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Indie Spotlight: Tetrobot & Co.

by on October 15, 2013
 

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I have been curious about Swing Swing Submarine’s next project ever since they released their puzzle platformer Blocks that Matter in 2011. It was seemingly their first hit indie game, and quite deserving of that title too. It was a fun, cute, and absolutely charming experience that I do not get from many games in general.  When first seeing that Tetrobot & Co. was their next project, I got excited. When I noticed how close rooted it is to Blocks that Matter, I was even more so.

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In Tetrobot & Co. you play as a Psychobot, a microscopic robot made by a scientist named Maya, which is here to aid the Tetrobot. While at this point the Tetrobot is the most popular and best robot around, it is not immune to problems. The Psychobot’s job is to go into Tetrobot and fix whatever problems my lay inside.

 

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So what exactly do you do in this game? Well, you move blocks. Blocks that matter, to be specific. The game follows an extremely similar style of logic and mechanics that Blocks that Matter does, since they both play out in the same universe. The goal is to maneuver throughout the Tetrobot, finding as many pieces of memory that you can along with getting to the end. Unlike the puzzle platformer style of game play the previous game had, this plays more like it is on a  grid. The Psychobot flies through Tetrobots to wherever it needs to be.

Fixing a Tetrobot isn’t easy, though. It is actually quite the puzzle, as they get a lot of blocks clogged up into their system. You have to manipulate these blocks so that you can continue on through certain passage ways and areas. Blocks connect to blocks of the same matter. So stone will connect to stone, wood will connect to wood, and so on.  Knowing how to correctly stack blocks will be very helpful for maneuvering through these levels.

It is never hard to relax and play this game. Everything about the game is very soothing. If you would like you can slowly make your way through each puzzle, taking your time and taking in everything the game has to offer. Just as Blocks that Matter was, this game is very charming. I always manage to have a smile on my face when playing through it, either it be the satisfaction of solving the puzzles or even just picking up on some of the funny references they have to different games, books, movies, and music!

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When it comes to learning how to play, it is incredibly surprising how much you can learn about a game and how to play it without it directly telling you. Nowhere in the game will you have annoying and blatant text pop ups saying “left click to move!” or “wood blocks will connect to each other!” In fact, the only information regarding the blocks is a bit of a puzzle on its own. Faceblox, a satirical take on Facebook, is your guide on all of the blocks in the game. Each block has certain status updates and posts that help hint you over to what they do. I thought it was a really cool and creative thing worth pointing out to prove that you do not need to shove basic information into someone’s face for them to understand game mechanics.

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The pacing in the game is pretty nice as well. In total there are 8 sections in the game, each containing 5 normal levels and one key level. Each section slowly adds new mechanics, making game play more complicated yet all the more fun. You never feel overloaded on all of the things you have to learn or solve, but it never drags on either. The Tetrobots act as the sections, each having their own issues. Either they be flooded with water or even frozen! Each Tetrobot’s problem will advance and change the game play, which makes for an excellent thrill when going into a new section.

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Besides the overall satisfaction of being able to solve some of these complicated puzzles, the game really helps you feel rewarded for your efforts to progress through the game. There are a lot of cool and interesting unlockables from not only completing the puzzles but collecting the 3 memory blocks there are in each level. Either it is more pieces to the story, a few extra levels, or a collection of all of the soothing songs available. You really have this drive to continue playing through the game.

music unlockable

 

 

Tetrobot & Co. was a unique game to play through. Its charming style kept me relaxed as I challenged my mind with each level. Swing Swing Submarine really has a way with puzzle games. If you really enjoy puzzle games then I highly suggest you give this one a try.

If you want some video footage going a tad more in depth on how it plays, then make sure you check out my video on it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzGwF68Jbk8&feature=youtu.be

 

Get Tetrobot & Co. on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/235980/

Swing Swing Submarine: http://www.swingswingsubmarine.com/

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