Tecto

Tecto is a Nintendo 64 homebrew game by Team Tecto and released on 14 December 2020 for the 64brew game jam 2020. In it, you control a character that manipulates parts of the environment to get across a series of platforming obstacles.

You can download the ROM and source code from the download page for this homebrew game by using the password wisebeef or see the source code on Github and download from Drive.

Tekto style and gameplay

Tecto is a fairly straightforward 3D platformer. You play as an unnamed character made of floaty white blobs that must navigate though a jungle area. Every once in a while you’ll find an object that you can interact with that will increase in size, allowing you to progress further in the stage.

The game starts out in what appears to be a fairly open area until you reach a river that prevents you from jumping out in order to progress. Then you’ll find a river that you can almost jump across where there is a tree with a vine that stretches over the river. From there on the game becomes a series of obstacles that you can overcome by enlarging a nearby object to help you cross.

‘Size’ theme

The stage has a variety of objects that need to be enlarged in order to progress.

Credits

Tecto was made by the eponymous Team Tecto. That consists of Wiseguy#1252 who did the programming and @inthebeef who did the art assets, but there were also some special thanks by kurethedead, SausageSage and Buu342 as well as the rest of the 64Brew community.

Conclusion and review

When you have a look at a game like this, there isn’t very much to say from the get-go. The overall game engine works very well. I didn’t encounter any glitches and everything looks like what it needs to look like.

The controls work well, the jump action has you crouch when you press the A button and jump when you release it which is kind of weird. The camera is controlled manually with the C buttons in a way that is simple and intuitive.

There isn’t any music in the game, but there is audio for the character’s footsteps. If the authors had the ability to add in some sound effects, they could have easily added in some royalty-free background music to add to the ambience just as easily.

What really holds this game back is that it just seems as though this is a tutorial at the beginning of a game, rather than a well-rounded experience. It is very ambitious to make a fully-fledged 3D platformer in the save vain as Mario 64 or Banjo Kazooie even on a smaller scale. The problem is that it needs to have something to keep you coming back for more, either a high score mechanic like other games in this contest or a bit of challenge like a larger world or enemies (what is the star/ball thingy that the character is holding? I just want to use it for something).

In the end, Tecto feels like a great engine that was held back by the contest’s looming deadline. I think that if Team Tecto had the time to expand the concept and build more intricate levels, this would have been a great game that would become a homebrew classic. I personally love games that don’t really have a ‘death’ mechanic like Wario Land 2 & 3 or even Jumping Over It with Nathaniel Bandy because of how different it feels from a standard game, so it would be great to see if they could expand the concept to new heights with a 2.0 version.

Articles across the web

Tecto is a homebrew game for the N64 where you travel through a jungle by enlarging objects that allow you to bypass obstacles.
Article published on N64 Squid

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