Dropped into a situation you don't understand and left to wander and find your way without a great deal of direction, Teslagrad offers an interesting experience in action platforming.
Writing a preview for a game like Teslagrad is a bit of a challenge, and that’s because a big part of its charm is that it does very little to fill you in or give you direction. To start out you’ll be thrown into a situation where you’re almost immediately on the run from people who would do you harm. The details of why aren’t quite clear but you begin to quickly learn the basic movements and actions that are available during this chase through town and over the rooftops.
Once you manage to evade your would-be captors and have mastered your basic movements, you’ll make your way into a building where you’ll discover a glove that will give you the power of magnetism. The glove has no manual or tutorial so the challenge is to stumble through the discovery of how to use its various powers. Whether it’s moving objects, performing some sort of a dash move, or sticking to the ceiling, your left on your own to discover what exactly you're capable of.
Throughout the rest of the game you’ll be left to pretty well go where your impulses take you and there doesn’t appear to necessarily be a set order to completing the game. In each area you’ll have opportunities to gather elements you’ll need to move things forward but you’re not really given much direction, the expectation seems to be that you’ll experiment and begin to work things out for yourself. When it is necessary for you to learn a new skill to progress there will often be images sketched on the wall or other somewhat vague directions on what you are hoping to do but you’ll typically need to then work it out for yourself.
Teslagrad could be potentially frustrating for people in search of rigidly structured games that carefully walk you down a path. But for people who like to use their intuition and skills to find success I think it will be an excellent match. The feeling of discovery when you figure new skills or are able to clear an area using what you’re able to piece together along the way is a bit of a rush, and I look forward to taking that experience full circle once it is released on the Switch.