Like the film industry, January is a notoriously bad month for new releases. After finishing some of my longer games from last year, I started looking for any new versions that seemed remotely interesting. Then I came across Teratopia, a 3D action/adventure game developed by Ravegan S.A.. It looked pretty decent, with a cute look and simple game mechanics, so I thought it might be a good game to play with my kids, if nothing else. We should have kept looking.

There aren’t many stories in Teratopia. The strangely charming world of Teratopia is one day overrun by vicious, spiky red aliens who take over most of the inhabitants. You start the game as Tucho, a cute little blue guy with limbs who is trying to save his home. Along the way he will free his friends to join him. Then you make your way through the enemies until you defeat the bosses. Honestly.

This is the complete story you get.

I thought the gameplay was casual, but still fun. Maybe I can play with my kids. It turns out to be neither funny nor very childish. The mechanisms of the game have been simplified to the maximum: Each character can cast spells alone, jump, flip/kill, summon minions, do a special attack and of course strike. That may seem like a lot of options, but there’s a catch. You’re just starting to be able to hit and you need to unlock all the other skills. I mean, at first you can’t even run or jump. You must have a high enough level to access the basic functions of the game.

I will admit that it doesn’t take long to unlock the main elements of the game. Honestly, I could probably even look back and see if the gameplay was great. Teratopia, however, has a terrible game mechanic. Knocking seems to be the only thing that works well, which is important considering the amount of effort you’ll put in during the game. Although the other checks are terrible. Characters can barely jump or roll, so you’ll probably only use these moves when absolutely necessary. The Dodge works pretty well, but there is a short cool down time between uses that never occurs. Special attacks do a lot of damage, but only seem to register half the time the trigger is pulled.

Special attacks against bosses work well … if they really work.

It’s also surprisingly difficult and no excuse for such a cute, almost childish game. Movements are simple, but the slow and responsive controls make it quite a challenge to fight through the enemy’s ranks. They get harder with each new level, but also with each revision of a completed level. Wondering why you need to keep revising the levels? Well, in short, it has to be done. Teratopia is a game where you have to grind a lot to get enough energy to move forward. That’s what everyone wants, right? A festival of salacious slogans with terrible management? Yeah, me too.

Prepare to work your way through the crowd of these guys.

The crazy thing is, the hardest part is not even the bosses. It just goes to the bosses first. Many aliens have shields and/or throw rocks at you. It’s fine as long as you don’t run into a large group, which happens a lot. Then it’s very difficult to dodge the projectiles and try to drill without getting hit. Moreover, it is rare to find healing orbs. Then, even if you reach the boss, you usually start the fight with poor health. If you die, you have to start all over again. There is no checkpoint to reach the boss, which is incredibly annoying.

Patterns are both one of the best and weakest aspects of Teratopia. In terms of challenge, they are almost ridiculously weak. If they grab the wrong paper, their movements are typically and wildly telegraphic. The only reason I lost the fight with the boss is that I had almost no life left when I joined them. However, they are some of the funniest moments in the game.

Now you’ve upset mom!

It’s another area that honestly bothers me: humor. Everything about Teratopia seems to be aimed at a younger audience. I was shocked to see that he was an M-rank. I found out why before, when I was fighting bosses. The developers were clearly inspired by the biting and outrageous humor of the early Rare games. But unlike other games, many Teratopia jokes are pointless. If a few moments made me smile, I rolled my eyes just as often. There is a fine line between shocking and ironic humor and sheer rudeness.

The artistic design also seemed to appeal to a younger audience. It presents a palette of vibrant colors with drawings of charming but simple characters. It’s good until you see the game up close and realize how unfinished it is. While it’s hard to see the avatars in detail during the game, the bosses and cutscenes are similar to what you’d find on the PS3. The textures are muddy, there’s not much attention to detail, and there’s not much variety in enemy design. In addition, the frame rate decreases when there are many creatures on the screen or when you try a special attack.

View these charts at the PS3 level.

The sound design is nothing special. He’s over there. No voices, but the sound effects are fair. Although the music seemed to fit the tone of the game, when I turned it off, I couldn’t tell what it looked like. It’s completely forgettable, like a big part of this game.

Teratopia proved to be another disappointment in January. The controls are not only bumpy, but slow and heavy, and they don’t always respond. It also requires an impressive amount of sanding to continue. Teratopia’s biggest flaw, however, is that it doesn’t know what kind of game it wants to be. It’s not easy to control, but it’s too hard for kids. It feels like delightful child’s play and full of silly humor, but there are occasional moments of adult jokes and innuendo. Honestly, I’m not sure who this game is for. Let’s just stay out of trouble and say it’s not fun for anyone.

The artistic design features a bright color palette with overlaid font patterns. The frame rate decreases when there are many enemies on the screen. It looks like something you find on the PS3. Be prepared to do a lot of pointing and little else. Each of the three main characters plays a little differently, but they’re all boring. The service is incredibly slow.
The voice is not played and the sound effects are only useful. The music was good, but utterly forgettable. The controls are great and resemble those of a PS3 game. He tries to have a rare sense of humor, but misses as often as he lands. Short moments of fun get lost in the game and boring sessions.
Last block: 5,0

Teratopia is available now for PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Teratopia has been provided by the publisher.

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