STAFF REVIEW of Teardown (Xbox Series X)

Friday, February 2, 2024.
by Peggy Doyle

Teardown Box art Have you ever seen a massive display of Lego and just wanted to run up and smash it all? No? Just me? While I’d never do that to someone’s display, playing Teardown gave me that pure destructive feeling while I gleefully smashed everything in my way. Developed and published by Tuxedo Labs, Teardown is a pixel heist game that blends destruction, strategy, and open-world sandbox elements pretty seamlessly.

The gameplay is simple, you take on the role of a demolition expert and are tasked with working your way through a variety of heists over nine maps. Each job progressively gets more advanced and difficult in its completion, and you have to use your wits and strategy to work out the best way to complete them and earn the most rewards. Whether you are choosing to tackle a mission with your trusty sledgehammer or use one of the many vehicles or heavy equipment pieces to complete the job, is entirely up to how you want to complete the onjectives.

More often than not, you will need a variety of equipment pieces to complete the job quickly and efficiently. There is often more than one way to complete your objective too. Will you just smash everything in a straight line, or will you try to complete the optional objectives as required as well? Some of the optional objectives are tough, thankfully you can go back and replay as many times as you like if you love chasing that 100% completion. That ‘one more run’ feeling is addictive and ever present in the game.

Teardown is all about playing the game as you want to. Thankfully, you can use quick saves as well, should you want to try a theory out. If it doesn’t work the way you expect it to, just reload your last save and try something else. Missions range from things like stealing laptops that are connected to a security system or destroying luxury cars by finding ways to dump them into the water. Since there are so many ways to play each level, there is a lot of replayability.

There are some timed missions, and I found these a bit stressful, as I do with most timed activities in games, but thankfully you can adjust the time in the options allowing more of a relaxed gaming experience. The campaign is rather minimal, but honestly, I was having so much fun destroying things that the campaign didn’t really matter to me. Brick walls? Gone. Shed? Gone. Entire offices? Also gone. Teardown is a destructive interactive sandbox. While everything in the world is able to be destroyed, so is most of your home office space. You can try out multiple tools with unlimited explosives at your disposal as well.

Teardown doesn’t have the most realistic graphics, but its voxel art style works in a game based on destruction. It’s simple and charming. It does have exceptional destruction physics though. Debris and buildings will crash down or fly through the air in the most satisfying ways. The sound design is equally well done with the rumbling of falling debris, shattering glass or the sound of explosions you’ve placed all contribute to the immersive environment.

Since Teardown can be quite chaotic at times and is in first person, I did experience some motion sickness at points through the game. I didn’t see any accessibility features to adjust any visual settings though. The game can feel confusing at the beginning until you understand all the pieces, but once it comes together it’s a lot of fun. There is also a creative mode where you can build and destroy your own creations. I can see that being extremely fun to play with, but I don’t have a lot of imagination for creating things on my own.

Teardown gave me exactly what I expected from it after watching the trailers. It wasn’t overly complicated, and I could play the campaign to complete the heists or simply just go around destroying things. Sometimes you just want to watch the world burn and you can do that in Teardown as well.

**Teardown was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.5 / 10
Sound: 7.5 / 10


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