I wanna be the Tethys

Creator: dopamine

Average Rating
7.3 / 10
Average Difficulty
58.5 / 100
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Needle (13) Short (1) Original (1) Tethys-like (1)


  • by Xplayerlol
  • by Xplayerlol
  • by Xplayerlol
  • by Xplayerlol
  • by Xplayerlol
  • by Xplayerlol

36 Reviews:

"In Greek mythology, Tethys was a Titan daughter of Uranus and Gaia, a sister and wife of the Titan Oceanus, and the mother of the river gods and the Oceanids. Although Tethys had no active role in Greek mythology and no established cults,[2] she was depicted in mosaics decorating baths, pools, and triclinia in the Greek East, particularly in Antioch and its suburbs, either alone or with Oceanus." - Wiki

This is a perfect articulation of what makes dopamine's style of game theirs: the wobbling, psychedelic aesthetic. The contrived and contorted level geometries that still somehow feel open and even inviting sometimes. The constant background vibration of unearthly music that pulses like a human heartbeat. And the jumps that are never quite what they seem... sometimes difficulty is thrown in your face, other times, it sneaks up on you sideways, in a jump you swore you recognized and could do easily, until an extra spike or pair of teeth forces you to confront a familiar situation in an unfamiliar way. None of the levels use the 'full' screen, which somehow makes each screen feel more like an 'entity' or an 'object' than a cohesion of multiples... everything seems strewn and designed to elicit an emotional response via the technical, rather than the other way around. It is, in practice, a very absurd thing to attempt to describe... but this game feels alive somehow. It feels like a piece of a lineage. A work in a series of greater works. It is, in short, one of my favorite fangames, and probably my favorite 'style' of fangame of all time.

There are no gimmicks in this needle game, even soft ones (like platforms or vines). Just you, some blocks, some spikes, and a sense that your experience is being orchestrated in a bizarre, unseen way.

Flatly recommended to everyone.

Time: 3hr17min
Deaths: 3275

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[4] Likes
Rating: 10.0 100       Difficulty: 58 58
Jan 7, 2022
Tethys, in classic Dopamine style, is a really interesting atmospheric needle game with some rough jumps. The visuals and audio are fantastic, and incredibly evocative. The clear screen is a strange, unexplained image that gives a really haunting feeling. This entire game is an exploration of a chilling liminal space, and the game frequently plays with the idea of boundaries. This is shown with a special screen the divides the two stages, featuring a freefall and an odd cramped jump. Several screens in the game are structured as a dividing line, making the player traverse the knife's edge between here and there. This theme is finally cemented in the clear screen, in which the player is stuck in between a rock and a hard place. You're in the cramped little spot in between two bad options once again. The weight of the world is on your shoulders but there is no where else to go. The entire game is an incredibly thought-provoking exploration of being stuck in the middle. This is just my interpretation of the themes, and like any piece of art there are plenty of other ways to think about it. However, this is one of the few fangames that actually provoked this kind of thought from me, and truly made me consider it as a piece of symbolism. Anyone who values art in fangames should play this, as it's a great demonstration of how to invoke emotion and thematic resonance with a needle game.

Phg has an excellent quote regarding the name of the game, and after reading it I can really see how appropriate it is, and it resonates with the themes I pulled from the game. Tethys is the daughter of the Earth and Sky, meaning she exists as a liminal being in between the extremes of reality. This dichotomy is present in the game, with the first stage representing the sky and the second representing the earth. You explore them both before coming to rest in that tight little space between them. Tethys is associated with rivers, and this is reflected in many of the screen designs. I mentioned earlier that many screens feel like a dividing line, and with this knowledge those screens now feel like they're made to represent a river. The kid is flowing through the gap between disparate lands, unable to choose which way to go, you end up stuck in liminality once again. This is probably what Tethys would've felt like, existing as a narrow strip of self in between primordial extremes. The ability to read this much into the game, classical allusion and all, is part of what really shows this game as a masterwork of artistic games.

Of course, some of the jumps are a bit too precise and kind of uncomfortable. This does further the themes that I found in the game, but it also isn't necessarily what most players want in terms of gameplay. While the game is a 60 diff, I'd only recommend it if you're comfortably above that level, so these rough patches are minor discomfort rather than game ruining. This will help you appreciate the art, and better consider how this jump design contributes to it.

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[2] Likes
Rating: 8.8 88       Difficulty: 60 60
Jul 10, 2022
With every game dopamine made, he just got better and better; therefore, seeing as this is his first game, it's also his worst. Though it inspired many games after it, I would not say Tethys stands up at all five years later. Nearly every screen had at least one jump that infuriated me to no end, and the few which where wholly good were also woefully short. That is the nature of these sorts of needle games, though: the goodness is fleeting and the irritation eternal.

I would not say Tethys is a bad game altogether, not in the slightest. There is a valiant attempt at making an enjoyable needle game here, but there's just so many jumps which really deteriorated the experience that I could never recommend this game. The most enjoyable aspect was the aesthetic, something that dopamine was able to perfect from the very start of his gamemaking career; yet, a great aesthetic does not itself make a great game.

If you're in dire need of some dopamine, then and ONLY then would I say give this a shot. I seem to be in the minority concerning my opinion, though, so don't let my negativity get in the way of what could be an enjoyable gaming experience.

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Tagged as: Needle
[2] Likes
Rating: 4.3 43       Difficulty: 60 60
Jun 22, 2020
Nice needle game with cool visuals, cool musics, good level design and plenty of jumps that you won't see everywhere. There are two things that I really like in this game. The first one is the death sound: Just like with Neurosis, the death sound isn't a pain to the ears, with makes the deaths a lot more bearable. The second one is the blood splatter: Finally, there is a fangame where the blood doesn't go through the spikes! I never understood why fangames never allowed their spikes to get dirty with the kid's blood. The blocks can get as bloody as they want, but not the spikes - The spikes must stay clean. This doesn't happen with this game, though: Everything gets bloody here. I really like when fangame makers actually bother with these details, even if they seem like minor stuff.
Another cool detail is the transition between the first part of the game and the second part of the game, it's well-made and really seems like a transition screen.
It's really well-made, and really enjoyable. Would recommend.

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Tagged as: Needle
[2] Likes
Rating: 8.4 84       Difficulty: 58 58
Aug 25, 2015
i like this game! i enjoyed it! :)

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[1] Like
Rating: 7.4 74       Difficulty: 57 57
Oct 3, 2021