Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: TxK

4:00 PM on 02.26.2014 // Steven Hansen

Singing the body electric

If you came up to me and told me I could be this turned around, bearingless and disoriented, on a two dimensional plane of movement, I would say, "Gee, that's oddly specific, why are you telling me this?"

And then you would flee into the unbearable flatness of space under cover of a blinding vector graphic laser light show with explosions and flowers and bulls and I would try really hard to shoot you with my pointy little crab legs.

That's TxK, basically. It's fun.

TxK (Vita)
Developer: Llamasoft
Publisher: Llamasoft
Released: February 11, 2014
MSRP: $9.99

If you are familiar with Llamasoft and Jeff Minter's Tempest 2000, which was a clear inspiration for Rez, then you know what you're getting into with TxK. It's a more vibrant, refined T2K with the same tunnel shooter gameplay. And it's fun. And I've finally gotten used to calling it TxK and not The Tempest. Even Prospero might have some trouble here.

The arcadey TxK, stretched over 100 levels, is a perfect fit on the Vita. You can play in Pure mode and try to get through all 100 without losing all your lives. You can play Survival, wherein extra lives are never granted. You can claw your way up leaderboards on either, theoretically playing forever, getting better at eliminating enemies on the horizon for more points, using your screen-clearing bomb that grants 2x points.

Or you can be bad at videogames and just try to work your way to the end, which I spent most of my time doing. If you lose all your lives on a level, you can start over from that level, with however many lives you had and your previously accumulated score. It's nice, especially as trickier levels give you trouble and throw new enemies that you'll waste a few lives figuring out.

Resuming from sleep mode, dying five times, resuming sleep mode, then coming back and clearing several more levels is nice. Especially when you're not given all that much time to figure out how to deal with new enemies when they're introduced.

I was expecting to fall into much more of a manic zen with TxK, like I did with Dyad or do with most puzzle games, but I was pretty on edge crab walking around with my pointy yellow horseshoe, snatching power ups and retreating to safety as all manner of abstract color monsters threatened my existence.

The AI drone is a godsend, allowing you to skate by difficult levels cowering in corners. It even occasionally saves you when an enemy reaches your lines, grabs you, and begins to pull you down the row to obsidian nothingness. The Jump ability is equally powerful, but dangerous. You feel master of your domain bounding about the range, but it's easy for the action to get cluttered from afar or, soul-crushingly worse, for you to jump backwards into something that will kill you that was otherwise drifting out into space.

Playing surfaces that begin as shapes and line segments evolve into disorienting stages that leave you wondering which way is up as everything bends and folds in on or over itself. It's sometimes like playing with an intermittent mirror mode, because left will be right and right will be left, until it isn't. Some later levels see these flexible bounds go black and you hope you're not moving back into the line of fire.

The abstraction is nice. We don't get it as much anymore. As much as you're going through a tunnel, it feels as if you're falling through a tube, through the spatial vacuum, discovering new oddities along the way. There are enemies that are bulls. Mess with them and, yes, you get the horns, severed and flung at you like windmilling, rent helicopter blades. Actually, occasionally shooting at what looked like the Chicago Bulls logo did feel a bit out of place. 

TxK is tunnel shooter refinement. It's dazzling on the Vita's screen. bright and electric. The music is infectious and lends itself to a focused tunnel vision. And it's occasionally disorienting in the best way. Getting that turned around becomes hypnotic and rhythmic, with TxK acting as the snake charmer.



TxK - Reviewed by Steven Hansen
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:

  Mar 19

Atari bullying indie developer behind Tempest 2000

New ports of spiritual successor TxK 'will now never see the light of day'

  Apr 11

Jeff Minter's next ball tripper simulation is TxK on Vita

I'm getting really hot and thirsty just thinking about it

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Fast HGH Facts

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

Meesa Back! (or, here, or something.) Dev Log #1

Cblogs of 11/23/2015 + Sexuality in Videogames

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Fuck racism man, shit ain't fair. Can't stand it and I shouldn't have to. Nobody should.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Embedded pictures in Quickposts seem to be broken for me right now.
Flegma avatarFlegma
To my surprise, I've more or less figured out Rodea Wii U controls. Still a different game from the Wii version, but not as decidedly inferior in my eyes. Did the legacy medals do anything in Wii version?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
"Am I a kid, or a squid?" I ponder as I stare off into the horizon. A wise man once told me "Son, you can be whatever you want to be. You are only limited by your lack of ambition " And I want to be a squid. A squid now.
Parismio avatarParismio
Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped!: [youtube][/youtube]
lewness avatarlewness
Gah, wanna go Alexander farming but The Old Hunters ;_;
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Holy shit, Splatoon is addictive.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Duck Hunt was a trickier unlock than I expected. Jigglypuff, you are next on my list! [img][/img]
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Yay, this arrived today. Nekro is quite happy, as he's been looking forward to playing this game for a while. [IMG][/IMG]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Dtoid mobile has apparently broken again. This is it. This how the dtoid ends. *black hole opens, dtoid disappears*
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Gave Ronin one more chance before I chucked it in the "never to be finished" pile, glad I did. It could have been so much better but as a frustrating time waster it's not bad.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I'm sitting on the Fapcast's most recent recording. I just feel like I need a day for myself after, you know, freaking out about rent.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Why is every Quickpost now spaced out like poems with random amounts of stanzas that never ever rhyme?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Was anybody else here extremely disappointed by the ending of Assassin's Creed 2?
Parismio avatarParismio
Just tried Fallout 4 on my PC Via my Cousins steam account and nope, it does not run for me very well. Buying the PS4 version it is!
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
You know who never took any shit from anybody? Dr. Blight.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Am I the only one who has to pull up their sleeves to play competantly at videogames? When my hoodie's sleeves are down I play like a piece of shit but when i pull them up, I have more flexibility.
Shinta avatarShinta
PSA: Just picked up Falco amiibo at Best Buy. They had about 20 Tom Nook, 10 singles of Splatoon Boy/Girl, the Splatoon triple pack, about 30 Marths with a big sign saying "Look Who's Back!," Dark Pit, and probably about 15 others. Not too shabby.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
I long for the day that people get over their weird circle jerk hatred for FFXIII related things and just ignore things they don't care about.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I'm upgrading my PC on the cheap and I'm going with AMD, out of these two CPUs, wich one is better?, A8-7650K or FX-6300?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -