Toward the tail-end of 2020, developer Tuxedo Labs released an Early Access build of its debut game, Teardown, which quickly stood out amongst its indie peers due to its fully destructible world. Whatever players could get within a swinging distance of could be destroyed using sledgehammers, blowtorches, and various vehicles—including, but certainly not limited to, bulldozers, cranes, luxury cars, trucks, and even boats. Acknowledged during the 2021 Independent Games Festival as a nominee for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and a winner in the Excellence in Design category, Teardown perfectly set the stage to make itself a destructive force to be reckoned with.
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Teardown is an easy game to fall for in the beginning. It’s a deceptively beautiful game that offers to a startling amount of detail when it comes to its physics. For certain materials such as wood, fire realistically spreads and burns things to ash. Smoke particle effects even surround fire as it rages on, looking particularly astonishing at night. Experimenting with weapons yields satisfying results, as buildings crumble if the foundation is forcibly removed. Thunderstorms can bring with them sudden lightning strikes that will take out chunks of a building and cause a fire, and with future tool acquisitions, players are free to manipulate their surroundings to virtually do whatever it is they desire.
Teardown begins with three modes. The campaign, where players will work their way through a series of heists and climb up the ranks to become the ultimate thief. Challenges, where players are thrown into random environments, are given a fixed, specific set of tools to use, and must complete arcade-style objectives. And, the best mode of the bunch, Sandbox, where players receive fully upgraded tools and are free to create and destroy to their heart’s content, bringing out the best of the game’s promises of freedom, creativity, and experimentation. In Punch-Out!!…