[Review] TETRA's Escape - Nintendo Switch

TETRA's Escape is the latest Ratalaika game to grace our beloved Nintendo Switch, and I love the hardworking team over at Ratalaika. The sheer depth of variety and experiences found in the existing Ratalaika Games library to be found on the Switch is impressive. TETRA's Escape is a puzzle platformer that takes on a very familiar mainstay of the puzzle genre- the four squared tetrominoes we all know and love, and puts them into a new and interesting situation.

We have a framing narrative that all of the tetrominoes have been transported to another dimension, and we need to save them! This is all well and good, but how does TETRA's Escape play out to be something aside from a Tetris knockoff while still using tetrominoes? Well, I'm glad you asked. We are tasked with using the various tetrominoes to create steps and bridges for our little tetra pieces to navigate around different levels to get from the start to the finish. Along the way we are given some star collectibles to strive for in our quest from A to B, but essentially we are using tetrominoes as building blocks to overcome pitfalls and other obstacles.

We can't just use any piece that we want, however, and we must always devise a clever way in which to place our blocks, and using which orientation to achieve our goal. It starts off with some straight forward tutorial style levels to get you familiar with the different ways in which you can place and manipulate your pieces, and then slowly ramps up the difficulty by giving you free reign to figure out how to solve the puzzle before you, and introducing more blocks with different functions. As puzzle games need to have for success, TETRA's escape does a great job at gradually increasing the difficulty as you make your way through the various levels, and every so often throws you a softball to keep you on your toes. Granted, since these are spatial reasoning puzzles, which puzzle I consider an easy solution will be difficult for you and vice versa,

The art style is lighthearted and fun, but isn't overly impressive or original. The soundtrack ranges from catchy to forgettable, but it does the job it needs to most of the time. Sometimes you'll completely space out while trying to map out the solution and the soundtrack disappears...which is actually nice since it never really distracts you from the focus.

Overall TETRA's Escape is a well put-together puzzle game that takes two things most of us are familiar with and puts a unique enough twist on it to make it engaging and temporarily exciting. While it lures us in with novelty, it keeps us with clever puzzle design that really gets a different part of our brain working.

7/10

*Review copy provided by Ratalaika Games.

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