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Tetragun – Review

Tetragun is a quadrant shooter that strips the roguelike game structure down to a 10 minute run for those on a budget and in a rush. It has no right being as fun as it is and it does a few things very well. As a result, it definitely earns a spot on my unofficial ‘budget games that rock’ list.

Tetragun’s asteroid belt powerup is extremely helpful – perhaps too helpful at times.

What do I mean by a quadrant shooter? Well you play as a gun turret in the centre of the screen that has a full 360 degree rotation to shoot and destroy shapes coming towards you. It’s a one hit death situation. The playing zones are split into four quadrants and you need to select which you want to rotate your gun to with the right analogue stick and the gun will rotate there. Once inside the quadrant you can use the left analogue to aim within that 90 degree area quickly and fire away, but if you need to shoot behind you for example, you’ll need to flick to that quadrant with the right stick to rotate the gun there. It takes some getting used to but after a few attempts it clicks (outside of some brain fade moments when you panic). It is a legitimate quick decision planning factor in the gameplay loop too. Rotating the gun takes precious time so you need to prioritise your moves to pick off fast enemies or the closest ones for example.

Each wave of enemies comes with a coloured background for visual flair. It’s simple but helpful to remember where you are in the game because at the end of each wave you survive, you can choose from four permanent upgrades for your run. You can increase shot size, shot speed, gun rotation speed or add shot blowback for example. You can add shields for some of your quadrants which act like lives if hit or bonus weapons too. You could also increase the charge of your special secondary weapon attack which can include a blitz of shots or orbiting spike balls. The choice is yours. The kicker is that afterwards you spin a roulette wheel of four quadrants to see if the enemies also get an upgrade. To Tetragun’s praise, this is not RNG and does seem to be tied to example how much you power the wheel up to be spun so you can tactically get it right and aim for the safe quadrants which reduce each wave. Play this to your advantage to win. After you’ve been through seven waves and cleared the black background, you win.

Each weapon has its own nuance such as the shotgun which is slower but blasts multiple shots with a fan spread.

Tetragun has multiple difficulties which do make things harder, especially when you unlock new guns. They have different shot spread, speed and power and that informs what you want from the upgrades to make things better for you. With runs taking 10 minutes max, Tetragun packs a punch and plays very well whilst also not feeling like you are in a constant twitch reaction to the game. Enemies move at a quite slow speed, but so does your gun, so you can go from feeling comfortable to thinking oh no in a matter of a few seconds. That said, I did find that some powerups definitely felt stronger and more useful than others and that I’d opt for the same things more often than not. This sometimes led to me finding the last couple of waves not very challenging if everything landed my way but there has already been some balancing of this in the first week since launch.

I very much enjoyed getting to grips with Tetragun and its one of the better quickfire roguelites out there – especially at its cheap price point. Just remember what your left and right hands are doing so you don’t die too often but forgetting to switch quadrant!

Final Thoughts
Fun, replayable and quirky streamlined roguelike that packs plenty into its £2.49 price point.
The quadrant based shooter adds a layer of planning and dexterity to things, keeping it interesting.
Multiple loadouts and difficulty options to challenge and switch things up.
Great interpretation of a quickfire roguelite that can be played in under 10 minutes per run.
Clean, minimal visual design pops and works.
Some upgrades are definitely better than others.
Sometimes the challenge late game is not nearly as fierce as early game if you get the upgrades you want and minimise the enemy upgrades (which you can tactically do with the wheel).

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