Teslagrad 2 Review – Sonic the Bland Puzzle Platformer

Teslagrad 2 Review

I didn’t play the original Teslagrad, but I definitely heard the excitement that people had for its surprise sequel, Teslagrad 2. I heard it was a 2D Metroidvania, with heavy aspects of puzzle solving and platforming, involving electricity and magnetic powers. That concept was extremely enticing to me. Unfortunately my experience with Teslagrad 2 didn’t match the joy shared by fans of the original.

The story is about a girl who gets attacked by Vikings, and is trying to find a way back home. That’s about it. There are small amounts of backstory found throughout, but there’s no narration, no dialogue, and no interesting character interactions. I would say the story is an afterthought, but it honestly barely exists.

Feels More Like PS3 Than PS5

I thought Teslagrad 2 was going to be a Metroidvania, but it’s pretty light on those elements. It’s more like a PS3 era puzzle platformer, like Braid or Limbo. Moving and jumping feels less responsive and more floaty than I would have liked. Everything felt just a little slow. The heroine was slow to turn. I really found myself having to respond to animations in a way I never really got used to. Fans of faster precision platformers might struggle to find enjoyment with Teslagrad 2.

If Teslagrad 2 was a fully fleshed out Metroidvania, it would have been a lot more interesting. Its map is simple and linear, and its Scandinavian world is bland. But the one Metroidvania aspect that Teslagrad 2 nails is the power ups. Every new ability in Teslagrad 2 offers a fun new power that changes the game for the better. The first one gained is an electric dash, that allows players to travel through walls. Another early one gives the player the ability to attach to magnets. These are cleverly used in puzzles that involve momentum, spinning platforms, changing gravity, etc. Teslagrad 2 shines brightest when it offers puzzles to solve that use all the player’s powers.

Sliding Is Where the Fun Begins

Halfway through the game, the player gets the ability to slide whenever they want, and the gameplay becomes much more momentum-based. Teslagrad 2 became a lot more fun at this point, and it was a joy to traverse the world. But the world itself didn’t offer any differing environments to get excited about exploring. And up until that point I wasn’t in love with the gameplay. It’s an abrupt and interesting shift to a much faster style of game.

It’s also worth mentioning that Teslagrad 2 has no combat. Any enemy attack results in an instant death, although players are given a quick and generous respawn. The game’s boss battles give the player an extra hit they can take.

The visuals are a 2D style that looks like something out of a child’s picture book. They look great, but there isn’t much creativity in the character or world design. Even someone like me, who gravitates towards Viking-themed visuals, will find Teslagrad 2 uninteresting to look at.. The music was good, but also not very memorable. The score’s highlight was Scandinavian folk themes that were peppered throughout. These suited the world, but not the electricity/ magnetic gameplay.

Way Too Short

The biggest problem with Teslagrad 2 is that it is incredibly short. The game could comfortably be beaten in less than three hours on a first playthrough. I’ve played demos that lasted longer than the entirely of Teslagrad 2. Luckily it has a pretty low price point, but I find games with less than 5 hours of content feel incomplete. And there’s only one collectible outside of the main story.

Teslagrad 2 is a bit of a fail. It has some interesting puzzle platform gameplay, but its Metroidvania elements are too simple. And it feels like there was very little creativity behind any aspect of it. Almost like the developers were forced into making it. The game’s biggest problem is that it’s way too short. I could see people beating it in 2 hours on a first playthrough. I can’t imagine how fans of the original wouldn’t be disappointed by this sequel, and it’s definitely not going to earn the Teslagrad franchise any new fans.

***PS5 code provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Late game slide power is very fun
  • Important abilities
  • Good mix of puzzles and platforming

The Bad

  • Only 2-3 hours long
  • Bland world
  • Nonexistent narrative