’ll need to engage your brain and make a plan, making for a different and satisfying overall experience.

Score: 7

Pros:
  • A relatively simple concept that’s well executed
  • Later levels open up, forcing you to really think through your approach
  • Trophy placements can be tricky and layer on an added challenge

Cons:
  • The initial load time is unusually long and for what reason I’m not sure
  • Not a terribly long experience