By: Derek Yu

On: December 5th, 2012


Teleglitch is a top-down shooter set in a gloomy military research facility. The game reminds me of Doom in terms of theme and pacing, but has more of a survival horror bent to it, with scarce ammunition and high-damaging, fast-moving monsters. In a lot of ways, it feels like what I wanted Doom 3 to be – a mostly action-based game with less gimmicky horror elements.

Given the game’s tiny graphics, it’s impressive how detailed it looks. Overall, the aesthetics are great, with line-of-sight and sound design playing a huge part in setting a creepy atmosphere. I also like how much punch the guns pack – even a simple pistol distorts the screen and sounds explosive. This is particularly effective given the scarcity of ammo and gun-toting enemies (at least in the early stages). When I encountered my first shotgun enemy it was an exciting battle that ended with me backed pitifully into the corner of a small room – surprising, given how many similar enemies I’ve mowed down in other games!

Teleglitch also features a unique scavenging/crafting system that lets you combine items to make new ones. A nailgun, for example, can be created from a basic pistol if combined with some other items. This can be upgraded to a tri-nailgun with more materials. Armor is also crafted in a similar manner (out of the tin cans left behind when you eat food). It’s a cool idea that makes exploring more fun and gives the player options as they try to overcome the game’s high difficulty.

The influences on Teleglitch are multivarious (it’s also billed as a “roguelike”) but come together as a coherent and enjoyable experience. I haven’t gotten far enough to comment on whether it holds up throughout all ten of its levels, but so far I’m having a great time trying and dying. Action, horror, and roguelike fans should check it out – the full game is $13, but there is a four-level demo available.

  • Snow


  • I have to ask, what is so “unique” about the scavenging/crafting system?

  • Derek Yu

    It’s not done very often in shooters like this (I can’t think of any off the top of my head). Also, the way it’s handled in Teleglitch is quite elegant: hit “C” to expand a list of possible items and pick the one you want. I don’t know how unique that is, but it’s certainly a good way of doing it for this type of game.

  • Corin Dennison

    Does anybody know if you can save the game in the full version? I couldn’t find a way to save in the demo, and I rarely have such huge chunks of time to spend playing games these days.

    Edit: The game itself was awesome!

  • Neat, thanks Derek. Maybe one day I’ll actually register properly. I do appreciate your reviews (despite sometimes being a little behind) In this case this is a gem I hadn’t heard of and I will be giving the demo a go when I get the chance.

  • Dan Tabár

    Bought this instantly. Love it SO HARD. Thanks Derek!!

  • Derek Yu

    It’s kind of you to say “sometimes” being a “little” behind. :) Glad you liked the review, though!

  • David Holmin

    The thing about this being what you wanted Doom 3 to be piqued my interest. You mention roguelikes, but does this have designed levels or generated?

    EDIT: Nevermind. I used Google.

  • Anonymous

    This *is* Doom.

  • Thomas

    Picked this game up a few days ago, definitely worth the $13. A linux demo was just uploaded too, so a full linux version should be out soon.

  • Mischief Maker

    My main problems with the game are 2:
    -You have to enter “aim mode” to shoot, even though I’m already autoaiming at the reticule the whole time
    -Once you’re done carefully lining up your shots in “aim mode,” the bullets move slow enough for basic enemies to sidestep.

  • meepmeep

    Farcry 3

  • Michał Walczak

    Whoa! This game is great, played the demo and I’m sold.
    To be completly honest I’ve had a similliar idea, but I doubt I’m at a level that would allow me to create something as good :D

  • Michał Walczak

    I don’t think any enemies in the demo sidestep anything. Just basic zombies (go straight for the kill / stumble around). You do need to lead the aim, doesn’t differ much from other top-down shooters I’ve played.

  • Derek Yu

    Oh, cool – I didn’t realize there was crafting in Farcry.

  • Corin Dennison

    Actually I found them sidestepping quite a bit. Maybe not intentionally mind you. I just found their movement pattern was far from “run in a straight line at player”. I’m saying this is a positive by the way.

    I also liked the aim mode thing, because you have to balance between lining up shots and running for your life. A lot more engaging than standard kiting that’s for sure.

  • Jason

    This is great fun, I love it!

  • Ethan Kemp

    save functionality is coming, they say

  • GugGug

    This is a GREAT little game. I’m so sold on this old-school genre/aesthetic of “the teleglitch” — of COURSE the teleporters create a demon infested nightmare, of course… And the gameplay is simply engaging and challenging. More generally, I’m a newbie here: and these “retro” styled games are bringing me back to gaming in big way. The voice of the creators is more present, more unique, than in the few Triple A titles I’ve played, and the game mechanics are often more immediate, the atmosphere and narrative more compelling (perhaps because my own imagination is filling in the blanks). In any case, I gush: TELEGLITCH is good news that I will be buying toute suite; and thanks to tigsource and the movers and shakers in the indie game scene, I am an inspired gamer once again!

  • Ethan Kemp

    Drone Zone on somafm is an excellent soundtrack to play along with–>

  • ADude

    not the same type of crafting. you craft weird weapons, you don’t just increase ammo capacity.

  • Levi

    So I’m on Windows 8, Core 2 Duo, some nVidia mobile graphis chip… should be plenty to run 10 of these games consecutively, and it runs at about 1fps. Anybody else getting this kind of under-performance?

  • Johann Tael

    Update your video drivers.

  • Anonymous

    Great game.

    Minor detail: I approve of the low-resolution move, and I like using my imagination over these big pixels, but I would have liked that a lot more if it came with some better rendering, e.g. visible scan lines or something (like in “matilda castilla” or many other games with big pixels), so that it didn’t look just ugly.

  • hryx

    What a splendid game. It’s much easier to pick up than I thought it would be. The hard-hitting combat visual and sound effects described in the article are very satisfying.

    The low graphic resolution feels like an artifact of the game itself, not imposed. I think it’s just right and keeps the focus purely on the suspense and action. The line-of-sight effect gives a little extra dimensional depth which is nice.

    Getting it up and running on Linux wasn’t as easy as pie for me. It needs Lua 5.2, which is too new for my distribution, which is only about a year old, so the library needed manual installation.

  • hryx

    (Speaking of that: Derek, you should add a Linux tag to this article.)

  • Erinock

    My gawd, thats one sexy game

  • Patter

    Just got it yesterday having a pretty good run imo i often find my self backtracking to find the stuff i left behind earlier to have a nice amount of explosives and meds and about 100 armor all the time :) But i love it this far :) The sounds the big bastards make when they spot you are just terrifying

  • Patter

    Just completed it on my first run, I died once with a teleporter and that was it maybe I was super luckey or something but still a great game. Only thing about roguelikes like this is that once you complete it then its not that fun anymore unless there something to unlock, like in binding of Isaac