Developer: Heurlectic Studios
Released: 14 August, 2020
Tetron is a top-down, rogue-like, dual-stick game with one-bit pixel art graphics by Heurlectic Studios. Playing as the last of the Tetron creatures suffering from amnesia, you set off on a journey of revenge where you try to remember your magical powers and defeat the hostile beings that massacred your kind.
Tetron takes place in three different locales across twelve levels. Each level consists of several connected rooms. You assume control of the last Tetron, fighting off hostile enemies and helping friendly NPCs along the way. Starting with the ability to shoot projectiles with the mouse and dash, you “recall” magical abilities (such as stopping time, allowing you to shoot bullets which won’t move until time restarts) and upgrade your character skills (attack, speed, defense, essence) by collecting items and tomes, respectively. Tetron has a day-night cycle, with the nights giving you MP drops from enemies while severely lowering your accuracy.
The hostiles include common, easy-to-dodge slugs, masks that completely change the geography of the room, shamans shooting multiple projectiles at once, and ground-crushing brutes. There are even minibosses, such as golems that turn into speedy golems, or ghosts that can’t be killed without destroying the minions protecting them. While most of them pose a challenge, the variety of tricks up their sleeve are quite limited, and you will have seen them all halfway through the game. That said, the hostile shooters are the most enjoyable of the enemies, thanks to their ability to quickly overwhelm you, and dodging with the dash was quite fun.
Within a few playthroughs, I found the game easy to play provided you go for the right perks. The defense perk was a favorite of mine as it gave me the Armorer perk, which made enemies drop armor (which can be stocked limitlessly) at a random chance, completely nullifying the challenge of the game as I gained more defense than I had lost. This can be mitigated with modifiers that you can buy with credits gained through murdering hostiles (along with two characters and a skin), though this may require multiple runs to get the items you want, in a game without much in the way of replayability.
Artstyle and Audio
Tetron uses pixelated two-color graphics that change depending on the locale or time of day. Though the animations were smooth, and it was easy to tell which enemy is which, the visuals probably won’t sway a lot of people due to the lack of detail in general.
On another hand, the audio was a part worth fighting for. The music, composed mainly of guitars, becomes calmer or more frantic depending on the difficulty of the enemies in the vicinity and was quite nice to listen to (except for the third area, due to its repetitiveness). The only problem was that the tracks were fewer than I would have liked.
If you’re hunting for a short rogue-like game, and amazing visuals aren’t at the top of your list, Tetron is a nice pick. Though I think the price is a little high for the content it offers, sparring with enemies was enjoyable, and I wish to see additional content with more frantic battles in the future!