TETRA’s Escape is another fun easy platinum game with cross-buy functionality from publisher Ratalaika Games. You must help save all of the Tetra beings as you possess them and shape-shift into various Tetrominos (Tetris) pieces in order to build platforms that allow other cuboids to reach the end of the stage. Developer ABX Games Studio has made a visually cute looking, yet rather challenging puzzle platformer that everyone of all ages can enjoy. So, let’s take a look at if TETRA’s Escape is worth picking up.
There’s not much story in TETRA’s Escape, all of the Tetra folk have been sucked away by some kind of magical black hole and it’s up to you to venture through 64 levels as you aim to bring them all back safely. That’s about as deep as the story gets, which is fine as you don’t need a deep story for this kind of game as the actual gameplay mechanics is where the game really shines.
The gameplay and core mechanics are simple. You can possess any of the Tetra folk which are in the stage by pressing L1 or R1, then you can move them, jump up one ledge that’s in front of you, and the coloured ones can morph into various Tetris shapes – which are called Tetrominos in the game. Later on, you also gain the ability to rotate the shapes they can become as well as other abilities such as undoing one of the placements and flipping a shape. Until you unlock these abilities though, you can’t undo a placement once you confirm it. This results in you having to think about things strategically as you plan out what you want to put where so that you can progress towards the end and not become trapped.
TETRA’s Escape has three goals to achieve in each level. 1. Collect all three stars, 2. Collect the trophy, 3. At least one Tetra has to make it to the exit. Again, this is where you have to think strategically as you must collect all three stars in order for the trophy to appear – so you have to be careful that you don’t block access to either a star or the trophy when you set the shape you wish to use. Unlike other games which use the three-star reward system (which you’ll know I don’t like if you’ve read my previous reviews), TETRA’s Escape doesn’t hinder any progress based on how many you manage to pick up along the way – which is great. My issue with this format is when the game restricts you from moving on until you have X amount of stars.
Speaking of the collectables themselves, I feel the developers (or maybe it’s the publisher) has kinda set their goals too short. I’m not sure if this is the way Ratalaika Games works but this is the second game I’ve reviewed in the last week from the publisher where you only have to complete part of the game in order to get the platinum. It makes the game a lot more appealing to trophy hunters out there and I’m sure that results in more sales in the long run, but it also means the game gives you no reward or motivation to progress past the sixth chapter and into the other challenges set in chapter seven and beyond. You also only have to collect 50% of all of the trophies and stars in the game. It’s a shame there isn’t a trophy for 100% completion instead of 50%, but like I said, I imagine it will appeal to all the trophy hunters and thus sell a load more.
The puzzles themselves are actually really well thought out and some of them are quite tricky to figure out the solution to, especially when you have the ability to flip and undo certain placements! I resisted using any guides or help as I worked my way through the various puzzles on the PS4 version of the game. I ended up playing for about 4 hours before I hit the end of chapter six (all you have to do for the platinum). The game descriptions do state you’ll get around seven hours in the story mode, so I’m going to continue playing through chapter seven and beyond in order to reach the ending of the game, even if there is no reward for doing so. Hell, I spent about 10 hours after I got the platinum in Outcast in order to actually finish the game as that was another game that doesn’t require you to finish the game for the elusive Platinum trophy.
That being said – whilst looking on PSNProfiles, in order to obtain trophy information for this review, I noticed that there is a guide on there with all of the solutions and a quoted estimated time of completion of around one hour. So, if you’re looking for another two platinums (Cross-buy) to add to your collection and you don’t want to spend too long or too much (£) on obtaining them, then this is a game you should probably add to your wishlist or pick up today!
Visually, TETRA’s Escape reminds me a lot of Starlit Adventures (a F2P title with extremely fair in-game currency – highly recommend you check it out) in that the game is bright and cheerful with fun cartoony characters. Every level is a delight to play with its bold greens and blues in it’s floating 2.5D world and it’s incredibly cute cuboid Tetra beings. This is further enhanced with its music which comes from the same people who did the music for Twin Robots and Inksplosion – and a number of other Ratalaika Games titles. It’s very cheery and relaxing to listen to as you try and work out the solutions to the various puzzles.
TETRA’s Escape is a great example of a family-friendly puzzle platformer that everyone can enjoy and work out the solutions on their own. I was very impressed with the number of puzzles on offer, even though quite a few of them are very simple and an introduction to the new abilities, there are still a large number of challenging puzzles that will have you scratching your head. I really enjoyed the visual style of the game as well as the delightful music as it makes it so much more relaxing and fun to play when you’re enjoying what you’re looking at and listening to.
We have been spoilt with puzzle games recently, from the wacky and pure mental narrative of Road to Ballhalla to the Cross-buy goodness of Word Search by POWGI, Pic-a-Pix and Fill-a-Pix – there are enough puzzles games out there to satisfy everyone’s urges at the moment! Personally, I would urge you to play the game without looking up any guides and to carry on playing until you get to the end of the game instead of stopping at chapter seven. It’s only a cheap game and the more enjoyment you get out of the game is a bonus, right?!
TETRA’s Escape is a really fun puzzle platformer that anyone can enjoy. As you traverse through its 64 levels, you’ll unlock new abilities and meet new Tetra’s which can transform into new Tetrominos in order to add more variety and strategy into each stage. If you’re a trophy hunter then you only have to complete around 70% of the game in order to get the platinum, if you’re a casual gamer then expect to get around seven hours of gameplay out of this cheap (£) game as long as you’re not working through a guide! Also, the game is Cross-buy, so you can obtain up to two platinums per region with a single purchase!
- - Cute graphics and cheery soundtrack
- - Interesting and thought-provoking puzzles
- - 64 levels of varying difficulty
- - Cross-buy - get both PS4 and PS Vita for one low price
- - Easy Platinum for the trophy hunters out there
- - No requirement to actually finish the game for the Platinum