hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Teleglitch

2:00 PM on 12.06.2012 // Allistair Pinsof
  @DtoidAllistair

[Insert Aliens quote here]

When death comes in Teleglitch, I can feel a part of myself being replaced with a weighted ton of soulcrushing loss and hopelessness. So goes the roguelike, a genre that has increasingly proliferated among bedroom developers (Spelunky, FTL), major studios (Dark Souls, ZombiU), and sadomasochistics.

A good roguelike is a balancing act of keeping levels, item placement, and enemy encounters random without making an unfair, lame game. Teleglitch will be beat you down, drag you across the floor, rip you open, and paint the walls with your entrails but I never felt like walking away from it altogether. Each victory, big and small, is a memorable one in Teleglitch that lingers long enough to give courage to continue -- and it's almost always worth it.

Even when I lost two hours of progress, I didn’t feel I was done with Teleglitch. I may never be done with it, and its relentless hordes of monster will certainly never be done with me.



Teleglitch (PC)
Developer: Johamm Tael & Mihkel Tael
Publisher: Johamm Tael & Mihkel Tael
Release: November 24, 2012
MSRP: $13.00

Elevator pitch time! Teleglitch is the combat of Hotline Miami and Alien Breed meets the aesthetics of Quake meets the story of System Shock meets an RPG roguelike where you explore randomly generated dungeons, collect items, and craft new gear. Believe it or not, this is selling it short.

Teleglitch opens with with an image of a planet along with introductory text -- it’s not the only connection the game has to Doom and Quake. You are a space marine investigating a isolated human colony on a remote planet. It’s typical sci-fi material but the text in between levels and terminal messages are well written, adding to the game’s grim atmosphere. The subtle audio cues, shrilling enemy noises, and abstract visuals help distance Teleglitch from other games that have occupied similar ground.

The beginning tutorial does a good job of explaining the game’s basic mechanics: You fire weapons, manage inventory, combine items, and flip switches. Alien Breed fans will find themselves right at home with the game’s excellent controls, but Teleglitch holds a wealth of strategic decisions that only dedicated players will discover through repeat playthroughs. Teleglitch’s roguelike influences become immediately apparent when you play the same level for a second time, finding items, rooms, and enemies in completely different places. Teleglitch manages to make procedurally generated level design work without sacrificing good flow. Like Spelunky, sometimes you’ll stumble into something awful (an enemy hive in a small room) and sometimes you’ll get lucky (three medkits in the start area).

You need to depend on more than luck to get past even level two, however, so memorizing what items you need to combine to make a better weapon becomes important. This might sound complicated but the game’s barebones UI makes it a cinch by highlighting all possible upgrades currently available. Through combining items, you can turn a pistol into an automatic firearm, build armor out of empty cans, and create robotic legs that will make increase speed. Though there are no stats to build, the forward progress through items and level progression makes Teleglitch a very addicting game.

From firing a laser to stabbing a dude in the face, Teleglitch plays great with a mouse and keyboard. A controller option would be a welcome addition and hopefully one that makes it into a future Steam release. Teleglitch’s enemies don’t make anything easy for you. They move around like raving maniacs -- which I suppose they are -- but I never got used to their movement patterns. Even when I had full health and armor (a miraculous occurrence), I never felt safe in Teleglitch. When you hear the boss in level 6 scream, you will know true fear. The game also does a brilliant thing in placing pipes throughout levels, with only a couple serving as a spawn point for a ton of enemies. So, whenever I saw one, I felt my grip tighten as I slowly crept forward. I’ll never look at pipes in Super Mario Bros. the same way again.

Teleglitch feels great, has a unique lo-fi aesthetic, and is packed with brilliant ideas, but some technical issues bog it down. I came across at least one game-breaking bug (a boss encounter in level 5 locks you into a room, but if you don’t enter quick enough you’ll be locked out) and never got some of the control options to work (the grenade and stab buttons). Teleglitch doesn't allow players to quit and save progress. That’s okay in Spelunky, where levels are brief, but I once lost two hours of progress in Teleglitch because of this. Asking players to sit and play without pause is a bit much. But, these are small issues that are easy to look past in light of all that Teleglitch has to offer.

Along with FTL and Spelunky, Teleglitch takes the core elements of a roguelike, does away with tradition, and creates a hybrid of a game unlike any I’ve played before. If you are a fan of horror, top-down shooters, and RPGs, Teleglitch won't disappoint. However, you will likely disappoint yourself when you play it.

[Teleglitch is currently only available at the developer's website.]



THE VERDICT

8

Teleglitch - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
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.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, 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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Xbone journey continues! I thought I would like Dead Rising 3 well enough as a huge fan of 1/2, but I must say I find it's emphasis on hard drama laughable and the game fundamentally disingenuine. Guess I'm moving on to Forza Horizon 2.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
I dig the feature in Until Dawn where, if you have the Playstation camera, it will record you briefly during jump scares for you to watch later. It's a really neat use of an underused peripheral. Too bad I'm dead inside and never react to them.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img]http://i.imgur.com/oZ7CQJa.jpg[/img]
nanashi avatarnanashi
Fallout Shelter: Impossible to Learn, Easy to Master.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Not saying this is the case, but Kojima has gone on record as being a huge Mad Max: Fury Road fan. Konami decided to release MGSV on the same day as Mad Max TVG. They're trying piss on Kojima's lawn, man.
ooktar avatarooktar
Downloading Phantom Pain. ETA, 16 hours. Just in time for lunch tomorrow.
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
OH WOW. Talk about a complete about face. After slogging through the horrid beginning and slow ass swap sequence this game picked up exponentially. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it now. All if forgiven. Thank you based Kojima.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Oh, joyful night. [youtube]https://youtu.be/6EfhAFA2yFE[/youtube]
techsupport avatartechsupport
After a summer of on-and-off casual play, I've finally reached lv. 34 in Destiny :')
nanashi avatarnanashi
also Fallout Shelter just made me utter this: "I have to get these pregnancies done.." life is trivial in this game!
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
Let it be known that Metal Gear 2 for MXS has aged horribly and is no fun to play. In the midst of a MGS marathon, looks like I'm skipping ahead to MGS.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
"Available: 31 August - This game will unlock in approximately 2 hours" HOLY SHIET! [youtube]https://youtu.be/9jK-NcRmVcw[/youtube]
nanashi avatarnanashi
-nudge nudge- hey Sony, discount Ys: I and II Chronicles and Ys: Seven on the PSP :D
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just out of curiosity, does anybody here still play Mario Kart 8 at all frequently?
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Neighbors ended up calling the cops. I hid under a cardboard box. Police officers were perplexed but went back to their patrol routes after a minute or so.
techsupport avatartechsupport
!a new MGS: Ground Zeroes update file auto dl'd and installed..the day prior to MGSV... hmm.. coincidence? OR... coincidence?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Just got an email from Nintendo saying that my Club Nintendo reward has been shipped and is on its way. Now it's the end of an era. *pours one out for Club Nintendo*
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
I've been thinking of starting up a criticism-minded "game of the month" type podcast. Would anyone be interested in something like that? If you'd wanna be part of it, let me know, I'm generating ideas and looking for contributors
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Playing the most difficult strategy game ever: trying to figure out what order to beat your backlog in.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Transient Ryu stays ripped by riding the rails and throwing other transients off of his rail cars - [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/homeless%20ryu.jpg~original[/IMG]
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Teleglitch


  Jul 30

Review: Teleglitch: Die More Edition

Guess how many times I died? More times


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

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 -