In my humble opinion, top-down twin-stick shooters are some of the best games you can play on your phone. Few other mobile games can deliver the sort of full freedom of control and frantic action found in this genre, and because the camera is pulled back from the action you can see more of the surrounding area and enemies on a smaller screen, plus modern smartphone hardware is able to churn out games that look incredible and are a blast to play.
That's why I was really excited to learn that 10tons Ltd had recently ported over Tesla vs Lovecraft. This is the same team behind Neon Chrome and JYDGE, two games that I consider among the all-time greats from the Google Play Store. While the core gameplay formula remains mostly the same, Tesla vs Lovecraft delivers a fresh hellscape of enemies to battle and feels like another instant classic.
With Tesla vs Lovecraft, 10tons has finally shed the neo-futuristic visual style in exchange for a game set in a fictional past where Nikola Tesla and H.P. Lovecraft are feuding. You play as Tesla as he tries to recover his most prized inventions from Lovecraft who has harnessed the powers of the occult to summon endless waves of monsters to stop you. It's a pretty crazy concept for a storyline, but it's the set up that lets you mow down Lovecraftian creatures in a mech suit so I'm totally on board.
This isn't 10tons' first rodeo, so all the features you'd come to expect from a premium game are here — quick and responsive gameplay with tight touchscreen controls along with support for Bluetooth controllers, a full campaign mode with 35 missions available to play on three different planes, which basically ups the difficulty and rewards.
Tesla vs Lovecraft is a beautiful and bizarre game with relentless swarms of enemies to defeat.
I love the art style and enemy design. There are some enemies that are easy to kill with one shot but move quickly and are good at swarm around you and overwhelming your defenses, while others are slow bullet sponges that require much more attention to take down. Each enemy has its own strengths and weaknesses, and they're all spread across the campaign in different combinations that help to prevent the game from feeling repetitive.
Tesla vs Lovecraft uses other rogue-like elements to upgrade your character during gameplay. You constantly collect XP as you defeat enemies, and are able to pause the game and choose an upgrade that increases your speed, health, or killing efficiency. The perks you collect are only available in that playthrough of that level and are discarded whether you die or beat the level.
Eventually, each level lets you unlock Tesla's mech suit if you're able to collect and assemble the six parts. You only get to use the mech suit for a max of around ten seconds but it's by far the coolest way to mow down that endless wave of impeding baddies.
Oh, and speaking of endless waves, there's also a survival mode to be unlocked that just tests to see how long you can stay alive.
Available for around $10 versus the $15 asking price on Steam, Tesla vs Lovecraft is an easy recommendation for fans of the top-down shooter genre eager for a new game to play. There's also some DLC available for another $4 that unlocks new gameplay modes, monsters, weapons, perks, and power-ups, but there's more than enough content in the main game to justify the cost of entry, and I look forward to diving into the DLC once I'm done with the main campaign.
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