When the promo material suggested that Teratopia was for an ageing audience, it felt like a punt to the nuts. Really? Are we a niche? But it all made sense when playing – this is a 90s (ish) 3D platformer type thing.
Your job is to see the attack, raise it, then crush it. From an assortment of creatures, you storm through each 3D environment beating baddies and pinching their eyeballs. It’s all familiar territory (apart from the eyeballs).
Teratopia PS4 Review
‘Booting up’ the game for the first time with the family reached the correct audience: the kids giggling at the silly voices and the minions that accompany you. Simultaneously, the crusties look up to the ceiling recalling the good old days Super Mario 64 and the many 3D adventures that followed.
In Teratopia, my initial news piece said that you play Tucho, but having played it, you have a choice of three, as long as you unlock them first. You don’t have to kill everything, but for each kill is an eyeball drop which works as a currency to unlock a new area, XP and minions.
The combat side of things was sketchy as the first creature, Tucho, has a very short range and half-heartedly punched at the baddies. Mildly frustrated that I was walking into them just so that I could get close enough, I hammered the buttons and unleashed a flurry of punches.
When outnumbered, you can summon a range of minions that include melee, ranged, engineers (for turrets), berserkers, and wizards to cast buffs. They’re time-limited and don’t do a tremendous amount of damage, but once you increase their capacity, can obliterate a boss in a short space of time.
Each defeated enemy rewards XP, and this automatically levels you up. There are no skill trees, but you’ll receive a handful of abilities early on, such as deflecting projectiles with your gut, and power attacks. After so many levels, you’ll get an increase to your standard attacks and power ones, all the way up to level 50.
Teratopia isn’t the most difficult of games, and there’s no difficulty setting either, so it might prove a bit too easy for some. Repetitive too. In the game, deaths were seldom from enemies, and instead from the atrocious jumping sections, or being knocked off an edge by your minions.
Upon death, you will return to a checkpoint (the location you can determine from a world map), but they’re relatively minimal and the loading times are quite slow when it comes to respawning. In some cases, the checkpoints are often quite far that you end up killing yourself to respawn.
Giving It An Angle
Seeing the screenshots in preparation for this Teratopia PS4 review made me think that the characters appeared a bit small on screen, and this was confirmed in gameplay. I would have liked to have seen the action close up, but you soon realise that this approach is best suited for the camera positioning.
A few similar titles like TY The Tasmanian Tiger HD had a few issues with camera angles. In my experience, Teratopia didn’t have the same concerns as you’re from a distance far enough to know what’s coming up and dash around the screen on boss stages without being stuck.
I liked the character designs, the colours and music – within the context of this sort of game. The voiceovers for the characters were irritating, but the kids liked it.
Mind The Gap
I enjoyed my time with Teratopia, but it’s easy to see the flaws. The biggest one would have to be the jumping aspect is it’s like watching a bus jump – the height you can reach is so insignificant, that reaching other areas is very hit and miss.
The costume shop is located across a chasm, and every time you complete a transaction, the only way to get back into the game was to walk off the edge and kill yourself. Tucho’s jumping ability was so poor, I couldn’t be bothered to unlock his costumes.
Another problematic jumping section was a series of floating platforms. Completing a double jump with a dash, my character would disappear under the platform then reappear.
Wrap It Up In Some New Garb
Teratopia gameplay is relatively simple, and it’s a bit of a chore in places. Sometimes it’s just a case of collecting enough minions to fight your battles, other times it’s working out where to go. Though there’s a map when spawning, you can’t bring it up mid-game, so it’s a lot of guesswork.
XP is shared in Teratopia, so whoever you play with, the other characters will be the same level and have the same minions, albeit with different names and appearances. If you’re up for collecting all the costumes, it makes sense to complete the Teratopedia to get the currency for them, tentacles.
So let’s wrap this up. Teratopia is a bit on the monotonous side, but if you don’t mind playing through the same areas to unlock new goodies and are a bit of a completionist, it’ll keep you busy for a bit. The creatures and character designs are pretty good, though the humour is a bit of a niche with bosses like Grandfarter.
Teratopia Review Summary
A colourful 3D adventure, Teratopia is enjoyable, if repetitive. The platforming sections are terrible, and it isn’t the brawler I thought it would be, but again, I mostly enjoyed it. The comedy is an acquired taste, and I was a bit dismissive of it. That comes from someone who smirks at anything that sounds like a fart. I’m smirking just typing that.