Tinertia is a hardcore Platformer with the added gimmick of not having an actual jump button. Published by Reverb Triple XP and developed by Candecent Games Inc and Section Studios. This appears to be Candescent games inc’s first ever title, Section Studios on the other hand have previously developed Dead Realm, Zombie Killer Squad (iOS, Android), Eclipse (still in production), Vlad the Impaler, and Igor’s Coin Quest (iOS).
“Play as Weldon, a small but extraordinary robot equipped with a rocket launcher. Weldon is stranded on a deserted planet and is under attack by the evil ARC. Master the powerful rocket launcher to control your momentum and rocket-jump to lift Weldon over deadly obstacles, outrun robo-bosses, and ultimately escape off the planet.”
Developer: Candescent Games, Inc , Section Studios
Publisher: Reverb Triple XP
Release Date: 3 September 2015
Price: £10.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Publisher]
One of the few modern platformers that comes with a story (albeit an incredibly threadbare one, but at least it gives context and immersion) Weldon as mentioned is the playable character, who is on an exploration mission to a planet although an initial scan reveals no lifeforms. However a sentient artificial lifeform hacks the ship and destroys it. After crash landing somewhere on the planet you set about trying to find a way off, your only chance is to visit the site from which the laser came that destroyed your ship. The game itself recommends you use a gamepad/controller but can equally be played with keyboard and mouse.
Players must transverse the different levels of the facility, each of which are constructed with increasing levels of difficulty as well as a face-off against the various zones boss entity in order to progress to the next zone. The game consists of seven levels, each with about nine stages and one boss stage to end it. As mentioned earlier the gimmick is that there is no jump button, which is understandably rather interesting. The way in which you transverse the various platforming aspects are with the use of your trusty rocket launcher, which you can use to “rocket jump” around the various levels. You also have a “dash” ability that allows you to reach something you otherwise may not have been able to. There is also a wall drag ability, whereby pushing against a wall slows down your descent.
The levels are constructed with fiendish traps and/or have deadly machinery that you must navigate around, each of which present players with its own unique challenge. The game as the “hard-core” name suggests has a pseudo-perma-death, were by if you die you must restart the stage from the beginning and there are no checkpoints. However despite each of the different sections being relatively short this does not necessarily mean that the section is easy. You also have an additional level of challenge whereby you can attempt to complete the level within the par times and/or rocket uses. You can also play the game in speed run mode (which removes all checkpoints (super hard-core mode?)) Or boss rush mode whereby you have to beat all the bosses in succession.
A platformer without “jump” button is definitely an interesting concept and the use of the different rocket jump and dash mechanics to transverse the levels is certainly something I have not seen before. The pacing and precision required by some of the levels are counterintuitive as in its difficult to be precise whilst also dealing with high levels of speed this however could of course be subjective. The only other issue I found was in some circumstances I found myself in a position where I became caught by the various traps and machinery in a position, where the only choice is to restart, which when it happens, though it happens rarely, feels a little unfair.
In terms of graphics Tinertia is really pretty and has lots of vibrant colours which are used to good effect to indicate “lethality” of various items and the game has an overall robotic/industrial aesthetic which is adhered to very nicely. Quite frankly I really enjoyed the soundtrack in this game I would nearly argue that is actually one of its best features, it may be of course personal opinion and taste driven, however I found it to be extremely enjoyable full of trance-esque dance tracks as well as various others.
Overall, Tinertia is quite enjoyable though the hardcore element does restrict it slightly. The games aesthetic and colours are excellent and as mentioned I am absolutely in love with the soundtrack. When I write these reviews I, like many of my industry colleagues factor in “the likelihood as to whether I will/would continue playing the game” unfortunately these hardcore platformers are just not my thing, although I can really appreciate the appeal if you’re a fan of platformers, the hardcore enthusiasts will certainly enjoy Tenertia.
- Graphics/art style/aesthetic
- Dedication in design for levels around “no jump button”
- Quantity of levels
- Hard-core difficulty/gameplay presents high frustration
- Controls don’t always feel as tight as maybe they should be (subjective)
- Near enforcement of the use of a gamepad