PAX Prime 2015: ‘Tinertia’ Rocket Jumps a Path Through Your Heart
Monday, September 7th, 2015 at 2:33 pm
Tinertia, made by Candescent Games Inc., is a game which stars Weldon, a robot equipped with a powerful rocket launcher that allows him to propel himself through a series of levels and tackle obstacles along the way. Players are only provided the ability to move as well as a rocket-firing trigger that can destroy objects or propel Weldon along. In addition to being able to control Weldon via a game controller, players also have the option of using a keyboard and mouse for further precision.
At PAX Prime 2015, I had the opportunity to try out Tinertia and talk to their CEO, Vilas Tewari, about it. The game was inspired by the rocket-jumping mechanics of Quake and Team Fortress. The team identified that element as the most enjoyable part of the game. It was the one unique aspect that kept bringing them back day after day to these titles. Tinertia became their opportunity to dedicate and expose the pure fun of rocket jumping. As they began experimenting with the concept, they found it easier to tell their story from a side perspective where the world was visible rather than the traditional first person view of Quake. This became further realized by Section Studios whose artists helped formulate a gritty Mario 3D feel for the 7 worlds and 66 levels that comprise Tinertia. To amplify the industrial environment, Candescent Games incorporated music inspired by Deus Ex: Human Revolution to provide a relaxing atmosphere before becoming more energetic as the character progresses. It became a mix of electronica and classical beats. Overall, Vilas and his team’s vision was to create a game that could be taken on its own merit, and similar to the Nintendo games of old, be a purely fun experience to play through.
And pure fun it is. At first Tinertia can be difficult to grasp given the nuanced physics yet simplistic control scheme, but after a short period of time it starts to click. Rather than a button, jumping is a state of mind where the weapon is also analog for the movement. At first Death occurs a lot, hence a suitable Meatboy comparison, and the initial levels appear tasking, but a quick respawn time gets the player right back into the action. Vilas noted that this is intentional to avoid lengthy cut scenes and delays that keep one away from the actual gameplay. Once you get the hang of it, the speed and pace of Tinertia is simply brilliant. The boss battles are creative and of an epic nature, leaving one in awe of what the player has accomplished. While fun for the average gamer, Tinertia is also geared towards the speed runners whose abilities to play with momentum can be witnessed from the leaderboard replays. It’s captivating to watch someone demonstrate true skill at this game, and I expect many streaming hours ahead.
Overall, I’d highly recommend checking out this game. Tinertia is currently available on Steam for PC, Linux, and Mac, and will be available early next year on PS4 and Xbox One.