Tesla vs Lovecraft | Nintendo Switch Review

A match made in heaven, or considering the persons involved, shouldn’t that be hell? Tesla and Lovecraft aren’t the first names that spring to mind for the latest PPV, nor would you see them bickering on Twitter. They aren’t even with us anymore. Maybe in spirit. Well, 10tons has brought ebony and ivory together again in Tesla vs Lovecraft.

If you’ve recently hatched or haven’t got time to look them up, Nikola Tesla was a human man that did all sorts of roles before the invention of the internet (where everyone is an author, filmmaker, stunt co-ordinator or demi-god). Arguably more famous for his designs and contribution to electricity (he didn’t event that folks), he pioneered the tesla coil. Look that bit up, this is a game review.

The second person on the list is H.P. Lovecraft. Shame on you if you don’t even know the name. It doesn’t (it does) matter if you don’t know what he did, but if you play games, watch films and more importantly read books, you will know that he is a pioneer in science fiction and horror. Your homework and keyword for Lovecraft is Cthulu. I still don’t know how to pronounce that.

A wave of spiders engulf Tesla
These spiders have decided to leave the MCU also

March of Cthulu

There’s a good juxtaposition here (how’s that for a high brow term?) where Tesla represents fact, and Lovecraft is on Team Fiction. Lovecraft isn’t happy that Tesla is creating wireless technology, but the former wants to stick with the quill. As most rational people would do in times of change, he burns Tesla’s laboratory down and unleashes his demonic hordes to finish off Tesla. Tesla doesn’t take this too lightly so puts on his camouflage paint, and there’s a series of close-ups of him booting up and packing an arsenal worthy of a small private army. I made that up. That’s from Commando.

It’s a top-down shooter using both joysticks to manoeuvre Tesla about, aiming with the right stick to shoot and eliminate these evil creatures. One would assume they’re evil, of course. Guns are paramount here; fists won’t make a dent. Fortunately, there are plenty of guns about. Tesla runs around each map, killing anything that moves. Enemies spawn from multiple locations, including little monster dwellings you can destroy to keeps the rogues back. The guns will keep the hordes back, but as there are so many, the key to survival is movement.

Tesla is pretty light on his feet anyway, but being an inventor genius, he can teleport across the map using his Quantum Teleport. Nothing too major, a bit like Nightcrawler. Don’t hate on me comic book fans, I don’t know the true power of the blue man. Shifting from one area to another keeps you alive, but also a good strategy for putting obstacles between you and the baddies. They can’t go through the ever-present fencing or jump over chasms, so it gives you a few extra seconds to reload and change your pants.

An example of a map screen before the next round takes place
He may be smart, but when it comes to orienteering, Tesla’s a tool

Shotguns Are So 20th Century

For a scientist born in the 1880s, Tesla is pretty badass and can handle himself with a gun. As I said, knuckles won’t do much so he’ll scamper around for guns and ammo to kill everything in sight. As an inventor extraordinaire, he has a few tricks up his lab coat. Collect the appropriate pieces scattered about, and he has access to his own bona fide Tesla-Mech robot (a.k.a. the War Pidgeon) that obliterates everything with ease. Understandably, this is time-limited, otherwise, where is the challenge?

Ammo is a little limited, hence the reliance on running around a lot. This adds to the urgency of the game, equally making it a lot of fun. There’s no slowdown in pace as unlike games such as Gaunlet, the maps are smaller and there isn’t any incentive to explore. The goal is to stay alive and beat each succession of waves.

At the top of the screen is a red bar to indicate how long until you’ve defeated the otherworldly monsters and to the right of that is the level you are currently at (specifically for that wave). You can shoot your way through with the guns and Tesla-Mech, but you can also gain power-ups scattered about on the maps or by destroying objects like crates.

Telsa enters his mech and a series of projectiles cut through the enemies on screen
Master blaster: Mow them enemies down with the War Pidgeon

The Perks to Doing Your Science Homework

There are power-ups throughout each level that can change the type of ammo you are using like poison ammo or rubber bullets so that you don’t fatally wound your enemies and can talk out your conflict once they recover. Like grown-ups do. No. You always kill them. There’s no time for chit chat.

Blasting through Lovecraft’s minions, you gather XP that can be used to unlock perks. You can choose two perks at a time, but they aren’t permanent. Depending on what you want, they can make the level much more manageable, or just emphasise that you really aren’t as good as you think. Hello, me.

…don’t die for as long as you can help it.

Me

Perks include faster-moving speed (essential at times!), improved damage, faster teleporting and dare I say, and being somewhat lazy to list them, much, much more. And there is more! Tesla has other abilities that he can use during the waves, taking into account charging times. These include the X-Ray Blade – a bit of a melee attack that clears out within-range enemies, to the Tesla Stick – a turret that you can temporarily mount that shoots anything that dares move.

When levelling up, you get the choice of two perks to choose from to use in that wave
Tesla’s perked up and has a little more juice left

What Do You Mean, ‘You Want More?’

The Tesla legacy is still going, as is the Lovecraft estate, so there’s life in these two scallywags, so why not the game? Levels are reasonably short, but for the crazy folk, there are varying difficulty modes, online rankings and a new game+ if you’re still not full. A little bit too much for me, though I’ll happily even play another round, albeit, with the easiest options available.

If the standard campaign of sorting out that evil bookworm and his pals don’t fulfil your gaming needs, you can try the survival mode. It’s the same as any other survival mode so it’s not going to reinvent the wheel, but will summarise with ‘don’t die for as long as you can help it’.

Tesla Vs Lovecraft does have a Co-Op mode, I’ll have you know. Alas, Einstein, Shakespeare, Edison and Twain weren’t available, nor can you really eff things up and play Tesla and Lovecraft. He’s still unplayable. The swine.

Weird Science, Yet Affordable

Tesla Vs Lovecraft flashed her cheeks on the PC first, so this isn’t a new game. As with real-life bargain bins and sales, you have to have a proper search to find something of value and Tesla Vs Lovecraft is just that. I found it entirely by chance and was sold on the title alone. Obviously, I checked out the trailer too.

A pop-up ad for new DLC
Stop selling me stuff! Wait, this could be good…

Because it’s been out for a while, it’s had patches (I’ve not had any technical issues – either I never do with most games, or I just don’t notice) but more importantly, DLC. The pack came out in April 2019, but you can purchase on the Nintendo eShop. At the time of writing (14:09) it costs £4.49, and it comes with the following features (cut and pasted from the official site):

  • New Weapons – such as Laser Pistol and Teslazi
  • New Monsters – Cultists and Mi-Go
  • New Perks – including Backfire and Gifted
  • New Powerups – Super Star and Frozen Bullets
  • New Abilities – Mines and Homing Pigeons

I haven’t played it yet. Nothing to do with the cost, but I’ve just too many games to go through. I’m likely to purchase this and play later as I’ve been coming back to Tesla Vs Lovecraft quite a bit and it doesn’t hurt to add a bit more variety. Just as long as it isn’t that much harder. I wouldn’t want to break a nail.

Lots of neon as the armies of Cthulhu descend
That’s a lot of neon for the 90’s. The 1890’s (not factually true)

Disclaimer: I wasn’t particularly good in science at school, and the results reflected. Coincidentally, I also haven’t invented anything, well I have, but I didn’t patent it and NASA got there before me and also before I was born. There are always loopholes.

With that in mind, I’m not qualified to comment on Tesla’s work. However, I did scare my mum once, who originates from Mars, so that qualifies me as an expert in both fields of horror and science fiction. I’ve also been known to write too.