Candescent Games’ Tinertia is an interesting new twist on the well-worn platforming genre, offering quirky, fast-paced mechanics wrapped in a shiny, science fiction aesthetic. If you like a good challenge, then this game may be for you.
You’ll play as Weldon, a quaint little robot protagonist that’s been stranded on a strange planet after an emergency spaceship crash-landing. Unfortunately for Weldon, the planet is entirely populated by murderous fiends, who also happen to be mechanical life forms. In order to escape the planet and survive, you must guide Weldon up to the world’s highest point, fighting through a series of seven bosses along the way.
Most of the game looks very bright and futuristic, with a lot of neon, laser beams, and electronic music. Don’t expect all of the levels to be thematically predictable, though. You’ll have a hard time maintaining that perspective as a giant sewer centipede vomits bug-bile down onto your head. Who says water levels can’t be fun?
While Tinertia is a traditional platformer in that it’s played across a two-dimensional plane, all of its levels are also connected in three-dimensional space, spiraling skyward and around the planet into ever-changing loops of challenges. The result of that connectivity is that visually you are always moving up. Once you start to get really far into the game, it can actually seem quite realistic, making you feel that familiar tingle in your toes as you gaze down into the abyss below.
Although you can see shades of Sonic, Mega Man, and Super Meat Boy dotted throughout the game, Tinertia definitely makes an effort to be its own thing. Tinertia’s most interesting aspect is likely to be its lack of a jump button. Instead, players must use their rocket launcher to blast themselves around the planet. What’s more, there’s no speed limit in the game, so skilled players will practically fly through the various hurdles and hoops standing between Weldon and his liberation. The combination of these two mechanics turns Tinertia into an extremely hardcore game, inviting users to work towards faster and faster playthrough times. If you’re not sure why you’re failing, or you want to bask in the glory of your success, then there’s an awesome replay function that allows you to review your own past acts in more depth. Additionally, players that want to push themselves even further have the option of playing the game straight through, without the benefit of any progress-saving check points.
Ultimately, this game is intended to be for “the 1%” of gamers, who rejoice in punishing mechanics and revel in overcoming them. It’s for the players that want to spend countless hours playing the same game again and again, finely tuning their skills over long periods of time. If that sounds exciting to you, then give Tinertia a try.
The studio plans to release the full version of Tinertia to the PC gaming master race on September 3 via Steam. As of this time, no specific console launch date has been set.