My favorite Teardown moments after 46 hours of broken stuff

Teardown is a destructive sandbox puzzle game that just hit version 1.0 after 18 months in Early Access. You may know this from the popular videos of destroyed places by nukes or remember seeing early clips of his incredible physics-based destruction on Twitter. Teardown was a bit light on variety when it first arrived in Early Access, but today it features a full single-player campaign and a very active modding scene.

Teardown is great as both a puzzle game and a sandbox toy. I put over 46 hours into it, and most of that time was spent setting up elaborate heists in his campaign. Most missions require you to quickly grab or destroy a set of objectives and escape in less than a minute, but you have unlimited time to destroy/modify the map with hammers, explosives, guns and stretchy cables to create the fastest route possible before the clock starts ticking. It’s a pretty unique way to add objectives to a space that’s otherwise only there for the fun of smashing stuff – and wow, smashing stuff never ceases to be fun in this game.

Below are some recent highlights of my favorite levels and goofs that hopefully communicate what makes Teardown so cool.

Ultimate Shortcut

The Hippodrome side mission might be the best example of how Teardown subverts the rules of a traditional, unbreakable world. The objective is simple: sneak into a billionaire’s mansion while he’s not at home, steal a car and beat the lap times on his personal circuit.

The main objective is to beat 30 seconds, which isn’t too difficult if you can do a clean lap. The optional goal is to go down to 20 seconds, which just seems impossible. I originally quit this mission because it was too difficult, but a friend reminded me that it was Teardown, and I can just take down track checkpoints to shorten the track. 16 seconds, a new record.

Airtime

I went a little wild on this heist. There are six tools to collect in one minute on one of the biggest maps in the game. I had run out of time a few meters from my lifeboat, so I had to think of a way to cut a few seconds without alter my planned route too much (and without resorting to my modified Portal gun).

My solution: Build a sled out of pieces of wood that I can propel through the air using a supercharged leaf blower while I’m standing on it. The design went through a dozen iterations and ate all the boards in my inventory, but it finally worked.

The launch of the building

The other day I was playing around with an Ultra Gravity Gun mod that forcibly grabs anything in front of you and turns it into a dense sphere. It’s cool as hell. So I was in the process of liquefying an entire square block of houses (like you do) when I wondered if I could push an entire apartment complex together with the power of gravity. It went a little too well.

The race of the headlights

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OK, this one is just a really clean run that I still feel pretty good about. One way to do this mission is to blowtorch the brackets that hold these propane tanks in place, put them together, and blow them all up at once to save time. I thought it would be more fun to run around the map and hit every tank it’s in within a minute. It took a lot of setup and failed attempts, but I finally got it with style points to spare.

Boat too slow

The latter is a tribute to a type of mission that I wish Teardown had more of: the untimed “bring those heavy objects to a place” missions. In this latest game, you kind of have to haul two very heavy tanker vehicle parts in a truck, except they’re sitting on beached rafts tied to boats in a narrow, frozen river. After struggling for 20 minutes to drive the first boat down the river, I decided to take a different approach with the second. Forget about the boats, just take it out of the river and squeeze this honking truck through a small town.