If I were to tell you that one of the most compelling puzzle-platformers I’ve played this year had no jump button, what would you think? You’d probably look at me funny. But that’s exactly what Candescent Games latest release Tinertia is: a puzzle platformer without a jump button. Instead of jumping, you’ll need to traverse each of the levels by shooting a round off from your rocket launcher.

We’ve all done it at some point. We’re in the middle of a multiplayer round of Halo, Quake, or Unreal Tournament and to give ourselves that extra little boost while we jump, we whip out the ol’ rocket launcher and shoot it towards the ground hoping that the energy will carry us the extra distance. Candescent Games took that concept and fleshed it out into a full blown video game, which is now available on Steam through Early Access with hopes of a full release this Fall on both consoles and PC.

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In Tinertia, you take control of Weldon, a robot armed with a rocket launcher who is stuck on a deserted planet being attacked by the evil organization known as ARC. Now using his aforementioned rocket launcher, he needs to jump and boost to make his way across and up over seventy levels, separated into seven different environments that represent different parts of the planet. At the end of each of these areas, Weldon will need to face off against a boss, which will do everything in its power to prevent Weldon from going any further.

The game is very reminiscent of titles like Super Meat Boy as it’s a bright and colorful game with big, expansive environments, lots of unique places and areas to check out while playing as a small and cute protagonist, but with a brutal difficulty that will crush you if you’re not careful. Don’t let all the color fool you, if you don’t prepare for this game, you will get destroyed. The trick though, and what puts it into the same category as Super Meat Boy and not other games known for their difficulty, is that the game is hard, but fair. Like any other game, you’ll get a tutorial when you start off, but most of the game comes down to trial and error. You’ll hit certain poles and environmental traps over and over again, but eventually you’ll make it through. That feeling of satisfaction is amazing and that the game relies on your skill as a gamer to complete each level makes everything feel balanced in a way that a lot of other games don’t.

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The game is still in Early Access, so there will be new features added as time goes along. That being said, right now, there’s a lot for people to enjoy. If you feel like you’ve gotten the game down pat, then you can speed run it and earn a place on the leaderboard alongside other players in Speed-Run Mode. You can choose Ghost Runs, which will allow to to choose between your friends or complete strangers as you do your best to try and beat or match their time on a certain level. You can record and edit replays from your favorite runs and share them with your friends. If you’re feeling incredibly lucky, you can take on the Rocket or #YOLO challenges, which provide a ton of extra missions that will put your skills to the test. The best part? Those end up on the leaderboards as well and they get updated every single day. And if that wasn’t enough incentive to keep playing, you can also unlock extra skins, which dress up Weldon in various outfits and disguises.

The game will probably only take you a few hours to beat. If you speed-run it, it’ll probably be even shorter. That being said, there is a lot of content here to enjoy and even in Early Access, you’d forgive me if I thought this was a full retail game. With more levels and DLC to be released after launch, and continuous patches and updates coming in a fairly regular basis, I find Tinertia to be a game I’ll be returning to on multiple occasions. If nothing else, I’ll be excited to see how the game turns out once it’s released on consoles later this year. As far as Early Access games go, Tinertia is definitely one of the better ones I’ve played in a good, long time.

Title: Tinertia
Developer: Candescent Games
Game Website

About The Author

Travis M
Reviews/Editorial Writer

Travis has been a freelance journalist for a number of years, covering everything from movies to comic books to video games. He began back in 2009 owning and operating his own award-winning blog and since then has gone on to work at everywhere from MTV to Talking Comics. When he's not writing, he runs his own YouTube channel dedicated to games and goes to the library about three or four times a week. His favorite subject is murder mysteries, which he also writes in his spare time.