Surrounded by the metal wastelands of the planet Tinertia you assume the role of a small and scrappy little robot alone and stranded at the Core, armed with nothing but your trusty self-propelling rocket launcher. Only the watchful eye of the rogue A.I. known as A.R.C and his recycled minions stand inbetween you and your freedom. Tinertia features a simple, effective and intuitive Rocketjump oriented platforming mechanic utilizing only twin-stick controls and no jump button. The gameplay itself however is anything but simple pitting you against a harsh dystopic landscape of the most treacherous of hazards and its maze-like passages each protected by deranged titan-like bosses.
Tinertia is exceedingly easy to pick up and play, yet manages to be deceptively difficult enough to keep the most refined platformer fans retrying stages for hours before things really click and gravity-defying skills are fully employed. Remember the excitement of discovering rocket jumping in Quake or the aerial excitement of concussion maps from Team Fortress Classic? If you've ever wanted to see those concepts applied to another genre as badly as I did, this is the game for you.
The gameplay features a concrete combination of the fiendishly difficult and precise platforming of Super Meat Boy with the over-the-top acrobatics and visually stimulating polish of Trials: Evolution, but most importantly retains the strongest element of both; speed-running and record setting. The levels are short and sweet and the physics add a lot of variation to the challenge, making it perfect for pushing yourself to learn the workings of each one inside-and-out in order to shoot for a speedrun of an entire stage. The more you fail the more you learn, and the better you become with an end result of blasting through complex stages with style in record time and feeling great.
Although your ammo is infinite and you're free to blast around the stages willy-nilly, getting a good score depends on keeping under the Par number of rocket boosts allowed. This means that to play competitively you'll need to learn to use each rocket to its full effect and place your shots as accurately as possible. This leads to a very high skill-ceiling and some ridiculous amounts of replayability, in the same way that Trials would keep you repeating the same track over and over in order to smash that last best time.
The game contains 8 variously themed stages all taking place throughout the recycled metal planet, starting you off in the heat of the magma-filled core. These are some of the more simple and enjoyable courses that mostly get you into the motion of placing your rocketjumps accurately and avoiding the burning hot edges of hot obstacles. Ending the first stage is a massive chainsaw-fingered boss, the first of many, pushing from left to right with its threatening arm of blades forcing you to escape at incredible speeds.
The stages are pretty damn difficult at this point, and had me attempting several times before a successful run and never under par time at first. As you delve into the second area, the mines, you're faced with strips of timed lazers which force you to shred through the stages at a consistent speed. This is where things start to take a lot of practice and patience as you learn to cope with the split-second hazards denying you your right to take a moment and breathe.
Tinertia looks and sounds great, with some of slickest visuals around for a platfomer that are even more eye-popping in combination with the fluid and destructive physics filling your screen with bits of particles after each blast. The electronic and ambient soundtrack is also catchy and fits the scrapped metal planet and its aesthetics more than perfectly. Overall what you have is not only the most explosive and fast-paced action around for a platformer, but a complete package with all the audio and visual sugar-coating needed for an awesome experience.
Even with Tinertia in Early Access it's a feature complete game that already includes all of the mechanics and solid gameplay that you can expect on release, with lots of new stages, levels, features and bosses you can look forward to during its early period. With an incredibly novel concept and lasting playability Tinertia is a game I'll continue to come back to over and over.