Tag Archives: 10tons

Time Recoil review

When I first laid eyes on the opening title screen of Time Recoil, I knew this game was going to scratch an itch. The opening menu screams 80s, the graphic style and the iconic electro music set off the excitement in me.

You see I’m a child of the 80s, and by that, I mean I was brought up watching fantastic films that stayed with you for life. Catchy electro dance, the golden age of the arcades and the concept of time travel. Who’s not a fan of time travel right!

Time Recoil Is a modern retro take on a top down shooter, drawing from the classic iconic era of the 80s with its arcade design, funky music, neon pink, and nonstop action, with a classically named evil villain called Dr Time trying to take over the world.

You play as Alexa, who was once a lead scientist in Mr Time’s temporal science team. In a failed experiment, Alexa is exposed to rogue temporal currents, thus giving her super powers. The failed experiment would have been Alexia’s final task, as she was about to resign from her position, leading to the possible conclusion that the accident may have been intentional.

After refusing to help Mr Time build a temporal weapon, Alexa is imprisoned back in time, the year 1974. Alexa is subjected to cruel experimentation, resulting in flashbacks and dreams. Left forgotten in time, trapped at a facility named section 19, Alexa has remained trapped until she was rescued and brought back to her own timeline.

There are two playable modes in Time Recoil, Story mode, and a good old classic arcade mode Time Attack. Your first task in Story mode is to prove your super powers, one of which is merely to survive traveling back and forth throughout your timeline. According to your newfound friend Dr Magnusson (who coincidently use to work for Mr Time) you usually die when you return to your own timeline (yes the gent who was tasked in retrieving you back from the future, died when returning you to the present).

In the game you play through level after level, learning a little more about what you’re fighting against, with the game telling a classic ‘travel back in time and stopping evil’ plot. Shooting bad guys, retrieving, documents and intel, as you travel back and forth through time is all in a day’s work for you.

In between travel, you have your headquarters, a base of operations where you learn the story, meet different people (some of those from an alternative timeline of your own) and learn tasks and missions, such as stealing kill lists, and making sure people survive. You also get the odd terminator moment where you travel back to take out someone key to the present.

Whilst playing certain levels, you will encounter the odd puzzle element, such as not having enough ammo to complete your task, thus forcing you to figure out an alternative way on completing the level.

It pays to string kills together too. When you eliminate a bad guy, there is a nice slow down effect, enabling you to get out of sticky situations.  As you advance through the levels, you’ll receive power ups for multiple kills while the slowdown is active. Ranging from electro bombs to super dash through walls. It all makes for high speed, super-fast take downs.

In Time Attack mode, it’s all about the speed of level completion. Using the slow down effect and your abilities to compete against the clock. The levels are divided up without the neat plot. You’re ranked via three medals for each level, with a neat scoreboard to see how you measure up against the best in the world, or your friends.

Overall the game’s modern retro feel, mixed with the clear influence from the 80’s, add to a decent story. The game is fun, if a little too frantic at times, but has that appeal to keep you playing through, and not to give in to any frustrations.

Thanks to 10Tons for supporting TiX

10tons announce “JYDGE” for Xbox One

10tons, the Finland based independent developer of roguelike “Neon Chrome” have today announced their new game, called JYDGE, which will be coming to Xbox later in 2017.

JYDGE is a top-down shooter where the player gets to build a cybernetic JYDGE and fight crime in the never-sleeping megacity of Edenbyrg. The customisation of the character, the Gavel rifle and the selection of companion drones greatly alters how the game is played, for example using drones more than your rifle will give a stealth game experience.

In addition to extensive customization, JYDGE features a large amount of missions and secondary challenges. For example, a level’s primary mission might be to deal with a gang of bank robbers. Secondary challenges might include rescuing all hostages, completing the level in less than 30 seconds, and completing the primary mission without being seen. Completing missions and secondary challenges awards medals, which in turn unlock new cybernetic enhancements, weapon modifications, special weapons, missions, and more.

“While Neon Chrome has been a great success for us, we quickly learned that procedurally generated levels and roguelike elements are not for everyone. We’ve built JYDGE specifically for people preferring a carefully hand-crafted yet highly customizable top-down shooter. We call this a roguehate game.”

said Tero Alatalo, CEO of 10tons.

For more details of JYDGE, take a look at the official game website – http://www.jydge.com/

Tennis In The Face review

When it come to reviewing games there’s a lot to take into consideration, the reader needs to know if the game is worth getting and of course the developers need to get a general feel on how their game is going in the big bad world. Sometimes however you get to review a game that is so simple, straight forward and intuitive that reviewing it becomes a bit of a challenge. 10tons have created that such game and it’s called Tennis In The Face.

Tennis In The Face comes in various guises and is available on just about any device you can get, even a Mac! With numerous mobile phone titles under their belt 10tons have spread their wings and ported some of their most popular titles to consoles. Originally called Clowns In The Face, Tennis In The Face sees you playing as ex-professional tennis star Pete Pagassi. It’s his job to rid the world of an Explodz addicted enemy epidemic. Explodz is a volatile energy drink and the drink plays it’s own part in the levels as you can use it’s explosive nature to aid you in your quest to clear each level. If you want there is even a website promoting the drink here.

Tennis In The Face

The goal for each stage is simple, get rid of the enemy using only your tennis racket and your balls. The least amount of balls it takes to clear the enemy the better. The enemy comes in various shapes and sizes and some require more than one hit with your tennis ball to get rid of them. You’re awarded more points should you get headshots and there are various challenges to complete. For example, take out 5 clowns before the ball bounces 4 times. It seems simple but it’s not.

10tons have perfected how to get under a gamers skin because, at times I forgot the general aim of the game and just spent half an hour trying to finish the challenges. At times, however, I considered the balance between the satisfaction of throwing my controller through a window and the cost of actually replacing both items. With that said it just shows you don’t have to have a ‘triple A’ title to get a kick out of a game.

Tennis In The Face

Tennis In The Face is basic. The art style is also basic but colourful, the controls are simple but don’t let that take anything away from just how addictive this game actually is. Very rarely do I get that engrossed in a game that I ignore what’s happening around me (in the Mafia house that is virtually impossible) but this game did. Working out trajectory, bounces, obstacles, using Explodz and working out how to get the tricky enemies had me hooked. Properly hooked.

If you are a gamerscore hunter then Tennis In The Face has your back, dishing out a cool 300 points during the first level and set of challenges alone was a massive incentive to carry on.

Tennis In The Face

Well that’s about it, aim your ball and fire, nothing too complicated about that is there. Tennis In The Face is accessible to everyone. As an example of this a senior member of the Mafia Family came over for Christmas well wishes and I let her have a go. She nailed it, and that was someone who had never even handled a controller. 10tons have it right with this but if I had one gripe then Tennis In Your Face isn’t a “go back to” game. On your phone? Yes, definitely. On your console, next to the likes of Battlefield 1, COD, etc? No, sorry.

One particular scenario where it may get numerous plays is if you have a little one and the ‘triple A’ titles aren’t really suitable for them to play. In that scenario. this is perfect, and for £3.99 it’s worth it. When all is said and done, it’s not child labour if they’re getting gamerscore for you, is it?

Tennis In The Face is available now and offers:-

  • Easy to pick-up bouncer gameplay
  • Hilarious ragdoll characters
  • Slow motion level finales
  • Over 100 levels plus bonus game modes
  • A dozen challenging Game Center achievements
  • Game Center leaderboards

Thanks to 10tons and Xbox for supporting TiX

King Oddball review

Those of you unfortunate enough to be in a similar age bracket to myself may well remember a time when the internet wasn’t quite so speedy, and the best thing to do whilst awaiting someone to login to mIRC, ICQ etc. was to play a quick game of Minesweeper or Solitaire whilst browsing through your Winamp files. These days, that’s all been replaced by bigger and better things; what better way to waste a few minutes than to snap Sky Sports News whilst you play a few levels of a game.

Enter King Oddball from Finnish developer 10tons, an iPhone game that has been ported over to the Xbox One (and virtually everything else you could imagine). Offering a no-frills, iOS-priced experience at £3.99, King Oddball almost begs you to switch your brain off from the moment you open the game, and just tap, tap away for hours on end.

I say, ‘switch your brain off’, because the first thing that the game said to me after completing the opening level was ‘EPIC WIN’. To be quite honest, I wanted to switch my Xbox off there and then, let alone my brain; it was all ever so awkward. But, the more you play, the less you pay attention.

King Oddball

Simple in concept, and even simpler in any kind of story, King Oddball has you playing the titular role of a giant boulder with a concrete hat, slinging smaller boulders from his tongue at tanks, helicopters and army personnel. Yes, I can’t even believe I wrote that myself.

The aim of each level is to destroy all army objects using a limited amount of boulders, all through a perfectly-timed press of the A button. Well, I say perfectly-timed, but in fact, the game isn’t really as responsive as it should be, which I guess is the price you pay for swapping a quick tap of a phone screen to a press of a button on a controller. It’s fine enough to function, though. Throw in a few environmental props like explosives, and you’ve got something very similar to Angry Birds.

Like or loathe Angry Birds (I was recently subjected to the horrors of the movie, so I’m in the latter camp at the moment), at least the presentation provides some kind of charm. King Oddball, himself, on the other hand, is absolutely abhorrent. The art in general is just not pleasant to look at (or, ‘eccentric’, which is the word provided by the developer), and even though the game is a mobile port, there’s just nothing about it that appeals. Add in some poor framerates, uninspired baroque-like music, and tepid sound effects, and again, you’re brought back to having something that’s best played when you can focus on something else.

King Oddball

Games like this rely on their addicting qualities, and with over 160 levels, plus multiple variations in game types (use one boulder to clear the level instead of three!), there’s certainly a lot of content to keep you playing for as long as you want to. Did I want to keep playing, though?

Not really. The thing is, King Oddball isn’t really much of an oddball at all. Apart from looking like Thanos on a bad day, there’s just no variety here; after you’ve played the first few levels, you’ve played the other hundred-odd. When after a couple of hours of play, if all the game can muster is to put a little shield around a tank, then you know you’re in trouble. Despite the fact that 10tons were obviously short on ideas once they’d got their central mechanic, they’re desperate to shove level after level down your throat. The main ‘campaign’ takes place on a gridded map; complete a level, and more squares on the map are uncovered. Complete all of the squares on a section of the map, and another section opens. When you first start playing, you’re quite eager to uncover space after space, but after a while, it becomes a tedious chore.

King Oddball

To try and break the monotony of it all, there are sub-games included throughout the map. These are, however, just more of the same; replace the boulders with grenades, use a single boulder and so on. Ultimately, despite offering a free boulder for when King Oddball gets hit in the face, the game just isn’t any fun. I’d never played it on an iPhone, but I can’t imagine it being fun on there either. It just kind of exists, really.

Thanks to 10tons Ltd and Xbox for supporting TiX

Neon Chrome review

Here I am now almost half way through 2016 and my quest to play as many games as possible continues. I have a new furry cover for my gaming chair, because I’m a classy guy, and I’m settled in for a session with Neon Chrome, the new title from 10tons studio (who made Crimsonland).  Neon Chrome is a cyberpunk top down shooter. The two comparisons that instantly spring to mind are Spartan Assault and Genre defining Hotline Miami. Of the two I would say it’s closer to Hotline, mainly because of the ruthless and bloody nature of it. The game is set in a sci-fi megastructure which is looked after by the Overseer and the two of you don’t get along. Cue the 30 level fight up through the building to bring the Overseer to justice.

Except it has a lot more depth to it than that. As I played through the different attributes of the game showed and I found more and more to like about it. The gameplay is simple enough, as you would imagine from a top down shooter, but the way in which you go about it added a lot for me. You have 30 levels to go through and large parts are randomly generated meaning no route to the overseer is ever the same. I have played for a fair bit now and haven’t come across the same bit twice which is great. Added to that is the almost RPG style in which you build your character. You can have permanent upgrades on attributes like luck and health for example available to buy with in game currency you earn through playing. Surprisingly to me as I played, the weapons have numbered stats and levels to compare which give you plenty of options for your style of play be it up close and personal or maybe more ranged and stealthy. This also means that just hanging onto the same gun for your play through isn’t an option as the later levels have much stronger enemies to face. There are keys and access keys to collect to gain entry to different bits of the level and sometimes alternative exits. There are some destructible scenery areas such as thin walls you can break through and boss fights spread out along the way that all make it a challenging endeavour. There is in-game loot to pick up, better weapons and currency as well as a range of upgrades available through in level stations. You can build up each run quite differently for different play styles, which I really liked.

Neon Chrome (5)

Here’s the bit that got me, you sit in the immersion chair and then become another character, from a numbered set stasis chamber. When you die, that character is gone and you pick another to start off another run or go back to your last checkpoint (which are not close together). It’s seems odd but the perma-death for each character made me oddly attached to each one, I found myself tight gripped and tense trying to get through to a health station so that Maxwell Lovelace (my first hacker character) wouldn’t die and be lost to the digital graveyard, although he’ll probably come round again in the listing. I doubt it’s truly endless. Side note; he didn’t make it. There are different types of cyborg soldier to pick from with every new immersion and each has different abilities, you have a hacker who can access things that the rest cannot or the Cyber Psyco who deals more damage as two examples. personally I tend to favour the more damage option, but the stealth assassin is good fun too, just my personal preferences really, but I liked having the extra damage when you reach a boss round as its often a high damage scenario. The difficulty of the game also kept me playing, I wanted to get further and beat each level and got frustrated when I died as not only did I lose some progress but also my new character. However, with each death comes a chance to spend some hard earned cash on your next guy or gal and head back in with more firepower or a better gun, and really, isn’t that what it’s all about, bigger and better guns? I really enjoyed the weapon choice as each new loot box was a chance to see if I got a different weapon or maybe a better version of what I have already, either way, loot boxes should always be raided when you’re going through the tower.

Neon Chrome (4)

I found it tough to get this kind of attachment playing Spartan Assault, even though I have strong emotional feelings for the Halo series (bordering on worrying). I just couldn’t get into it in the same way as this game. The whole atmosphere of the game is pretty cool too, it reeks of 80’s influence (very much like the essence of Far Cry Blood Dragon) in the music and the graphics. It all fits together to create a very enjoyable gaming experience.

Its quick paced action makes it fun to play, it’s not an easy game either which is always appealing to me as I don’t like to walk through a game and then be done with it. The random generating for levels certainly gives it more length as even when you have made it to the end you can have another run through and it be a totally different layout and experience. The character progression and upgrading is a nice touch too, it adds more and is welcomed into a style that can be very repetitive and similar. Even though you are just shooting and making your way through the map, the way in which you go about it, the extra options and features mean it was very rarely repetitive and definitely not boring.

TiX thanks 10tons Studios and Xbox for their support

Akzend 2: The World Beneath review

Match three games are very common, however, the truly compelling ones have their own unique hooks that lure you in and keep you engaged. Azkend 2: The World Beneath attempts to do this with a story acting as a frame device for the aforementioned matching of three, whilst also offering a wide variety of things to match as well as abilities to utilise that makes that job easier. The latter of these hooks works splendidly, the former works against it.

Azkend 2 plays precisely how you’d expect a match three title to play. A grid of objects is presented to you and you need to match three or more objects of the same type that are adjacent to each other. Match three or more of them and they will disappear from the grid, causing the rows above to cascade down. It’s a simple premise that’s usually tied to achieving high scores, however, with Azkend 2 your objective is more specific and varies from level to level. One grid may require you to match objects gradually across the entire grid, whilst others will challenge you to cause an item added to the grid to be collected at the bottom by removing rows below and causing it to fall, and the objectives get more interesting from there. It proves a great way to keep the game varied and prevent stagnation, as well as challenging you to read the grid in different ways.

azkend 2 2

Over the 17 stages, each with multiple levels within them, new objects are frequently added to the match three grid. From a gameplay perspective it’s purely aesthetic, tying in with the story, but the variety is still appreciated and makes the aforementioned grid reading slightly more challenging. Meanwhile, each stage also unlock a new ability that can be activated. These range from neutral objects that allow you to match together two or more sets of different objects, to dynamite that explodes and destroys adjacent objects. Choosing which ability to wield becomes a tactical consideration depending on the grid objectives, and once again this adds a wonderful sense of variety.

This frequently changing set of objectives, abilities and grid objects keeps things fresh across the lengthy story, unfortunately the story itself is a bit of a let-down. It all kicks off with a ship wreck, leaving you stranded in a strange, underground world beneath the ocean. Each level asks you to perform an action to proceed; this could be blowing up an area with dynamite so to explore further or simple peering through a telescope. These actions are performed by completing the match three grids and collecting parts of the items needed for the action, such as sticks of dynamite or parts of a telescope. Once you have them all, the story progresses and you enter the next location and set of levels.

azkend 2 1

The story has the potential to work as a neat frame device. The way it facilitates the different objects in the grid based on your location works well, as does the item collecting aspect. However, the story is so badly told it’s hard to immerse yourself in it. The narration is patronisingly delivered as if you’re a child, and is ultimately uninteresting and superfluous to the experience. Moreover, it also adds a hidden object aspect to the experience, where you’re shown a section of the, actually pretty terrific, static images that make up the backdrop, and asked to find it and press A with your cursor. However, it’s all for naught and the story will progress whether you find any of these sections or not. It all just gets in the way of the best part of the game: the match three puzzles. Fortunately the additional challenge modes help with this. They strip out the story and challenge you to either achieving a high score or completing each level in the quickest time possible.

Indeed Azkend 2: The World Beneath, provides a great set of match three puzzles that benefit from terrific variety. Meanwhile, the story is a horribly delivered barrier to an otherwise enjoyable game. If match three puzzlers are your jam, then the strong offering of Azkend 2 is likely to scratch that itch, unfortunately you’ll have to stomach the story along with it.

Thanks to Xbox and 10tons for supporting TiX

December will see a Baseball Riot

baseball_riot1

What better stress relief could you have than to whip out your baseball bat and smack a baseball into a spittle-flecked nutter’s face?

Developer 10tons Ltd are going to give you the opportunity to do just that.

This physics-based puzzler is coming to Xbox One through the ID@Xbox program on the 9th of December and allows you to take control of Gabe Carpaccio. Travel throughout the U.S and clear more than 100 levels packed to the rafters with Explodz Energy drink-crazed villains, biased umpires, obnoxious fans, leery catchers and more besides.

Line up a shot, swing the bat, and pretend you’re aiming for the latest I’m A Celebrity contestants and take them out with slapstick knockouts and ragdoll physics. Cracking stuff.

Tero Alatalo, 10tons Ltd’s CEO;

Baseball Riot is a fantastic sequel to Tennis in the Face, which has turned out to be quite the crowd-pleaser on consoles, desktop and mobile. Baseball Riot is slightly more refined in every way, and we’re looking to delight new and existing fans once again.

Here, have a look at the trailer and grab this soon.

Crimsonland review

crimsonthumbIn modern gaming there seems to be a divide in what is expected from games today. On one side you have the Hollywood-esque tours de force of exposition and plot that defenders of the gaming past time oft quote as the reason gaming is not just for children, but should be treated as a mature, ageless medium of its own. You then have the middle of the road games that try to find a balance between engaging story and tactile game mechanics which make up the majority of games on the market today. Then you have games that don’t care about character development or emotional engagement, focusing solely on pure, refined, unadulterated mechanics to draw a crowd.

Crimsonland without a doubt falls into the latter camp. The plot consists of “survive increasingly difficult waves of enemies until you can reach the next wave of difficult enemies”. That’s it. There is no character arc, no redemption or soul searching, just Guns, enemies and blood.

Those of you close to my age (or older) may remember the old classic, Smash TV, and Crimsonland hits a lot of the same notes, but on a much larger scale.

Graphically, you can tell that this started its life as a 2003 indie pc title from the team over at 10tons Entertainment. Simple and small, it does therefore allow for most of the fighting area to be visible at one time. This is in itself crucial when it comes to the multiplayer.crimson

A recurring theme from my last few reviews, Crimsonland doesn’t have an online multiplayer, so gathering up to three of your closest gaming buddies for some couch co-op is the only way to play. This in no way dimishes the game as the most fun I had was when playing with several players. That said, unlike previous titles I reviewed, there is enough game here to roll solo if you so wish.

Like most twin stick shooters the targeting can be a little fiddly to get to grips with at first, not made any easier by the size of the sprites, but once you get the hang of it you will soon be decimating enemies with consummate ease.

Each of the 60 story levels see you dropped in toting a starting pistol with waves of enemies spawning in increasing numbers or difficulty levels. As you progress and dispose of enemies, new weapon types and boosts appear to make progression easier. There is a wide range of weapons available to unlock as you progress and you will soon find ones that suit your play style. This variation extends to the boosts as well, with a wide range of specials that provide temporary boosts and extra damage to ease the passage of each round. Add to this the three difficulty levels, and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Other than the main campaign, there are 5 other modes to absorb your time, each based on ever increasing hordes of enemies. These are also where the perks you have been unlocking in the main campaign start to play a part.  Basic Survival sees you equipped with your trusty pistol and ever increasing waves of enemies. Rush has you attempt to survive an alien onslaught while limited to a trusty assault rifle. Weapon picker slaps you down with limited ammo, but more weapon spawns at random locations. Nukefism does away with ammo altogether and has you running around making good use of the powerups that appear far more often and finally Blitz is a fast pace survival where you can only use the weapons and perks unlocked in the campaign. As you progress your experience will rack up and you will level up. At each level up point you gain the ability to select a perk to improve your chances of surviving further.

This is where the perk system truly shines. Each conveys its own weighted benefits such as Thick Skinned which reduces your overall health but decreases damage taken, or Ammunition Within which allows you to keep firing while reloading but each shot diminishes your health.

Although it lacks the finesse or graphical excellence of some other games I really enjoyed my time with Crimsonland. If you have a close group that play together, this is a brilliant game for playing with friends.

Thanks to Xbox and 10Tons Ltd for supporting TiX

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Add a little Sparkle to your gaming

SparkleUnleashed

10tons Ltd is a developer with a massive back catalogue of mobile gaming apps and a brief but very successful foray into the console market on Sony’s gaming device.

They are extremely excited to announce their debut Xbox One game will be the marble-matching madness that is Sparkle Unleashed. Some (many) of you will have played Sparkle or Sparkle 2 on your mobile devices I’m sure and Sparkle Unleashed is set to take the gameplay and make it more controller-friendly.

Gone is the rotating marble shooter, replaced with a sliding sphere-release along the bottom of the screen. This is very similar to Luxor, another game I’ve probably wasted days playing in the past.

Sparkle Unleashed will also feature chained orbs, rock orbs and more new challenges as well as 18 power-ups and new soundtrack . Challenge yourself to it’s 108 regular levels with a Survival mode and two more difficulty settings.

Will this finally be the game to knock Zuma off it’s marble blasting-pedestal on the Xbox platform?

Have a look at the trailer and then decide that you want to go and get it, when it’s relased, on the 3rd of June.