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Review: Tommy Tronic - Destructoid

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BA in Animation ( www.SometimesComic.com ) minors in Art History and Photography, Award Winning Animator, Geek Enthusiast, Gaymer, and Defender of Video Games as an Art Form.

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Paul Barber
3:26 PM on 10.30.2010


 


Don’t worry, he’s not as cool as this makes him look.


Tommy Tronic's, favorite pet dog, Yapz, has been missing for days, and according to the intro screen, Tommy is lost without him. At the same time, monstrous noises are coming from the Gnarly woods nearby. Could the two events be connected? It's up to Tommy, with his trusty, but for the most point worthless, pong shooting gun to find out. This is Interplay Discovery’s second Indy game release and boy does it show.

Let’s get this out of the way, Tommy Tronic is awful. It’s a barely passable platformer with very little imagination. Every part of this game screams student project, from the controls to the sound design. What wasn’t ripped off from a Warner Bros. cartoon was lifted straight out of an old Commander Keen  game. The sales pitch claims that this is a game for the whole family, which is usually a euphemism for “do not play”. Here’s why...


<img s   Don’t worry, he’s not as cool as this makes him look. Tommy Tronic's, favorite pet dog, Yapz, has been missing for days, and according to the intro screen, Tommy is lost without him. At the same time, monstrous noises are coming from the Gnarly woods nearby. Could the two events be connected? It's up to Tommy, with his trusty, but for the most point worthless, pong shooting gun to find out. This is Interplay Discovery’s second Indy game release and boy does it show. Let’s get this out of the way, Tommy Tronic is awful. It’s a barely passable platformer with very little imagination. Every part of this game screams student project, from the controls to the sound design. What wasn’t ripped off from a Warner Bros. cartoon was lifted straight out of an old Commander Keen  game. The sales pitch claims that this is a game for the whole family, which is usually a euphemism for “do not play”. Here’s why... Metaphor for the pummeling your about to take. First off, the controls are, well let's be polite and say stiff. If we continue with the idea that this is a family game then the controls were made to test children's dexterity. It's almost as if the game is set up on a grid, a slight tap to the right will send Tommy careening around the level, but in very specific intervals, and all of them too much for a lot of the delicate platforming you’ll find in most levels. Have fun dealing with the question block jumps when they show up (of course their question block, this is a platformer made after 1986 after all), and watch out for monsters, take one hit and you'll be knock back and lose control for several seconds. As for the Levels, there are four level types, Forest, Forest at Night, Ice Mountain and Science Lab. There's a definite sense that there was originally going to be more than twelve levels since the first eight of them are dedicated to the forest theme, with only three of them dedicated to ice mountain and one to the science lab. The goal of the game is to get to the end of every level. Along the way there's tons of little collectables to collect for points, but for the most part they serve no purpose, your score is deleted at the end of every level, although every thousand points does give you a prize, for the most part it's just more point items, although every once in a while you'll be given a health item or gun. By the way, make sure you play this game on easy. The fair and hard modes only make enemies take exponentially more ammo, and on the fair setting you be shooting the same creature 30+ times before they go down, and god help you if you're limited to your pong gun, that thing is mostly useless. There are only two songs in the entire game the menu song and the level song. Thankfully the level music is pretty forgettable so even though it loops I can't for the life of me remember the melody. The best laughs of the game come from Tommy's dialogue. The first time I heard the six year old scream "Booze!" I lost it. On the flip side, the 200th time I heard him yell “Going Down!” I also almost lost it. Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with the game. And don’t think glitches are only reserved for the triple A titles, Tommy Tronic has plenty of them. This game may have needed a few more minutes in the testing phase (there’s a name in the credits associated with testing so I assumed it went through some), I had a hard lock in-between the 11th and 12th level. I almost freaked out since the 11th level is the trickiest with an endless loop if you go the wrong direction. Thankfully it saved my progress, so I could restart on level 12 after a reboot. Another game breaking glitch was after the completion of the game, the floors decided to lose their solidity and I went crashing into the infinity before I could watch the credits. I wouldn't want to spoil the ending for you, but there may or may not be a reunion with a certain canine companion. There are no bones about it, Tommy Tronic is meant to be a family game, and as with most games labeled for the family it’s not worth the $10 you’ll put down for it ($8 if you buy it during the steam sale). In the end, I respect Interplay for what they're doing. Publishing Indy games is always a gamble; I just wish they'd picked a better game for one of their inaugural titles. I fear it will kill the service before it’s even really started. But who knows, maybe they meant this game as a "see, if this shit can get published, you can too!" type of project. Score - 3 Don't Buy It. An Aside - Hint of the Day: Sometimes the puzzle answer is there aren't enough keys in the level.



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