Tesla vs Lovecraft a twin stick shooter where you play Tesla who needs to stop Lovecraft! Of course. He burned down your workshop and is now unleashing a ton of monsters into the world. Since you’re Tesla you have access to technology that can help you win. Who ever expected these two to go against each other?! The theme is definitely interesting and does fit well with a twin stick shooter. I think this studio has done really well creating themes for their games. Their last game, JYDGE, involved you being basically robocop and customizing your gavel gun. So yeah they got it right again, Tesla can get electric augmented weapons and an awesome mech with twin mounted mini guns. I wouldn’t say the combat is meaty or gives you a lot of feedback but it does throw a mountain of enemies at you. Wave after wave after wave you get to mow them all down. You start with a simple hand gun but other weapons appear in the level that you can pick up.
Having a ton of enemies chasing you and using the shotgun to kill them all is fun. There is actually quite a good weapon selection in the game. Not exactly different types but for example, there are three different shotguns. A normal one, a guass shotgun, and a repeater shotgun. They’re all very shotgunny but the repeater can shoot very fast and has the highest DPS. There are also different abilities to pick up that have limited uses.
These are fairly varied from short range to projectiles to a ghost sword, there’s even one that drops a large weight down on your enemies. Because why not? While playing in the arena you gain experience and Tesla levels up but it only applies to that arena. Each level you can choose between two perks that can make you more powerful. Perks like piercing bullets, ricochet bullets, poison bullets, an extra bullet. There are others related to the character too for example whenever you take damage a pulse pushes the enemies away. I’m glad they have at least some exciting ones but some of these perks are more powerful than others. Poison bullets feels useless while an extra bullet each shot greatly increases your damage. The epic perks are the most interesting though. They’re only offered once in a while but they can make you overpowered. Like giving your teleport and abilities unlimited charges. That really changes the game and makes the level a lot easier but still possible to lose. I’m very happy about the diversity of these perks, you really have to adjust your play style and weapon choice based on which ones you acquire.
That keeps each arena fresh, although sometimes it can feel hopeless if you get perks you don’t like. Still, it’s great there are so many choices. Oh yeah the teleport, almost forgot! Tesla gets a teleport move with three charges that you can buy more charges for later. It recharges slowly over time and can get out of sticky situations. It very generously teleports you over gaps and through walls so it’s extremely useful. It’s definitely more useful in the larger arenas as the smaller ones allow monsters to swarm you quickly. What’s neat is that you can teleport through a fence and then shoot through it while the monsters are stuck on the other side. It can give you a little bit of breathing room but still feel the pressure because the fence isn’t going to hold for long. The last mechanic in the game is the Mech. You need to collect parts for it that appear in the level and you choose when to summon it.
It’s very powerful with the twin mini guns and lets you rampage through so many enemies. Stomp on em or just gun them all down. You’re going to be on the move throughout the whole game anyway, you should pick up these pieces because they can be a real lifesaver. By far the best idea in the game because it can get a little risky to pick up the parts but it’s so powerful. It’s a real reward for the work of collecting the pieces. If it was timer based it just wouldn’t be the same. I’ve enjoyed getting a huge swarm of monsters following me only to call down the mech and kill them all, it’s a blast to kill so many at a time. Some of your perks apply to the mech so bouncing piercing bullets with it can be fairly overpowered but so much fun.
So, the game has all these mechanics, and they all work really well together. I’m surprised I enjoyed this game as much as I did. It’s kind of a standard twin stick shooter until you keep playing and unlock everything. I wonder if a lot of people will play the first five minutes and quit because it’s a little boring and easy. The game only gets much harder when you try survival or move into the ether realm. The ether realm is the same map and levels over again but more difficult and with a different objective. So while I had fun I think my biggest complaint is how mobile the game feels. I don’t know if it should matter but I can’t shake it.
From the interface to the way levels are very short. The short levels are the biggest problem because sometimes I’m a little surprised when they’re over. They feel like they just got started! On the first normal map, there is almost no challenge to the game. Shoot everything for about a minute or two then get dumped back onto the map. I really would have enjoyed more varied level length. I actually think it’s the developer’s style so it’s probably more of a personal problem I have. I’m being a little nitpicky when I mention this because it could be considered a gameplay mechanic but I have no idea why you would want a regular shotgun after having either of the other two. Some guns are just better than others and it’s a little sad when the game gives you the weaker version and you’re being swarmed.
Sometimes I felt rather helpless against the hoard until I found the right weapon. Some of these guns do not produce enough DPS to kill off anything. I’m not sure if as the level progresses the better weapons start appearing and that’s the point? On some of the smaller arenas, it can be very difficult to get to the weapon that has spawned. Not to mention if you accidentally pick up a bad weapon. I imagine in order to keep things simple they made it so you just had to run over the gun to pick it up but it’s so sad to replace your weapon with one you don’t want.
In my mind powerups shouldn’t need to be also dodged. It’s not a deal breaker, it just can cause your death and make you replay a level. Another weirdness is these crystals you get for killing monsters. At the end of each level your kills are tallied and if it meets a threshold you gain a crystal and also plus percent damage. The crystals I get because you use them to purchase character upgrades. The plus damage is not really explained. Is it an increase in damage done to those monsters? Is it an increase in overall damage? Maybe we’ll never know but an increase is an increase so OK. Overall there’s a lot here to like. A ton of levels with variety, all kinds of weapons and powerups as well.
The slow start is kind of a bummer but once you get past that it’s fun. The theme is goofballs but it’s a twin stick shooter so who cares. I think if you’ve played JYDGE and liked that, you’ll definitely like this. No doubt there are better twin stick shooters out there but this one ain’t bad either.