Tyler: Model 005 is a little gem of a game that had me intrigued from the trailer. Published by Maximum Games this 3D action platformer is set in the 1950’s and our tiny hero is a diminutive robot who has been powered down for years only to be awoken during a massive lightning storm. Upon awakening he has developed amnesia and is driven to discover what has happened to his creator as well as his home.
Tyler: Model 005 is a little dark, and by that I mean the lighting, not the story. That’s the catch though, because Tyler’s battery drains anytime he is not in the light. When entering a new area it is best to start searching for lamps before actually exploring anything. And explore you will. The environments look great, the audio is excellent, and developers Reversed Interactive did a wonderful job of creating a mood and look of mystery to draw the player in and immerse them in the tiny world they created. Tyler can climb and wall run across the shelves and bookcases as you explore the different rooms of the house. If you can’t reach something, you can also grab and drag larger objects and stack them to reach higher places as you explore each nook and cranny of the dark and ominous house. Your enemies are various bugs and a few rats that are more of an annoyance than anything else. Your arsenal is limited to two attacks and a dodge which you can try and create combos with along with collecting cherry bombs that can be used as grenades and as a tool for opening gates in a few instances.
Tyler: Model 005 has a system of unlockable perks and leveling up which will probably seem confusing at first and may also seem slightly useless later on as you progress. I didn’t notice much difference after upgrading anything. By collecting bolts you can pick your path and customize your Tyler to respond how you might want. The most noticeable difference that I did find is the ability to last longer outside the light. It also includes agility, speed, sword upgrades, and outfits for the little guy. The game itself has hidden parts everywhere to complete various fun and humorous outfits and even cool paint jobs for further customization. These aren’t all that easy to aquire and will test your skills a bit to solve puzzles that can be rather large considering your size.. This has to do with everything from climbing to the rafters and riding ceiling fans to pushing boxes against light switches to turn on a snaking electrical system throughout the house.
You will fall a lot and you will discover that the free run system is kind of glitchy about the fifth time you climb and unintentionally bail off the same object. Also, trying to walk across the rafters at any speed is a bit sketchy as well and you fall and have to start your climb over again. As you progress you will unlock the ability to rewind time which will place you back before a fall and makes life a bit easier. If you miss anything you can go back to each room and try again and will probably need to when you discover the wiring system on the ceiling is controlled by light switches in different rooms. Tyler: Model 005 is not super difficult, but can be somewhat annoying and it will take time if you want to collect everything. I’m currently running around with an angel outfit that includes a halo and makes it much easier to see in the dark environments.
One complaint I had about Tyler: Model 005 is that they may have tried to do too much. The developer tried to implement a tower defense game in here that makes very little sense and has nothing to do with the story. You activate a beacon and the bugs start coming in waves. Tyler will lay down traps to thwart their path to the tower and you gain experience and bolts for this. There is no winning and the bugs generally will get to the tower and overwhelm you. This mode will help you level up faster, but has no other value in the game and can be completely ignored if you so desire.
In conclusion I really enjoyed playing Tyler: Model 005. All glitches and annoyances aside, I was drawn in and wanted to help the little robot and explore the house he was in. Finding his little memory motes and learning a little about his past helped get me involved and care about the story which is the best part of this game. In reality the platforming aspects of Tyler: Model 005 are adequate but not 100% reliable and repeating simple climbs gets tedious. Tyler himself does a good job of making one forget downfall. I found Tyler: Model 005 to be a fun, if not super well polished, game and definitely worth a playthrough.