TUG – Preview (PC)

 

A Bastard To Google – TUG (The Untitled Game)

Open world survival sandbox is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days. From the blocky landscapes of Minecraft to the smoother worlds of Blockscape; the two dimensional fantasy worlds of Terraria to the voids of Space Engineers. The genre has boomed like an exploding septic tank, with Tug being the latest nugget to land in our hands.

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TUG (The Untitled Game) was an immensely optimistic Kickstarter game that promised us the moon and stars and being the hopeless romantics we are, we bought into it. Now, more than a year on and the only sign of the moon and stars are the ones we see while falling through the world. We still hold out hope though as what we were promised makes us far too excited to turn away.

“Learning skills by doing, programming golems and traps, combat that feels real and visceral, ageing from a youngling to an adult in a growing world.”

The only problem with it is there’s still no sign of any of this! No combat, no RPG elements, no aging or anything really.

During the week we spent trying to preview this game; we were unable to craft even the most basic tool as vines seem to have gone extinct. Vines are as integral to crafting in TUG as wood is in Minecraft so without them we could only wander (and fall through the world).

The environments in TUG are varied enough that you can enjoy simply walking around in the cell-shaded cartoon world for hours at a time, going from forest, to desert to haunted hills and mushroom fields. Except when the world doesn’t load more than a few hundred feet around you, or when you fall through the world and have to delete the world because you repeatedly spawn and die.

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The gameplay in TUG, from our experience with it, is not unlike that of Walking Simulator 2014 except with the addition of being able to pick up bananas, rocks and sticks. Fun if you have a hoarding problem, otherwise as boring as you’d expect. If it takes more than four hours to try and find the basic material needed for common tools, something is terribly wrong. It may just have been bad luck on our part that out of ten worlds on three separate computers we couldn’t find vines but that shouldn’t be able to happen.

The multi-player aspect of TUG was almost non-existent for those who don’t have Hamachi or similar programs as it asks you to create a server and join each other using the archaic sorcery known as port forwarding. With so many network problems and port issues, we never even got to see the multiplayer aspect of TUG. Sadly, the promise that there will be a massive server that evolves dynamically based on what people do seems to be a very long way away.

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TUG makes a lot of promises and we’ve seen other people being able to progress but for the several hours we played it for, we couldn’t do anything. From what we’ve seen of gameplay videos and tech demos, TUG looks like it will one day live up to the hype but as of now and from our experience, we can only tell you to avoid it.

You can buy TUG on Steam for £6.99 or $9.99.