Review : Tinertia

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Platforming games are an interesting beast. They can be a relaxing and fun game to kick back with after a long day at work, or they can be difficult enough to crush your soul into a fine powder. There are very few games that have what it takes to be both at the same time, but Tinertia is most assuredly one of them. You control a tiny robot who cannot jump. Luckily he comes equipped with a rocket launcher, unlimited ammunition, and the ability to rocketjump without taking damage. You will blast yourself around the various stages, avoiding obstacles on your way to the finish. There are a multitude of action-based puzzles that are sure to wrack your brain, even after solving them your reflexes and speed will still be tested to actually make your way through. In addition, there is a par amount of missiles for each stage as well as a finish-time. If you are compulsive like me, many hours will be spent trying to get all the flashy little medals on the character profile that (currently) nobody else can view. Tinertia is a great likeable game, with very few flaws. It certainly isn’t scared to turn up the heat, and for that I love it immeasurably.

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The aesthetic in the game is really something to behold. Levels are broken down into 10 sections but are actually all interconnected, as can be seen when you go to the level selection screen. Each stage also has an extremely unique aesthetic to it. The Core is a giant recycling scrapyard, and the background is alive with hunks of metal being melted down for reuse. The Mines are technologically advanced, but have apparently been abandoned. There are slums and sewers to rocket yourself through, and the levels and backgrounds all seem to embody not only the basic idea for the area, but the lost and forlorn feeling of a little robot left to his own devices on a mostly abandoned planet of trash. The music is great especially for the boss stages, and while most of it is ambient the emotions being portrayed are captured perfectly almost every time. Sound effects serve their purpose for the most part, but when you are trying to perfect a speedrun and resetting the first section of a stage 20 times, eventually the sound of your rocket exploding or a certain laser powering on will work itself into your brain like a splinter. None of the sounds are terrible or overwhelming, just somewhat repetitive. Turning the sound off felt weird, so I attempted to concentrate on the music instead.

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The gameplay is just undeniably likeable. Your bashed up little bolt-bucket might have smashed into the same pillar of lava 30 times, but dammit 31 might just be his lucky number! The game is intuitive, and although there are a couple of tutorial points, the game largely lets your experiment and figure out the best course of action for yourself. This is something that should certainly be applauded in the age of tutorials that last until the end of the game. Once you’ve learned the basics, you will begin to apply logic to what you’ve learned and expand. Is simply falling not giving you the speed you need to beat the clock? Blast a rocket into the ceiling and give gravity a hand! The freedom allowed makes for an almost infinite skill-curve. Replaying a level, even after just an hour of practice will probably yield some impressive results. What seemed like an insurmountable task before turns into something relatively routine, something to be conquered beyond any shadow of a doubt. This is a lesson that I’m not sure whether or not the game meant to teach, but it will certainly stick with me in my personal life.

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Tinertia presents a great package with very little to nitpick. The story isn’t extremely fleshed out and could do with some more in-game presentation. The repetitive sound of the rocket is probably just me being crazy, but after a couple hours it can really start to drive me bonkers. I did have a little trouble firing my rocket to the bottom-left initially, but this was remedied by a conscious effort to make a full, complete flick of the stick. I would also really like to see a global par/time scoreboard so I can show off my awesome score and rub my friend’s noses in it without needing to take a screenshot. Haha, that’s just a joke. I don’t have any friends. Am I projecting my feelings onto this poor little robot? Maybe I watched Wall-E one time too many. I bet the little guy has a full and happy social life and is just too polite to correct me. Erm, anyways… Big thanks to Candescent Games and Section Games for making an extremely fun platformer that is certainly worth replaying more than a couple times. I look forward to more games of similar quality.

Gameplay:

  • Controls- 8/10
  • Fun Factor- 10/10
  • Difficulty- 10/10
  • Replayability- 7/10
  • Innovation- 8/10

Aesthetic:

  • Graphics- 8/10
  • Music- 8/10
  • Sound FX- 3/10
  • Story/Lore- 1/10
  • Level Design- 9/10

Final Score: 74/100 for replayability, graphics, and innovation.

Summary: Rocketjumping platformer featuring a very likeable little robot on an abandoned planet. Wall-E? Nope. Even better.

Tinertia was released on Steam Aug 19th 2014.

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