Escape from Tethys has players trapped on the remote planet of Tethys where they are pursued by a droid with the one and only purpose of killing everything in sight. You have one goal: Escape alive. As you try to find a way to get away, players will need to explore the hostile setting in order to find secret upgrades and new weapons.
Escape from Tethys is a Metroidvania game where players need to explore every inch of the map in order to find new upgrades and weapons in order to survive. Metroidvania also means that backtracking is a key part of the exploration across the game’s five areas. You’ll come across certain unreachable areas that will require specific upgrades to move forward.
As players discover new areas, they will also find new weaponry to help you find your way out. The new weapons can be used with the B button and they are limited in usage. Thankfully, dead enemies can drop refills so you can make sure to have some high impact ammo for tougher enemies. You can also pick up additional upgrades such as health, ammo upgrades and an item which doubles invincibility time after a hit.
Unlike most better, designed and thought out Metroidvania games, Escape from Tethys teases players with potential, unreachable, upgrades right from the get-go. And also, unfortunately, the game only saves when you’re at a save point meaning if you found a few upgrades but no saving point and you die, you have to backtrack from your last checkpoint and remember where the upgrades were. The other problem here is the map. It doesn’t leave any markers where you found upgrades that can’t be picked up meaning players need a photographic memory. Or won’t give you a sense of clarity what’s accessible or not. Meaning if notice an unexplored area and forget you’re missing a key item to access it, you’ll backtrack for nothing. The map will only show teleport stations and save points.
Escape from Tethys features 8-bit pixelated visuals where each area of the planet look vastly different from one another in order to provide a feeling of progress as you enter a new area. The problem I found is that often times, ground enemies are near invisible and lost in the background so it’s easy to jump from platform to platform and not see an enemy until the last minute. The soundtrack is creepy and atmospheric; it does have a Metroid vibe to it.
Escape from Tethys is an interesting Metroidvania game that is definitely reminiscent of the original Metroid on NES. But it’s definitely not the best Metroidvania game available. With no sense of clarity or direction, it’s easy to waste time backtracking. The more you’ll want to push through, the more you’ll be pushed away by it. The developer says that this is a difficult game. It’s not difficult; just full of questionable design. Why not try a better Metroidvania instead?
- Very Metroid-ish
- Interesting weapon upgrades…
- …which are pretty useless unless in a boss fight
- Unattainable upgrades early on
- Near useless map