App Army Assemble: Tetragon - "Is the mobile port of this world-spinning puzzler worth playing?"
We ask the App Army
After releasing on PC and console, developer Cafundó Estúdio Criativo has brought the puzzler Tetragon to iOS and Android. It sees you solving each of its challenges by rotating the world to help you reach your goal. After seeing some success on other platforms, we handed the game over to our App Army to see how it performed on mobile.
Here's what they said:Jojó Reis
The game tells the mysterious story of the adventures of Lucius, a simple lumberjack who travels through scenic square worlds in search of his son who suddenly disappeared. Tetragon is a super addictive 2D puzzle game. I loved its puzzles and simplified controls for touch. The graphics are beautiful along with the sound effects. The game has many phases for you to have fun and all of them are very well done. One of the best and most fun mobile games.Jason Rosner
Tetragon is a puzzle platformer that really grabbed my attention right from the start. The term “console quality” comes to mind when I think of just how polished everything is. You play the main character Lucius, a father who’s looking for his lost son. Of course, the journey is never an easy one, and your goal is to find each level’s exit as you try and get one step closer to finding him.
Mobile games often take some creative chances with gameplay, and Tetragon brings with it some of those cool ideas. This is where the puzzle play comes in. Some exits are initially impossible to reach, and you’ll need to manipulate the environment in different ways by turning and rotating the screen, along with moving pillars to different heights and lengths, in order to complete each level. Achievements and capsules (collectables) add an extra layer of challenges along the way. The graphics are excellent, and the music sets a soothing tone throughout. I highly recommend Tetragon!Mark Abukoff
This is a really good-looking puzzler/platformer that to me also kind of feels like an escape room in so much that you’re having to solve puzzles and move platforms and rotate the room itself in an attempt to get out of the room and into the next. Add complications like time limits as you get to higher levels. The story is simple but compelling, and the graphics look good. I found a minor bit of difficulty moving platforms on my iPhone screen but other than that no control problems. I liked the music and the sounds.
No tutorial but I figured things out pretty quickly. In some cases I found myself looking on YouTube for solutions to puzzles but really, if you try a few times and don’t mind dying once or twice, and pay attention to little details you can pretty much figure out what you need to do. My only complaint, and it’s minor, is that if you close the game out, either mid-level or not, it takes a bit of work to find where you left off. It should either give you the option to ‘resume’, which puts you right back where you were or have a simple menu showing all of the completed levels, as most games do. I’d think that should be a simple fix for this otherwise really good game. Really highly recommend this game.Oksana Ryan
I loved this game. You play Lucios who travels through the various puzzle scenarios to find his way to his son. The gameplay is clever as you move from one puzzle to the next, using objects to tip you inside your surroundings, flipping one way or the other, and moving pillars to climb around until you can reach the way out that will take you to your next puzzle.
The mechanics are easy to master and the music is calm and in keeping with the theme of the game. I found there was enough challenge to keep me happy and wanting to progress forward. All in all a change from the norm and I would recommend it.Sangeet Shukla
Tetragon gives you the vibe of an old 2D classic puzzle game. The level of difficulty is very good even if I will say hard but the reason is the weird combination of character design/movement and environment I felt off while playing the game, at least on Android. No hints are there, no graphics options. There is a story of father and son which is to keep going as we progress in the game. Collectables add an extra challenge for puzzle game lovers. I think it can be a better game as the Idea of a puzzle game with gravity, tiles movement, and symbol matching is very very good.Pierpaolo Morgante
Tetragon is a puzzle/platformer game made of different levels, and the main goal is to guide the character to the exit by moving left or right, and by manipulating the environment. The game is simple, and the controls are smooth and intuitive, which probably explains the lack of tutorials in the game. In fact, we are provided with a left/right arrow pair to move our character around, and there is only limited interaction with other objects in the level. As mentioned, we can rotate the environment, so that the game is not a proper side-scroller, which makes it more interesting to figure out a solution.
The game difficulty is overall balanced, and never frustratingly hard. What sets this game apart from other games in similar categories is the beautiful artwork, which makes every level exquisite to play. The colours are vibrant and brilliant, and they are accompanied by a very relaxing soundtrack that fits the whole atmosphere perfectly. On the negative side, the game plays in landscape mode, although phone settings stay in portrait mode, and the lack of a tutorial might put off some players. None of these were deal-breakers for me, and I believe that Tetragon will be a valuable addition to any game library, especially for those who are fond of puzzle games.
Tetragon is an interesting and original puzzle platform game in which you progress by rotating the world and also by sliding out columns/floors (depending on orientation). It reminded me a bit of Braid in terms of the style of gameplay. The game suffers from the interactive elements being a bit too small to reliably move, and in later levels (I played almost to the end of chapter two), when you are against time pressure, this unreliability caused me a lot of pain and frustration.
I think there are two things that could address this: one is to always make movement one block at a time: it's horrible to have to get properly lined up to do a high climb when the clock is ticking for example. The second suggestion is to add a 'rewind' or 'undo move' button: if you could just undo, then the situations where you die because you couldn't quite grab the column properly, would be a lot easier to deal with. There are a couple of other bugs I've encountered that make the game feel a little bit unfinished: If the developers address those and the points above, then I think this could be a really great game. As is, it's a little too frustrating.Torbjörn Kämblad
Tetragon is a puzzle game, hence the title, tasking you with guiding the protagonist to a portal to the next level. This is done using several different mechanics perfectly suited to one-screen puzzles. Rotating the scene, using teleportation points and shifting the height/length of objects. There is quite a lot of trial and error once the puzzles increase in difficulty. Also a lot of falling from too high. The presentation is really nice with some stellar parallax depth effects. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a well-presented puzzler with a lot of depth.Eduard Pandele
Tetragon is a puzzle platformer where you can move your hero left/right, expand/retreat platforms to reconfigure the level, and even rotate the whole level. The goal is to reach an apparently inaccessible exit that leads to the next level. There's always a risk that your hero might die (usually by falling) - hence the "platformer" label. The good: puzzles are smart and relatively no-nonsense, the art is decent, and the controls work well on my tablet (but I can see them becoming fiddly on a phone). The bad: later levels require quite a bit of backtracking, the game ignores the device orientation and doesn't save the progress properly. Overall, a decent mind-bender for (very) patient players.Francis Perez
I'm using a Samsung Galaxy A53 and I can say that the game performance is pretty smooth. Background music and sound effects suit the game too. I also like the art style of this puzzle game. Now for the gameplay, the left and right arrows are responsive but it is a little bit difficult to drag the movable tiles on small screens, especially if there are two to three movable tiles that are sticking together.
Maybe use all the screens for gameplay and just add two transparent buttons for movement? I'm also waiting for a tutorial on the first stage but it doesn't have any, please add some for player interaction, like "press the left and right arrows to move to the door(cube)" and then make the buttons glow. The tutorial will only start in the second/third stage (if I remember it correctly). The levels are interesting and look good though.
Another thing, the game is landscape but the actual screen of the phone stays vertical, if you get a Google Play achievement it will show up on the left side of the screen vertically. I know the devs will update this game for the fixes (please do as this game has a lot of potential). So for a puzzle game, this game is pretty good I can say. I love puzzle games and I can play this game for hours and will recommend this to others. Well done devs! And thanks again App Army! Appreciate it.Mike Lisagor
Tetragon is a puzzle platformer, but more of a puzzler. I could not play this on my iPad, it tries to be vertical even though it plays in landscape mode on my iPhone. I struggled a bit trying to move the columns on my phone, they are quite small. The goal of the game is to get to the finish area by manipulating the environment and sometimes rotating the screen. There is no tutorial and the game takes me to the first level any time I go back to the game. I then need to swipe through the levels to start where I left off. I do recommend this game if they fix the rotation issue so it can be played on a tablet. This has a lot of potential.What is the App Army?
The App Army is Pocket Gamer's lovely community of mobile game experts. As often as possible, we ask them for their thoughts on the latest games and share them with you.