Teslagrad - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

30 January 2015

Also on:

PS4 Wii U

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.


Teslagrad exists at the corner of a very niche set of genres and subgenres, and for good reason. The title is set in Russia and is dominated by Tesla inspired steampunk influences. Wizards rule the land and you play a little boy trying to desperately overthrow all of the bad guys.

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Technical Information

  • Required Disk Space:
    • 805MB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 15 Hours
  • Engine:
    • Unity
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Teslagrad was developed by the team at Rain Games and produced for numerous consoles including the PS4 (reviewed). 2D puzzle platformers have been rising in demand lately thanks to independent gaming developers really digging into the accessible genre. We have seen titles like Terraria turn the genre on its head and breathe new life into fanbases on multiple different gaming consoles. Teslagrad isn’t as revolutionary or even unique but it is definitely a refined title that fits the genre perfectly. We found it to be the perfect addition to the PS4’s more action oriented library and we couldn’t wait to dig into the game. With promises of unique gameplay elements and an intriguing storyline we couldn’t wait to boot up the title. Here’s what we loved and hated about Teslagrad.

Teslagrad exists at the corner of a very niche set of genres and subgenres, and for good reason. The title is set in Russia and is dominated by Tesla inspired steampunk influences. Wizards rule the land and you play a little boy trying to desperately overthrow all of the bad guys. Like a teched out young gunslinger, you must ascend to the top of a twisting and dangerous tower. Your journey will be filled with gigantic enemies, almost magical technology, and a host of core gameplay mechanics that make you wonder why they haven’t been done before. At its core, despite all of these sleek details, Teslagrad is an action platformer ripped straight from the old days.

The first thing most people will notice about Teslagrad is the wonderful art direction. Mixing classic Russian animation with some modern steampunk inspirations, Teslagrad looks like a hand drawn masterpiece. Each frame is littered with detail and each character moves with purpose. The towering red guards who chase you, the giant dog like robotic monster who tries to suck you into its mouth, and even your tiny body all have their own personality oozing from their fluid motions. The opening scene, which showcases enough world building to draw you in, wonderfully realizes several beautiful encounters and reaches a lofty height right from the beginning. While the scope at times diminishes it is nice to see that there was ambition from the first scene in the game.

As we said before, we definitely pull old school Nintendo vibes from Teslagrad. Your character lacks a rechargeable health bar and you can’t refill your HP with foods and other consumables littered around the stage. Like many great platform games before it you are dead in one hit. Beside you’re a kid in a dystopian Russia, aiming to overthrow an oppressive state run by super techno wizards - it’s a deadly world out there.

Everywhere you look you will run into danger of one kind or another. Whether you are struggling with the platforming sections, eaten by a steampunk beast, or chased down by your very human enemies you will face and succumb to death quite often. Savants might be able to one shot through this game with a single life but we certainly weren’t on that level and thus ended up dying quite a bit. Rather than being upset it was, in fact, quite refreshing. The stakes always seemed elevated and that made us buy into the concept even more.

As an action platformer it is reasonable to wonder what sort of weapons you will be wielding. As it turns out, you won’t be doing much of the fighting. Instead you will be aiming to flee and progress rather than dole out damage and you’ll do it with a range of wonderful pieces of equipment. Your primary mode of travel involves magnetism manipulated in several different ways. You have a glove that helps you transport mid air, like some sort of rapid dash. You have the ability to go into a bubble that will work like a magnet, bouncing you off of certain elements while attracting you to others. Finally you have the Teslastaff, a rod that shoots out giant electrical beams that would give Thomas Edison nightmares even in the afterlife. This last weapon is the most impressive looking piece of machinery on your side, but they are all used to wonderful effect in the various platforming sections of the game.

Many times people feel confined by the layout of 2D platformers. For some reason, perhaps the influx of garbage titles during the 90s, people only believe in 2D progression as a linear form. It isn’t that way in Teslagrad. Instead you can maneuver in just about every direction and you will need to in order to progress. Up, down, left, right - they all have secrets for you to uncover and new roads for you to take in your journey to and through the tower. This gives each screen a sense of depth that might be lacking in other titles with similar layouts and it was well done by the team of level designers.

The games opening scene is about the maximum amount of story development you’ll get all at once. Your home is intruded by a member of the army and your mother throws you into the streets in order to protect you. You end up trawling across this dystopian Russia until you end up trapped in the titular Tower. From there your journey will take you to every level, unveiling more and more of the Tower’s bloody and lurid history. The whole story is told through actions and emotions but no word or line of dialogue is ever spoken or displayed on screen. Everything is done at a distance and it allows your mind to wander and pick up little details, unobstructed by words. This means that you get to decide how much of the story you’ll actually pay attention to. Attentive gamers will get more out of their gameplay.

There are still some issues with Teslagrad even though we’ve painted a rather glowing picture. Controls lack the smoothness to consistently overcome whacky level design and we had some visual stuttering issues when things got hectic. Still, Teslagrad is a rock solid entry into the video game world and an almost must play for fans of the platformer and steampunk genres.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
profile Moderator Unlockable Trophies.
Jun 14, 2015

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