British studio Secret Sorcery released their popular title, Tethered, on PSVR last year. Now it’s coming to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as well. The studio revealed that the launch date is (today) on February 27.
Tethered is a strategy game that gives you God-like powers over a range of floating islands. It’s been compared to games like Black & White and The Settlers. Secret Sorcery also released a gameplay video using Oculus Touch to show players what they’re in for. Here it is:
You are a Spirit Guardian who needs to take care of and help the Peeps (your followers) repopulate and survive. There are evil nocturnal creatures that have caused a blight on the floating islands you rule. You must return balance to your islands by seeking out mystical Spirit Energy to restore what the decay caused by these creatures and release the other Spirit Guardians. Who have been imprisoned inside ancient totems by an evil entity.
In order for your Peeps to survive, you have to help them rebuild their settlements. You also have to help them defend themselves against the creatures that emerge at night. These evil creatures (slugs? worms?) only leave when the morning’s first rays start to encroach. It takes quite a bit of strategy and worker management to make sure your Peeps survive so you can progress to the next level. For a game that looks so cutesy (I mean the Peeps just look like grown up Furbies) it can be surprisingly challenging at times.
However, I have to include that for as cutesy as it is – I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as a game that you could give to kids to play. Not only does it require a lot of strategic planning, but whenever you’re struggling to keep your Peeps happy. They get depressed if they have nothing to do. Which makes them prone to “say goodbye cruel sky archipelago world” and jump off the side of the island to die. Which is much darker and depressing than I thought a Furbie-like creature could be.
There is an upgrade tree in Tethered as well, with lots of upgrade options for your Peeps. But even with that and the 13 levels of gameplay, it still feels pretty shallow. Also, I can’t really justify this being a VR game – it would have worked just as well on a normal display.
Movement and Controls
Your point of view is stationary in the game, which I found disappointing since the whole point of VR is the freedom of movement it offers. You can change where you look in the game by switching between clouds placed at intervals along the floating islands. Which means you’re still able to look around normally, but it’s fixed to one place at a time.
Some have complained that the controls are hard and buggy. But that’s a common complaint with the PSVR and might have more to do with the move controllers than the actual game. We’ll see how it handles when played with the Vive.
Keep An Eye Out For Tethered Next Week
Even though PSVR players loved Tethered and some even called it their “favorite PSVR game” it feel like it offers enough. Especially if you take into account that it will take you less than an hour to complete each level. I would recommend if you’re really looking for something other than another VR wave shooter. Or if you really like strategy games. Managing Director at Secret Sorcery, Scott Kirkland said, “To encourage folks to take the plunge (and minimize Peep casualties), PC versions of Tethered will be available for just £18.99 GBP / €22.99 EUR / $24.99 USD.”
So keep an eye out for Tethered next week.