Review – Teslagrad 2

Teslagrad was originally released in late 2013, in a golden era for indie darlings, to relatively decent critical, but certainly impressive commercial success, becoming a cult hit for the next ten years. The reveal of a sequel, Teslagrad 2, coming out on the same day as the debut of its trailer, was surprising, to say the least. This sequel continues on with the magnetic physics puzzles from the first game, while adding some new abilities to help traverse its world. Just like the first game, Teslagrad 2 features a hand-drawn art style, and has a ton of collectibles to find along the way. The real question is how does it stand up to the original?

Teslagrad 2 Art Style

Surprisingly nice looking water.

Most of Teslagrad 2‘s gameplay, just as the one lauded in its predecessor, is centered around the ability to project a magnetic pulse in order to solve physics-based puzzles, using the colors red and blue to represent positive and negative polarities, similar to Portal. Throughout the span of your adventure, you’ll acquire a handful of additional abilities, such as being able to turn into an electric jolt of lightning for a dash. You can then use that dash to shoot through water, and even be able to launch yourself or climb waterfalls, Tears of the Kingdom style. That being said, most puzzles still center around what the game is best known for: magnets.

Teslagrad 2 Dash Ability

Zapping around using the game’s dash ability, Flash-style.

In most positions, you’ll be using blue to repell yourself from blue, or blue to magnetise yourself to red. If you have ever played The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, you may remember the Magnetic Gloves; they work in an identical manner. In some cases there are flowers around that will switch you from blue to red, which doesn’t really change the puzzle, just the colours you need to think about. I found some of the most jarring puzzles to be the ones that take place upside down. Obviously being magnetised, you won’t jump as high, so needing to jump over gaps you might need to jump, let go of the trigger that activates the magnet, and then reactivate the magnet at the right time to actually make it across the gap. Surely that made sense, right?

With that said, however, one of the biggest issues I’ve had playing Teslagrad 2 was how loose the controls ended up feeling. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve first played the original Teslagrad, but I don’t recall it feeling this much like you’re running on ice. When you’re given smaller platforms to land and jump on, I was finding it much too easy to slip off even if I know I let go of the stick way earlier than I may normally in games. Frustrating, sure, but something you can get used to after a while, though still far from ideal.

Teslagrad 2 Enemies

One of the few enemies in the game, and it’s optional.

The highlight of the game, however, is in its presentation, not its novel (albeit now ten year old) gameplay. First of all, we have to mention its visuals, Teslagrad 2‘s strongest aspect. It’s all hand drawn, everything looks distinct and homely. It’s really well-designed. Its sound design isn’t bad, either. While fairly simple, the music and sound effects are effective. Teslagrad 2 uses its sounds incredibly effectively to build an atmosphere. Being somewhere like ruins and having choir chants and other kinds of vocal use mixed slower instrumentals. There are also small videos that do some world building that can be found throughout the game that use sound effects to emphasise what’s happening as opposed to using voice overs.

The sound mixed with the hand-drawn art makes for a very clean look and feel in Teslagrad 2. Between that and the gameplay, which has some flaws, but is still pretty good, there is a lot to like in this long-awaited sequel. Teslagrad 2 looks great, sounds cozy, has a ton of interesting puzzles, even more so if you’re looking for all the collectibles, and as said before, the only real issue is how floaty it can feel in some cases, something you can get used to after a while.


Graphics: 8.5

Teslagrad 2‘s hand-drawn art style, just like the one seen in its predecessor. feels very homely. Everything is distinct, lively, well-animated, and well designed.

Gameplay: 7.0

The physics based puzzles are a lot of fun, and can be interesting to tackle. The biggest issue is the fact that the movement feels very slippery and can make it hard for certain platforming sections.

Sound: 7.5

While fairly simple, the music and sound effects in Teslagrad 2 are effective. The music nails the atmosphere in most sections, but can feel a bit repetitive if you spend too long in some parts.

Fun Factor: 7.5

While they may feel miles apart, anyone who’s a fan of Portal will likely enjoy Teslagrad 2. The physics based puzzles take some thought and attention to detail.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Teslagrad 2 is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of Teslagrad 2 was provided by the publisher.