Another striking demo featuring in the Steam Next Fest starting February 6, Teslagrad 2 is a side-scrolling platformer with an aesthetic that warms my heart.
The first seconds of the opening cutscene already had me swearing in delight over how much I loved the unique blend of hand-drawn, 2D figures and painterly, voluminous clouds. It’s gorgeous.
But I barely have time to glance at a sentimental photograph before steampunk Vikings descend from their cover and assault my airship.
I take control of the heroine on foot, amidst the smoking wreckage of my grounded vessel. The picture I was holding moments ago, is taken by the wind and I follow its path. I feel the low rumble of the fantastic score’s vocals and drums in the pit of my stomach as I hop over rough-hewn dwellings, race past stony monuments and, creep through green pastures.
And though one thing is lost, another finds its way back to me. I pick up some fancy footwear that got knocked off during my crash, and gain the ability to dash in a bolt of electricity. This is far from the only power I get to play with during the demo.
I pick up gear that acts like a magnet, pulling me to some surfaces while propelling me away from others. I also come across a scale shirt that lets me swim like a fish. It’s a good thing my character, Lumina, doesn’t have too many qualms about looting.
It’s not all smooth sailing, sadly. Many of the game’s challenges are based around its less-than-perfect physics. Coupled with thin margins for error and minimal communication about what to do, and overcoming some obstacles can be a perfect storm of frustration.
Despite that, the clever mechanics, breathtaking visuals, and enigmatic story make Teslagrad 2‘s demo one indie fans shouldn’t miss next week.