Teslagrad Remastered

I don’t know why I never got around to playing the original Teslagrad. Not only is it incredibly up my alley, but I went through an obsessive indie-platformer phase that lasted from 2010 (probably triggered by the release of Super Meat Boy) until about 2013ish. Teslagrad originally came out at the tail end of 2013, so it’s quite possible that I was just feeling kind of burned out on the genre after playing it obsessively for three years. Whatever the reason, I was definitely aware of Teslagrad; I just never actually played it.

But then, earlier this year, publisher Modus kindly let me play a preview build of Teslagrad 2, and I was hooked. Teslagrad 2 is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and shockingly brilliant. The two and a half hours I played totally sold me on the game, and it also made me interested in going back and finally playing the original.

As it turns out, that wasn’t the end of Modus’ Teslagrad generosity. On April 21, 2023, Teslagrad 2 got a surprise release, alongside a fully remastered version of the original Teslagrad. And Modus sent me review copies of both of them.

Like I said, I never played the original version of Teslagrad. But as a (sort-of) newcomer to the remastered version, I have to say that this is a top-shelf puzzle platformer that does a lot of brilliant little things.

Teslagrad Remastered

Teslagrad has a complex set of mechanics, but they sort of build on each other in a way that feels really satisfying. You start out with the ability to simply run and jump. You’ll eventually pick up a glove that lets you punch boxes to turn them either red or blue, and these colored boxes act like magnets. Blue and red are attracted to each other; blue repels blue; red repels red. You can use these magnetic fields to move platforms, extend bridges, launch boxes across the screen, and do all sorts of other fun stuff.

Later on, you’ll get a cloak that allows you to adjust your own magnetic field. Now you can fling yourself great distances by, say, activating the blue field while standing on a blue box. Or you can activate the red field to stick yourself to a blue ceiling. There are even boulders that have colored boxes inside them, and you can repel or attract them with your own magnetic field.

late in the game, your punch-glove will become a powerful laser beam. Not only does this let you change box colors from afar, but it also allows you to blast open passages that weren’t previously available to you.

There’s also a teleport skill, which is used for some really neat things. One of the game’s bosses, for example, is this giant mechanical bird, and you defeat it by teleporting inside its ribcage so you can punch its heart.

Teslagrad Remastered

And once you get to the end of the game, you can either go fight the boss (if you have at least 15 scrolls), or go back through the game and pick up the scrolls that you missed, which feels a little bit like a New Game+ that’s not actually a New Game+. I love this. (For reference, there are 36 scrolls in total, and finding all of them rewards you with the “perfect” ending.)

I found the entire experience to be immensely well-paced. Sure, I got stuck on a few puzzles, but these situations were generally just the game nudging me to try something new with my combined skillset.

Teslagrad Remastered is a phenomenal little game that packs a ton of gameplay into its short runtime. I’ve seen estimates that the game should take you 5-7 hours, but I feel like 10 hours seems like a more realistic expectation. You’re probably going to get stuck a few times, which can seriously halt your progress.

Oh, and I could go on and on about how beautiful the hand-drawn visual style is, but perhaps it’s best to just share the launch trailer so you can see for yourself.

Teslagrad is a masterpiece, and I’m really glad to have finally played it. If you are like me and are ten years late jumping in, the remastered version is an incredible introduction to this magnetic little world.

Dislaimer: I was given a review code for Teslagrad Remastered for PS5, but the opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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