When it comes to the platformer genre on console, it is hard to know where to look to get the best experiences. Outside of the obvious picks such as Crash Bandicoot, Mario and Sonic, sometimes it is nice to just get hands-on with something a little different. This is where you’ll probably need to look into the indie market to see what is on offer. Teppo & The Secret Ancient City recently launched onto the Xbox family of consoles for a reasonable price point. If you’re looking for something that ticks off the nostalgic itch of the older Sonic games for instance, then this one may be well worth you checking out.

Lots Of Gems & A Frustrating Time

Teppo & The Secret Ancient City sets you off on a short tutorial run, getting you to grips with how to jump, navigate and also how to collect the gems that will be littered throughout the game. The game controls are very simplistic and echo the functionality of games such as Mario where you can jump on enemy heads to bring them to their bitter end. What I found frustrating though was when you kill an enemy they immediately reappear again, this becomes frustrating as you have to do a lot of back and forth between levels. This means you’ll sometimes repeatedly be slaying the same enemies over and over. This brought me to a point where I’d just jump over or walk underneath them to save time and effort.

Throughout the game, you’ll find levers, switches, portals and even minecarts that will give you different features to contend with. For the entirety though, I had no sense of where I needed to go and what I needed to do. In the first level, for example, there are 500 gems to collect but you feel like if you go one way and not another, you may miss collecting them.

Then you may hit a dead end and you’ll eventually find a lever that unlocks another route close to where you have just been. It becomes a lot of back and forth where I was constantly getting lost and with no minimap to look on and present where you have been and where you haven’t, it becomes a bit of a chore. I did have fun with the focus of getting all 500 gems though and this kept me motivated to work through.

Everything Looks Quite Pretty Though

Visually Teppo & The Secret Ancient City looks fantastic for the genre it is cemented within. The backdrops are exceptionally well designed and the lighting elements bring some vibrance to the game. The HUD is minimal and allows you to see the majority of the screen and I liked the fact that this wasn’t overbearing in any way. Unfortunately, the music can become very repetitive and in the moments where you can die quite a bit in the challenging moments or get consistently lost, it can be super frustrating. This can be easily rectified though by turning down the music in the options menu.

Final Thoughts

Teppo & The Secret Ancient City is a decent little platformer that is challenging and nice to look at. Personally, I became constantly frustrated by the lack of direction with the game and whilst some may like the mystery of figuring things out for themselves, I would have liked to know where the end goal was each time. Those who are well into their platformers though will see past the minor flaws and know that there is a decent game here shining through. I can’t fault the game mechanics or visuals whatsoever and for its small entry cost, it’ll give you a good long solid session of gaming.

  • 60%
    CX Score - 60%



  • Visually great for its genre
  • A great platforming challenge if you want it
  • Mechanically solid



  • Respawning enemies is frustrating
  • Getting lost is frustrating
  • The repetitive music is frustrating

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