Tethered is pretty unique, it’s a genre that does get much attention; God Strategy games. Not many games are in that genre with only a few notable games in the same vein being “Black and White” and “From Dust”. Most of these games consist of you literally lording over a piece of land and either controlling the people or controlling the world around them; with the objective usually consisting of keeping your people happy or keeping them alive.
Tethered puts you in the “shoes” of a totem guardian where you must keep the your little “Peeps” alive and happy; these cute little creatures do nothing but worship and do anything you tell them. The game is seen through the eyes of the godlike being and instead of free movement you must aim your cursor with your head at a cloud to change your vantage point; this can be fickle but it gets the job done. Once acquainted with the controls you can turn your full attention to your Peeps as they have no idea what to do without you telling them.
Gameplay is very hands off with a more The Sims like feeling where you must look at your chosen Peep and hold X and then look at the thing you want them to interact with. This can be a little forest where they will start chopping wood and putting it into the store or a field where they will grow and reap what looks like wheat for food. Speaking of food Peeps can get hungry and they might even give in to despair which is sort of like depression for Peeps but can be solved by a little sunshine. For sunshine you need to look up at the sky and look at a sunny cloud and pair that with a depressed Peep, there are other weather clouds there too from snow to rain. These can also be combined into other new types of weather effects like lightning and rainbows.
That is the tip of the iceberg; at night the creatures come out to hunt the little Peeps. These monsters will attack the nearest little guy and starts attacking, this can seriously harm your Peep. So to prepare for that you can and should train a few of your Peeps into “Heroes” which are armoured warriors who will be able to stand against these monsters and win. There are other specialisations you can train your Peeps in like “Farmer” or “Miner” these obviously will gain more resources than a normal Peep.
The objective of each level is the same with each island requiring you to fill up the totem pole with energy which it fills up with every “positive action”. This can be erecting new buildings or it could be defeating a monster, all these actions release little orbs you need to look at and hold Square to absorb infusing it into the totem pole. With each level the maps get more complex and your ability to multitask will be put to the test with a lot of juggling of Peeps and objectives.
Tethered is definitely a unique game even when looking at it from a VR game perspective it is unique. Tethered is one of the few games on the PSVR that feel like full complete games and not just a taster or a tech demo, with this in mind it is still shallow and feels like it’s only scratching the surface of the VR capabilities. Even with that in mind Tethered is worth a play through as it delivers what it says it will and doesn’t suffer from the many issues that VR games seem to come with. I would say this game is a lot of fun in a little package.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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