Review: Tetrobot and Co. (Wii U)
When heading to the Wii U’s eShop storefront it’s often tough trying to pick the garbage from the gems, especially when it comes to the library of Indie games. Tetrobot and Co. falls into the latter category. If you’re in the mood to test your puzzle abilities you’re in for a treat.
Say hi to Psy, no, not the Gangnam Style kind. He’s an adorable Psychobot that’s been plugged into the circuits and cogs of Tetrobot – a place made up of some of the most mind-boggling puzzles. Your aim is quite simple, make it from point A to B by causing various chain reactions. To get there you will be swallowing blocks and spitting it out to either figure your way out of a mess or you’ll carefully construct your own sets of blocks. Keep in mind that you can only send the block left or right, and should it reach a wall it will drop. You can’t shoot it upwards at all. You see, throughout your journey you’ll encounter dangerous foes called lasers, fans and other electronic devices. Ermm, yes, that is dangerous in the electronic circuit world, okay?
Can’t get past a certain point? Mmm… what happens when sand is heated up? It turns to glass! Now I can get the laser to penetrate the wooden blocks behind the glass and open a new area for me to explore. Playing Tetrobot and Co. is really tough at first. If you have no understanding of the chemical properties that each block possesses then you’re going to have a very hard time making it through the game as there’s no tutorial to explain it all. You’ll encounter wooden, sand, stone, mirror block (half iron, half glass), slime, TNT, obsidian, ice and cloud blocks. There is at the very least a notebook that provides a small summary on each block on you bump into anything new.
Blocks that are made of the same material can stick together, though there are other ways to stick blocks together that lack the same chemical properties. For example, if you need to join a wooden and sand block to trigger something you can slap a slime block in-between the two to lengthen the space used and have the two stick together. Each level, whereof there are 9 levels with 6 puzzles within each stage, will throw many problems your way. Each room has only a small number of ways to solve it, often only supplying you with one solution and leaving you scratching your head for some time before finally clicking and moving on.
You’ll encounter cannons (that can shoot you in various directions), push button blocks, proximity switches, generic transformers, crumbly blocks, pipes (often requiring you to reconstruct them), warp zones, psychobot teleporters, object teleporters and slime teleporters. Each of those plays a critical part at solving a problem and often helps you finding the hidden memory blocks. Acquiring the gold-looking memory blocks is your key to moving on to the next level. Each stage consists of 3 memory blocks and requires careful planning to unlock it all. There is some good news, should you make a mistake (whereof I made PLENTY) there’s an undo button. I have no idea how many undo’s you have at your disposal, but I used it to such a degree that I went back by about 20 moves. There’s no fear in trying something new as you can at the very least undo it and try something else, should it not work.
So how does this all work? To move Psy you use the analogue stick to point and the A button to click and he’ll make his way to that point. I think we can all agree that it’s a rather clunky way to play a point-and-click puzzle game. Therefore I recommend you do one of two things. Either use the Wii Remote, if you plan to play it on the television, or (what I ended up using for most of the game) go with the Gamepad. Using the stylus to direct Psy just feels so much more natural and works like a charm. You’ll also come face-to-face with some Boss fights, which will wreck your mind, but is so sweet once you solve it.
I feel like I’m about to sound my own horn, but Tetrobot and Co. is for the more intelligent puzzle gamer. It will last you for many, many hours and at R120 it’s money very well spent. There will always be something for you to come back to as I can guarantee you that you won’t find each and every memory block on your first playthrough. I would not be surprised if you raise your IQ a little by the time you’re done with this, because, let’s be honest, for someone to spend so much time on a puzzle game as I have you can’t be all that bright.