Review – Tyler: Model 005

Have you ever played a game which you really wanted to enjoy and could definitely see a decent amount of potential, but ended up severely disliking it due to a huge amount of glaring issues? This was me after playing as much as I could of Tyler: Model 005, an initially promising platformer that turned out to be one of the most infuriating gaming experiences I’ve had this year.

Tyler: Model 005, at first glance, seems to be an inoffensive platformer in which you take control of a small robot that gets reactivated due to a thunderstorm. The entire plot revolves around exploring a house as said robot in order to find clues and collect a ton of items, in a pseudo Toy Story-ish perspective. The visuals and sound design, while far from polished, were alright enough for me not to worry about the game in the beginning. That was until I started playing it.

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Tyler might me cute, but he lives in a world cursed by terrible controls.

Tyler: Model 005‘s gameplay is one of the most deplorable I’ve seen from a game that’s not a bad asset flip. Between the ridiculously unresponsive controls featuring tons of input lag, the completely broken collision detection, and the near-schizophrenic camera that seemed to have a mind of its own, playing the game felt more like a chore and an exercise of patience than a feel-good adventure like the initial seconds made it look like.

That was the main problem with it. I tried playing Tyler: Model 005 as much as I could, I tried scavenging for a handful of good ideas thrown into the mix, but it wasn’t possible to overcome all of its flaws. There is a somewhat interesting upgrade system, but that requires you to explore the house and experience the bad controls offered to you. There’s an interesting light mechanic, in which Tyler loses energy while on the dark and recovers energy while being lit by the sun or a lamp, but it was also poorly implemented: if you stay just a mere handful of seconds away from the light – and let me tell you, this game is DARK – you’ll die. There’s also combat, and you guessed it, it’s also clunky.

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I’ve heard this more times than I should.

Reviewing Tyler: Model 005 was heartbreaking, as I could see the game had its heart in the right place, as well as a handful of interesting ideas, but its gameplay and overall level of polish were so despicable I couldn’t stand playing it for long. It’s just a broken and unfinished game that should have stayed under development for longer in order to have all of its various issues fixed. There is a good idea hidden under this pile of disappointment, but it’s not worth the excavation.

 

Graphics: 5.5

The art style isn’t bad and the subtle cel-shaded visuals are quite cute. But poor lighting and inconsistent framerates hold it back.

Gameplay: 1.5

There are one or two interesting gameplay elements, but the controls are extremely unresponsive, the collision detection is detestable, and the camera has a mind of its own.

Sound: 5.5

While the soundtrack is nearly inaudible, Tyler’s voice acting is actually very good.

Fun Factor: 3.0

Tyler: Model 005 tries its best at providing a Toy Story-esque story, but its horrendous gameplay ruins everything it has to offer.

Final Verdict: 3.5

Reviewed on Xbox One.
Tyler: Model 005 is available now on PC and Xbox One.
A copy of Tyler: Model 005 was provided by the publisher.

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