Anyway, that isn’t where the peculiarities end with Tessallation; it’s only just getting started, in fact. Tessa thinks of school as her playground, and as such, she feels that she can do whatever she bloody well likes. Which is fair enough, I suppose. I mean, who’s really going to argue with this kid with a head that looks like that? Actually, dwelling on that thought, I’d be interested in seeing the world fleshed out with more odd characters. Or just completely normal ones – imagine all the kids sat in class, and then just Tessa’s huge cube head towering over the top! That would make for an interesting sight, and you could even frame a narrative around it, one about being the odd one out, but weirdness ultimately prevailing! Ahem. Sorry, getting carried away there. So yes, Tessa not only looks a bit iffy, but she has some abilities that allow her dream of playing instead of studying become a reality. She can time-travel too. Obviously.
“The school is your playground in this “co-op with yourself” adventure game.”
So with this remarkable ability, Tessa is able to escape from school, but not before having a lot of mischievous fun inside. You know, really mess with the teachers’ heads! Shown in the game’s trailer is her essentially cloning herself, which is made possible with time travel, so that she can scrawl creepy messages on the blackboard, play catch with herself, and even jump rope. I assume there are puzzles attached to all of these activities, or at least that you’re instructed to do these things as part of the game’s goals that it lays out for you. But perhaps there’s room to just do what you damn well please as well, and these recreational activities just fall into the ‘things that little girls that can time travel want to do’ category.
Weirdly, the more complex parts of the game seem to take place in an area that doesn’t even look like it’s part of the school at all. In fact, it could be that Tessa has even shrunk in size, given the size of the platforms she’s moving about on and how high off the ground they appear to be. I’m not sure what she’s doing in these areas, but she does appear to be balancing multiples of herself upon her head in order to make it across large gaps. It’s all getting very surreal now.
And then the end of the trailer has what seems to be nearly a hundred Tessas around a tree and walking into it. That ends up looking like more of a bug than anything else. To be fair, this is a game made by six students, so things are probably going to a little rough around the edges, and that’s fine. I’ll be interested to see if they have some genuinely clever puzzles tied in with the time travelling and other peculiarities. I’ve got to admit, as bizarre as Tessallation appears, I’m not really seeing anything that appealing about the gameplay. But then the first-person puzzle platformer genre is pretty hard to innovate in these days. And although the idea of single player co-op is rather intriguing, it’s something we’ve heard before, and in much more impressive looking projects, namely Reset. But now I’m just being pompous as, for a student project, this could be a neat little game.
Tessallation is due for an online release in the Summer of 2013, so not long to wait to find out how this one turns out!