Review – TIC: Part 1

TIC: Part 1 is one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever reviewed. It does almost everything right, it’s gorgeous, its plays wonderfully, it’s fun, it sounds brilliant and it has a compelling story. Yet, despite all that, its brevity makes it almost impossible to recommend it.

The entire story can be beaten in not much more than half an hour, and that’s not the only issue, because each of the game’s three levels is essentially the same with the same goals, the same art assets and just slightly different enemy placements. You’ll see everything that TIC: Part 1 offers in the first five minutes.

Which is frustrating, because I’d much rather be talking about the other stuff.

The game starts with a cut-scene that tells the story of Copperville and how EvilCorp threatens it’s very existence. The cut-out art style used here is beautiful and instantly you care about the robots’ plight and want to help them.

Then the game starts, and it looks even better. Screenshots just can’t do it justice and in motion it’s simply stunning. There are few games that look this good, that have this much style, and barely any of them are available on Xbox LIVE Indie Games. The great presentation doesn’t end there, with the music also of the absolute highest standard. The game feels so very grand, so very high-budget.

Your goal is firstly to collect silver acorns to upgrade your drill, and then to travel underground to a different kind of drill, the oil-drilling kind of drill, and take it out. You then head to the end of the level. Silver acorns are hidden everywhere, and there are thirty in each level. To collect them, TIC can use the one skill he has aside from drilling, which is floating a few feet off the ground. These “jumps” can be extended by collecting red acorns which replenish your energy. Most of the platforming takes place in the air as you collect red acorns and avoid enemies as you try and move from one safe spot to another, learning enemy patterns and when it’s safe to move. Getting these sections done is a very satisfying experience, which makes one of TIC: Part 1’s bonus modes very welcome.

This bonus mode tasks you with collecting 100 purple acorns without falling, and there’s no time to stop and think as you constantly have to move to the next set of red acorns so that you can keep floating. There are a few other bonus modes, one which puts you on a clock and another which tells you to complete each level without dying. These extend the longevity of the game but with the story so short, they still don’t feel like an adequate substitute, and most people will come away wanting more from the story.

It’s up to the player to decide whether or not the bonus content is worth the admission price, because unfortunately, the story alone doesn’t offer enough to justify it. I really wish it wasn’t the case, because aside from the length, everything about TIC: Part 1 is wonderful.

TIC: Part 1 is available for 240 Microsoft Points.

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One Response to Review – TIC: Part 1

  1. Pingback: Dream.Build.Play Winners Announced! « Achievement Locked

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