Tetrobot and Co. (E for Everyone) is a puzzle game by Swing Swing Submarine. It came out on PC last year, and it was just released for Wii U. It takes place 15 years after the puzzle-platformer Blocks That Matter (2011), but you don’t need to play the first game to enjoy the second.
Tetrobot and Co.’s story is a relatively small part of your gaming experience, but I found it to be a very welcome (and cute) addition.
Maya is the youngest person to ever graduate from college in Sweden. She’s an engineer, and people from around the world are sending her their Tetrobots (tiny robots that look like washing machines) for repair. Maya has created a microscopic robot called a Psychobot that she injects inside the Tetrobots. Then, she can control the Psychobot remotely, moving it through the Tetrobot to fix all of its microscopic problems.
As she works, Maya discovers strange photographs of herself stored in the memories of the Tetrobots she’s repairing. She also receives occasional cryptic letters from her friends, Alexey and Markus, about a new project they’ve been working on.
The artwork for the story is really nice, and I always love seeing a strong, smart young woman starring in a video game.
One downside is that the game had no kind of introduction or explanation, so it took me a little while to figure out what was going on. (I didn’t find the above trailer until I started working on this review.)
You control Psychobot, the microscopic robot who wanders through the compartments of the Tetrobot setting things right. To do this, you must collect blocks, rearrange them in the correct place, flip switches, manipulate lasers, and more. There are many different kinds of blocks, each with different properties. You can keep track of them all in a clever pause menu called “Faceblock,” a pun on Facebook.
Some of these puzzles are hard. Some of these puzzles are really hard. And there are no in-game hints.
However, the puzzles are also really satisfying. This is the kind of single-player game that works well in a group, because everyone in the room can look at the screen and talk about solutions. Each level also has three bonus Memory Blocks to collect. You don’t need them to beat the level, but you do need to have a certain number in order to unlock each area of the game.
Tetrobot and Co. on the Wii U is incredibly similar to Tetrobot and Co. on a computer. Its use of the dual screen function is…nonexistent. The Game Pad displays exactly the same image as the TV, meaning that while I was playing, I almost never even bothered to look up. The nice part of this was that I could play Tetrobot and Co. by myself while my roommates watched a movie on the TV. Still, it’s always a bummer to see a Wii U game that doesn’t take advantage of the Wii U’s main feature.
I did encounter two glitches while playing the game, but they both vanished when I restarted the level. Overall, the game runs very smoothly.
Tetrobot and Co. is a must-have for puzzle lovers. Each puzzle is artfully crafted, and some might take you hours to complete. If you tend to like your games fast-paced and action-packed, you might not have the patience for this title. But the lovely story, the cute sounds and music, and the extreme satisfaction of finishing a level by myself were all enough to keep me thoroughly engaged.