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The 3D adventure genre is littered with some amazing and memorable titles, and some not so great ones. It’s a category that I love to monitor, and it contains some of the most colourful and exciting moments found in gaming history. Publishers Eastasiasoft Limited offered me the chance to try out their latest game Teratopia from developer Ravegan. I looked at some footage, read some information, and eagerly jumped at the opportunity.
Teratopia is an action-adventure, 3D platformer that asks you to control 3 colourful creatures. They aim to rid the land of its invaders, and you must explore your homeland with either; Tucho, Benito or Horacio. Each of these furry beasts has its strengths and weaknesses. You must utilise them correctly to successfully remove the invaders from your world, all the while rescuing your friends that they’ve captured.
The game opens with a cutscene that shows the 3 factions of creatures living a questionable lifestyle. The “friends” have a competitive relationship where they want to prove they are better than the other, this is until the day of the invasion. The red monsters attempt to take them away, but Tucho fought and escaped his captors’ grips. And thus the story begins.
You explore 13 different parts of the planet Teratopia. Each combines with the previous segment to create a seamless open world adventure. You have the freedom to explore each portion as you wish, and each path will lead to several surprises. You are expected to find and defeat the 11 bosses that belong to this monstrous family of red invaders. Each boss has an Achilles’ heel, and it is your responsibility to find it, and flaunt this weakness.
Though the aforementioned genres are prevalent in the game mechanics. Another major concept that helps to form the backbone of the action, is its part brawler, part beat ’em up style. However, this doesn’t mean it’s all-out mindless button mashing, no, it requires planning and finesse!
Each of your creatures has its strengths; brawling, ranged, or agility and guile. They also have special elemental powers, and a group of minions to unleash. It’s hectic, fast-paced and unpredictable. It’s also more challenging than many of its peers, as you only have the one life per run. If you die, there are no checkpoints, you begin at the start of the stage losing all your gear.
I’m not a massive lover of the Roguelite/like movement. Losing my progress has never appealed to me, but in Teratopia the influence is minimal, so it enhances the gameplay. This increased difficulty ensures that you plan your approach, and you enter each situation knowing that failure is not an option. The way it has been implemented makes it more desirable to play and increases the replay value.
Like many of its peers, Teratopia has gone all out to create a delightful world to explore. It’s a colour sensation that is a feast for the senses. The landscape is varied, vivid, and alive with energy. Frankly, it’s brilliant to look at. What also impressed me was how smoothly it ran, even when the screen was overrun with creatures and projectiles. The change in backdrops between each zone helps to clearly identify when you are traversing each of the 13 levels. The detail on the character models is commendable and gives the game a high-quality finish. For all its positives, there is one drawback, you cannot freely move the camera. It was an annoying and an unfortunate restriction as it impacted the gameplay and broke up the immersive nature.
Ravegan has done an amazing job with the audio. A unique game needs an original soundtrack, and that’s exactly what you get. Orchestrated songs play throughout, adding atmosphere, drama and comedy to the situation. This matched with fun, yet expected sound effects made this an enjoyable title to listen to. The music is so good that it’s one of the few games that I recommend playing exclusively with headphones.
Plenty is going on in this game, so you may be worried that the controls will be a challenge to pick up and master. A basic tutorial is given at the start, and any new mechanics are explained clearly throughout. With a little practice, it all becomes second nature, and you soon forget about what you are doing as every command is silky smooth and responsive.
This genre is renowned for its collectables and replay value, Teratopia is true to this form. With character levels to increase, eyeballs to collect and spend, chests to find and unlock, and costumes to buy, there is plenty to find and do. If you then chuck in the Teratopedia (a guide to tasks and monsters you’ve encountered) and the challenging achievement list, there is a lot to make you return. Hours of fun gameplay are to be had, at around ￡10 it proves to be great value for money.
You know that you’re onto a winner when a game gets under your skin. Ravegan has successfully created that “just one more try” title that keeps you playing for hours. The simplicity of the premise, combined with the complexity of the game mechanics and approach, makes this a very addictive title to play. With an amazing combination of looks and sounds, easy and responsive controls and humour laced gameplay, it’s a modern day classic in the making. Do I recommend it? Yes, yes, yes! So buy it here! Can you help the 3 creatures take down the invaders and reclaim their homelands? Buy a copy, pick your favourite creature, and banish your red enemies for good!