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Tesla vs. Lovecraft Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Tesla vs. Lovecraft is one of those goofy concepts you can't help but fall in love with. This horror-themed shooter covers a lot of ground you've seen before, but does it with style and personality to spare. The result is an intense dual-stick shoot 'em up that, while repetitive, is awfully hard to put down. Cosmic horror has never been this action-packed. Rating: 71%
Tesla vs. Lovecraft
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Tesla vs. Lovecraft Tesla vs. Lovecraft Tesla vs. Lovecraft Tesla vs. Lovecraft
  • Review Score:

  • B
The problem with dream match-ups is that I always get too excited and end up disappointed. I don't care if it's Alien vs. Predator, Freddy Krueger fighting Jason or two of the biggest superheroes of all time duking it out for absolutely no reason whatsoever, it usually amounts to little more than hollow fan service that never lives up to the hype. But maybe that trend is finally coming to an end, because Telsa vs. Lovecraft proves to be a match-up just silly enough to keep me playing until the last underwater monster is defeated. Finally, a dream fight I can get behind.

You take control of Nikola Tesla, who is not only one of the greatest inventors of all time, but also turns out to be one hell of an action hero. He's forced to fight for survival after famed horror author H.P. Lovecraft burns down his laboratory and unleashes an army of monsters on the unwitting scientist. He warns that Tesla's actions have put the world in great peril and has decided to steal those potentially dangerous inventions. It's up to you to shoot your way through dozens of stages in order to kill the monsters and get revenge on Lovecraft.


This all plays out as a fairly straight-forward dual-stick shoot 'em up, where the goal is to race around a small horror-themed stage killing monsters and staying alive. There isn't much more to your mission beyond killing every last creature, though that can be made tricky by these inter-dimensional portals that keep opening up and dumping more enemies into the stage.

The advantage you have is that you're constantly gaining experience and upgrading Nikola Tesla. You'll be able to stop the action dead in its tracks and choose between two different perks, including everything from increasing your fire rate to speeding up the character to adding an extra barrel to your gun. You'll just keep adding these perks until the level ends, where you'll lose all these perks and have to start the leveling up process all over again in the next stage.

Beyond the various upgrades and weapons scattered around the levels, you'll also be able to teleport around the screen like one of the X-Men. This is a great way to get out of trouble, especially in those situations when there a mob of Lovecraftian creatures surrounding you on all sides. And believe me, that's going to happen a whole bunch as you play through the single and multiplayer campaign. The enemies here are the very definition of aggressive, never laying off and giving you a moment to relax.

Tesla vs. Lovecraft (PC)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It's probably worth mentioning that this comes to us from the makers of Jydge, an overhead dual-stick shooter I reviewed a couple months ago. I ultimately concluded that this was a make-or-break moment for 10tons and that they could really build on the momentum with their next game. Tesla vs. Lovecraft is that next games, and I'm happy to report that it keeps the winning streak alive.

But while this game has a goofy premise that is easy to recommend, it's not entirely without fault. Compared to Jydge, I was disappointed that 10tons reverted back to the more generic trapped-in-a-small-area-fighting-waves-of-bad-guys formula. It's easy for this type of shooter to fall into the trap where all the stages start to blur together after a while, and that's exactly what happened with Tesla vs. Lovecraft. Even though I played through the game as recently as a few hours ago, I would be hard pressed to tell you the differences between the various locations. There's never a moment where the game changes to unveil something unexpected, because what you see is what you get.

I also don't think 10tons has done enough with the Tesla and Lovecraft characters. You'll see hints of the potential in the secondary attacks, but these amazing inventions just come across as generic power-ups. It's a shame they didn't expand his moves beyond teleporting around the screen and picking up experimental weapons, because it seems like Tesla is rife with possibilities. Same with H.P. Lovecraft. He's largely absent for most of the game, letting a bunch of sea monsters represent his side of the action. It would have been fun to see him pop up and add something to the story, but they hold him back a little too long.

Tesla vs. Lovecraft (PC)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Thankfully, Tesla vs. Lovecraft nails the action. Although repetitive at times, there's never a dull moment here. The screen is always crowded with countless monsters, each doing their part to rip you to shreds. This is an exciting game from beginning to end, and the fact that it's a bit derivative and doesn't do enough with the concept won't stop you from having a good time.

Tesla vs. Lovecraft is one of those goofy concepts you can't help but fall in love with. This horror-themed shooter covers a lot of ground you've seen before, but does it with style and personality to spare. The result is an intense dual-stick shoot 'em up that, while repetitive, is awfully hard to put down. Cosmic horror has never been this action-packed.
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