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Teardown review
Howie Howard


Ripping it up

Out of Early Access

Teardown is developed and produced by Swedish game developer Tuxedo Labs. The game's basic concept is to cause mayhem and destruction either in single player campaign mode or in a sandbox setting. Teardown has gained a following due to its original release via early access back in 2020. The result of fan support and enthusiasm for the game and the fact that the game is designed to be fan mod-able means that replay-ability has been extended beyond just the campaign game. Good design and gameplay will tend to give fans a reason to keep coming back to create their own mods and to circulate them freely on the net for all to enjoy. Modding is a big reason why Teardown is such a success.

We at Hooked Gamers published an early access preview when Teardown first appeared and the article did a fine job of explaining game play. For those that didn't read the article or that didn't play the early access version, I will try to provide a refresher below. The preview indicated that, at the time, there were numerous framerate issues, but with the game being in Early Access for two years, the framerate issues seem to have been sorted out. My frame rate check of 60 fps would indicate that Tuxedo Labs did their job of eliminating game slowdowns. No hiccups were experienced anywhere this time around.

From what I can tell the campaign game seems to be basically the same as was present in early access. Playing Teardown is exactly what the game's name implies in that you destroy things with a hammer, with random items found in your travels and with various types of construction vehicles. The sky is the limit in Teardown because there is no set path to solving the different tasks needed to progress. Thought and planning needs to be used to be able to figure out how to solve each of the mission tasks with some of the missions being timed. As an example I needed to resort to smashing holes in walls in order to beat the time limit in one particular mission. The entire game environment is interactive and imagination is required when trying to complete missions. One satisfying aspect after finishing a mission is that television news will report on break ins or when other newsworthy criminal mischief happens in game. This is an excellent touch that other games don't offer.

My, What A Big Hammer You Have...

Upon starting the campaign the player character is equipped with a big hammer, a fire extinguisher and a spray paint gun. Use of the hammer is self explanatory but be aware, the hammer can not demolish everything in the game world. Construction vehicles such as a bucket loader and other vehicles are available to smash up brick walls that the hammer simply cannot destroy. There are other items available such as gas canisters that upon being thrown will explode and cause a fire. The extinguisher is required to extinguish out of control fires because fire will cause authorities to investigate. Since the inside of buildings are quite complex, the paint gun comes in handy to mark the best route through the buildings. The paint gun is especially important when a mission is timed.

The game world consists of voxel-based blocks but it has a very colourful and pleasing look to it. The environment is totally interactive and completely destructible. Players can move items around and stack them to get to unreachable places. I often used a cherry picker vehicle to be able to get to a location when piling up boxes didn't work - and this sort of multiple paths to completion enables replayability. The action takes place in first person with the standard WASD control scheme used to move around with the mouse controlling the view. The vehicles available for use consist of trucks, various construction vehicles and boats with all of them being drive-able and able to produce and take damage.

I Really Like Tearing Down Stuff

The thing I like most about Teardown is that if you get tired of trying to plan and figure out how to complete a difficult mission - and some missions can be quite difficult - then you can load the sandbox and simply destroy stuff to your heart's content. After the missions are played through in the campaign they are open for use in the sandbox along with the tools that may have been acquired along the way. There are developer made mods that are available for use along with the possibility of finding player mods on the net. Or you can make your own mods with the built in mod creator. I didn't have time to build my own mod but I plan on doing that in the future.

I generally refrain from writing about machine requirements but will in the case of Teardown. Before purchasing, players will need to ensure that their system will be able to handle the load. Machine specs are rather high with an Intel i7 or comparable 64-bit AMD CPU necessary. The required graphics chip as listed on Steam says that an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 or similar is required along with 8 GB video ram and that “integrated graphics cards are not supported”. So your work or business machine will likely not run Teardown during your lunch break.

Tearing Down Stuff Can Be Challenging

Teardown is a challenging game that requires a mindset to be able to plan and then carry out the strategy needed to solve puzzles...or you can just use the scorched earth tactic and destroy everything in your path. Personally, I found this method to be very satisfying and a whole lot of fun. Plus the TV news afterwards can be fun to watch. Some missions can be frustrating and I was frustrated once; then I realized that I could hop into a bucket loader and smash a path through the building instead of trying to manoeuvre through a maze that even the paint sprayer couldn't help me with.

I didn't find any major bugs but one aspect of demolishing a building seemed rather unrealistic. That happened when I started destroying a building from the bottom up. I knocked out the walls on the entire first floor with the hammer and expected the building to come tumbling down. The floors and walls above stayed in place apparently supported by the brick chimney. It looked rather funny so I tried burning the rest of the building down. Unfortunately the authorities arrived to arrest me for arson. On my next try I destroyed the chimney with a vehicle and all was well in the world of tearing stuff down.

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fun score


Game environment is very interactive and totally destructible. Add in the modding aspect and there's not a lot to complain about.


Base system requirements are rather high, needing at least an Intel i7 CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1080 or comparable video card.