Continuing the trend of Switch ports of successful Steam titles, the latest game from 10tons (the talented developers of Crimsonland and Neon Chrome) is a wild ride of twin stick shooting with a wide array of weapons and powers to keep you interested throughout.
Tesla Vs Lovecraft pits the two famous figures with a loose but impressively animated feud, after Tesla showcases his latest technology at a science fair, Lovecraft decides that Tesla is pushing science too far into dangerous territory, so naturally decides to summon swarms of horrid creatures from another realm to help put a stop to him. Cue Tesla jumping in his trusty mech and embarking on an action packed genocide to defeat the hordes of creatures Lovecraft has summoned to defeat him. Honestly, this ridiculous set up may seem like the work of attention grabbing shovel ware, but it betrays a really confident and fluid game, whilst adding such an interesting aesthetic that I found myself wildly surprised by the game’s charm throughout.
Each level drops you into dark Victorian scene with nothing but the base weapon while swarms of enemies start to close in, you have the ability to teleport at all points, so you are quickly zipping around the map trying to grab the nearest weapon for a bit more fire power. After managing to slay the first few waves, you will have earned enough points to level up and each time this happens a little icon appears in the corner of the screen, which means when you have time to stop the action you can add a perk for each level you have reached. The game gives you the choice of two perks each time, being things like ‘double damage’, ‘increased fire power’, ‘increased movement speed’ & ‘higher weapon drop rates’. This well designed feedback loop of attack and reward enhances the games fluid gameplay to such a satisfying level that every level just feels fun to move around in, quickly dip back in after defeat and then try a different technique to ultimately defeat the hordes of demons.
The game runs smoothly at all times, with no noticeable frame rate drops which is greatly appreciated given the sheer amount of enemies and projectiles that can be on screen at any one point. The enemies themselves don’t seem particularly detailed in their models, but you hopefully won’t be looking at any of them long enough to care. Whilst you will be seeing the same demons quite a bit, especially if you’re having trouble with a certain level, the designs are all fairly charming and the game also steadily introduces new enemies with new attack patterns at a suitable enough level to not stretch the game too thin. Bosses also spice up the combat well, often needing different techniques to take them down so the game doesn’t become too repetitive in it’s main gameplay whilst also offering genuinely grotesque and huge opponents to thwart. The soundtrack fits the aesthetic well, with bombastic choirs and large electronic noises fitted over creepy and dour tones.
Whilst Tesla Vs Lovecraft could be picked apart for flaws, the game offers such a great amalgamation of it’s elements over competent and satisfying mechanics that I found myself having so much fun I didn’t care. The setting and characters open up the world for really strange designs and scenarios, while the nuts & bolts of the game are just sharp enough to keep you interested and playing well beyond similar titles. I’ve found myself picking this game up for a session time and time again, with each session being a fantastic short, sharp blast of fun. If you’re a fan of the genre or the setting, there’s a real wealth of wildly enjoyable content on offer with this game.