Game review on PC
Amy Wilson / Thu 18th May 2017
49 views / 2 bites
OVERVIEW Tethered is a 'god' puzzle game where you (the almighty power) determine the lives of your 'peeps'. Peeps are your civilians, and it's up to you to keep them fed, watered and healthy to ensure they can ward off the critters that come to the surface at night.
Each world follows the same linear pattern, building and keeping your peeps alive. Set as a real-time strategy game, building your island up and keeping your peeps happy is crucial to getting the best time. Each island has 'goal times' in which you have to work into to receive different achievement levels.
There is no real 'story' concept behind the game, other than keeping your peeps alive and fighting, which does make it sometimes lose appeal for me due to the very linear format of trying to achieve a perfect score and progressing.
Tethered is compatible with both VR and PC, and sometimes this can be evident in the gameplay. As such, the controls when they're moved sometimes feel too light, and you can definitely tell the game has been optimised for VR use.
Be prepared to slog through the first opening islands, as it does take some time get the hang of how the game works, the controls and how to build new objects on your island. A big point that I missed at first was combining the weather elements, which can be combined and tethered to your peeps or buildings to create a desired effect.
There is always something to do on the island, and the constant, faced-paced day and night cycle always provides that there are plenty of battles too face, or restoring your island after a particularly hard night.
Keeping your peeps happy is of utmost importance in game, and if they're not fed and happy, they will 'fall into the void' - leaping from places on the map to their deaths. This, whilst morbid, ensures that you're always on the lookout for every peep and their happiness, which is easy to monitor via the emotion symbol above a peeps head. If your peep falls into despair, they will refuse to do work or fight until they're happy again, so ensuring all your peeps are happy is definitely a large game point!
As a negative, I did find the UI and the tethering system sometimes too crowded, as well as hard to navigate.
GRAPHICS The cute, animation style graphics in Tethered are phenomenal. Graphics are extremely polished and well thought out, really lending to the immersion in game. I find that the art style really suits the game, and while night time brings out enemies, it doesn't feel 'scary'. This means that the game can be suitable for kids and adults alike, overall really making the game feel playable and enjoyable if you're looking for something fun to play.
AUDIO Sound effects and music in game also fit in with the graphics style, keeping in trend with cute sound effects and very pleasant and calming music. The use of different sound effects when different actions are performed also help to alert when a certain scenario is happening on the map, giving you a heads up if you're attention is preoccupied.
Overall, Tethered is a delightful little game that - while quite simple - is charming in its execution, and fun to play in short bursts. It's worth a try!