Saturday, 15 December 2012

REVIEW - Teleglitch (PC) In space, no one can hear you scream!

Teleglitch is a brand new top down roguelike that blends action and horror to great effect. In this nightmarish vision of the future you assume the role of a scientist who is the only survivor of an experiment gone wrong in a military research centre on Medusa C-1. Upon arrival you find that the previous occupants have been performing dangerous experiments, with predictably disastrous results. The complex is overrun with hideous genetic experiments, zombies, robots, and all sorts of crazed monsters out to tear you asunder.
The first thing you will notice are the incredibly lo-fi graphics, grainy and distorted, they are small and extremely pixelated, but rather than detract from the game, it actually adds a grimy, sinister feel. Indeed the visual style brings to mind Id software's Doom and its follow up Quake; the abandoned military installation filled with demonic hordes is pure Doom, and the gritty colours, and eerie sounds instantly reminded me of the first Quake game. Add in the sci-fi horror storyline of System Shock, and the frantic, claustrophobic fire fights and switch pressing of Alien Breed and you are some way to describing Teleglitch. The music is non existent, but the constant space like hums and drones, as well as the hissing of opening doors, and shrieks of creatures give the game an atmosphere reminiscent of Ridley Scott's Alien movies. The aesthetics give the game a great atmosphere and sense of immersion, which will soon have you absorbed into its terrifying world.

Being a roguelike, Teleglitch is made up of randomly generated levels, meaning the layout, as well as the enemy and item placement, is different each time. The whole game is set inside the military facility, which is split into 10 levels. Medusa C-1's atmosphere is highly poisonous, so you are confined to indoors for the duration of the game, but there are some indoor garden areas dotted throughout the complex which add variety to your surroundings. The roguelike tag also means that you have only the one life with which to finish the game. If you die, it is game over and you must restart from the very beginning. The result of this is that Teleglitch is aimed at the hardcore crowd. It is a difficult game to begin with, but with only one life it can be brutal. Hours of gameplay can be lost upon a death which can be frustrating. But luckily the gameplay itself is so addictive and engaging that you will just want to dive straight back in. Having only one life also adds an incredible amount of tension to proceedings, making entering each room a nerve racking experience. You never know if the next room will contain much needed supplies, or a horde or angry beats who will swarm towards you with murderous intent.

The controls are excellent and intuitive, with the WSAD keys used for movement and the mouse used for aiming, firing and the drop down menu. It works really well and soon becomes second nature, the mouse control in particular allowing for precise aiming and firing, which is essential when being chased by mutated zombies. The creatures themselves have very erratic movement patterns which lend an air of panic to combat, adding to the survival horror feeling of the game. You are armed with a knife and pistol to begin with, but can find useful crates filled with items to assist your ordeal. Ammo is limited so should be used sparingly, and medikits are a rarity that will always be received with a sigh of relief. Other items such as nails, cans and explosives can be obtained and then combined to make bombs, weapons, and upgrades, and is all done very easily through the in-game drop down menu. Simply click the items you want to combine and it gives you a list of possible creations. Select the one you want and it is instantly created and placed in your inventory. Nail bombs, automatic pistols, robotic legs for extra speed and many other objects can be created this way, and it adds another layer to the already deep experience.

Teleglitch is a very immersive and addictive experience, it confidently combines elements of action, survival horror, looting and weapon creation and fear to bring you a deep and enjoyable experience that will keep you hooked. The randomly generated levels offer a huge amount of replay value, and the game is tough enough to offer even a seasoned pro a stiff challenge.
Although death comes often and sometimes without warning, you always feel an overpowering urge to begin again and try to last longer, the mark of any good roguelike. It can be frustraing to survive for over an hour, playing cautiously in order to progress with ammo and health intact, only for a single mistake to wipe out all your hard work. It's a game that you need to take breaks from regularly, coming back with a fresh sense of enthusiasm later on.

Overall it's an intense game that will have you on the edge of your seat as you stumble through the dark corridors, desperately seeking ammunition, and praying you won't run into a horde of monsters. It is also deeply satisfying and rewarding for those who invest the time in its sinister lo-fi world.


  • Lo-fi aesthetics and atmospheric sound
  • Randomly generated levels
  • satisfying combat and loot seeking
  • Addictive and Immersive


  • Only one life makes it brutally difficult
  • Losing all your progress is frustrating

Developer : Johamm Tael & Mihkel Tael
System Reviewed : PC
Also available on : n/a
Price : £7.99