Tesla vs Lovecraft Review

Richard Walker

Twin-stick shooters seem to be ten-a-penny these days, and 10tons Ltd. has managed to carve itself something of a niche as purveyor of all things twin-sticked and shootery. Tesla vs. Lovecraft is the latest effort from the studio that brought us Crimsonland, Time Recoil and Jydge, and we'll be damned if it isn't one of the most deliriously fun arcade-style games we've played in a wee while. It's quite possibly among 10tons' best too, colourful and crazed, with an unapologetically daft premise.

You play as famed inventor Nikola Tesla, packing all manner of steampunk (electropunk?) contraptions with which to fight the myriad monstrous creations from the imagination of renowned horror author HP Lovecraft. We're not quite sure what the estate of both Tesla and Lovecraft think of this, but it makes for a surprisingly compulsive top-down blaster. Each stage sees you levelling up to unlock a new perk from a choice of two randomly selected ones, the more nightmarish creatures you dispatch earning XP to power-up with more and more new abilities.

These last for the duration of a level, ramping up your proficiency and suite of skills with attribute-enhancing perks including ricocheting bullets, faster rates of fire, more rapid movement, health regeneration, additional barrels for your gun, or increased supply drops. These collectible drops also prove vital, granting health, temporarily slowed time, better weapons, and special power-ups that can be used a limited number of times, most of which are essential for crowd control.

Across multiple levels within three different planes of reality, you'll shoot your way through more and more waves of eldritch monsters, including a plague of Deep Ones, Polyps, Fire Vampires, and Spawn of Dagon. Using your Tesla backpack, you can teleport out of danger, zipping through walls and crowds of beasts to find space, while locating pieces of Tesla's 'War Pigeon' mech means you can temporarily enjoy massive firepower and the sight of monsters being turned to pulp in your wake.

It's these gadgets that make Tesla vs. Lovecraft unique, constantly presenting you with new stuff to tool around with, whether it's a new weapon, perk or ability. There's the X-Ray Blade used to carve a swathe through foes, lightning bolts and tesla sticks to fry them with, explosive barrels, nova blasts and more, all of which you'll need to fall back on when things get rough. And once you hit the Aether Plane and begin a second, tougher playthrough, you'll need all of the tools in Tesla's arsenal, as well as quick reflexes.

Boss battles punctuate the action, the stars aligning as you're surrounded by monsters and faced with a giant beastie to take down. Collecting crystals through daily quests, during levels or by completing milestones enable you to purchase permanent meta upgrades, making your Tesla-Mech more powerful, adding extra uses of your quantum teleport, and boosting other attributes, meaning there's a nice layer of depth amid the unrelenting monster murder.

The remarkable thing about Tesla vs. Lovecraft is that three playthroughs across the normal, Aether and Eldtritch Planes, activating the Wardenclyffe three times over, doesn't feel like a chore. Chuck in co-op for 2-4 players and Tesla vs. Lovecraft proves an addictive and almost essential addition to the twin-stick shmup genre.

Tesla vs Lovecraft

A fine example of twin-stick shooter fun, Tesla vs. Lovecraft proves rather moreish, and even more enjoyable with friends. You could say, it's electrifying.

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Nice ditties, loud blasting noises and monster sounds. Does what it's supposed to.


Pleasingly colourful and chunky, Tesla vs. Lovecraft is a decent-looking twin-stick shooter.


Responsive, fast-paced and fun. Everything a twin-stick shooter should be. Varied perks, weapons and gadgets keep things interesting.


Level after level of insane, top-down shooty fun. It can get a little too relentless at times, but the experience remains smooth and enjoyable.


A straightforward, simple achievement list with a nice spread, ensuring something's popping regularly. Nice.

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