Tulpa (PC) Review

By Shanker Varma 10.03.2015

Review for Tulpa on PC

In a strange world, Ophelia and her soulmate, Oliver, must be guided across levels, solving puzzles in order to progress. The game has a simple art style and a music track that complements the gameplay very well. Nonetheless, some abstract solutions can leave gamers scratching their heads for a while before progressing through this challenging adventure.

Tulpa's world starts by offering little direction or explanation but it is easy to fathom what is necessary to start the game. While it immediately exercises player's analytical skills, it still starts quite slowly and is a simple case of moving Ophelia from one side of the screen to the other for part of the first level. Nonetheless, the game picks up its pace once Oliver is introduced.

Tulpa's puzzles are reminiscent of Trine as it is possible to use the mouse to manipulate objects in a similar way to arrive at the correct solution. Unfortunately, unlike Trine, Tulpa offers only one solution to each problem so the scope for being creative is very limited. The game is difficult in parts, which makes each solution even more rewarding but, in a few areas of the game, the solution isn't very clear, which leads to an exercise of trial and error. This effectively reduces the action, in some parts, to a point-and-click adventure as the player may find themselves tapping on anything in sight to find some inspiration when trying to move past a particular hurdle.

While puzzles make up the majority of the gameplay, there are a few platforming elements involved. Controlling Oliver and Ophelia may feel slow at times but the game doesn't leave the player wandering around for very long between levels. Unfortunately, the slow controls can make some jumps a bit tricky during later parts. This can in turn lead to frustration when repeating the same segment but, thankfully, such occurrences are the exception, rather than the rule.

Screenshot for Tulpa on PC

The game is, for the most part, well paced as checkpoints are plentiful in each level. This usually means that failure won't be met by a lot of backtracking, yet on a few occasions, mainly towards the end of the game, the checkpoints sandwich a group of two or three puzzles. This means that failure on the second or third section will lead to backtracking through the same solution, which breaks up the flow of the game even more than usual and may be frustrating.

Tulpa starts out with no music, only sound effects but, as the game progresses, the levels complement the gameplay with music tracks that fit in well with the world and events that unfold. While the graphics are simple, they are well-drawn and convey a foreboding feeling that piques caution and curiosity. Tulpa is very much a case of less is more as there is little to take attention away from the core of the game: Ophelia, Oliver, and the puzzles before them.

No explanation is given in the game for Ophelia, Oliver or the world around them. Tulpa serves as a vehicle for its puzzles, which is by no means a bad thing as it lets players dive right into the game. The atmosphere created by the game's visuals and sounds help to bridge each part of each level together and ultimately create their own stories for the world. It is disappointing that more of a story wasn't hidden away, waiting to be unlocked, but Tulpa does at least create an interesting world to explore and metaphorically fill with their own ideas.

Screenshot for Tulpa on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

The game's simple art style is complemented well by its soundtrack, which draws the player into the world and, while Tulpa isn't revolutionary, it is a well crafted adventure whose puzzles will stump even the most experienced of gamers.

Developer

Encryptique Studio

Publisher

Rising Star Games

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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