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Editorial

Feb 06, 2018

10tons Ltd has ported all their games to the Switch, and they’re awesome

Since September, just about every week, 10tons Ltd has been releasing their back-catalog onto the Switch. Last month, this concluded with Baseball Riot. Soon the Switch eShop will have 10tons’ most recent release, Tesla vs Lovecraft. But for now, there are a staggering twelve titles that in some instances cover a lot of the same ground, but variety can be found in each of its titles and owning all of it will provide you with a healthy library on the Switch that is perfect for home or commuting gaming.


Sparkle 2
– Purchase Price: $7.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Sep 28, 2017

“Okay so this is Sparkle 2, where’s Sparkle 1“? Don’t worry about that. Instead, focus on that this is a terrifically paced puzzle game. Here, you’ll be launching colored orbs of various colors (red, green, blue, yellow) against a slowly rolling series of orbs in a snake-like fashion working its way to a hole. If the orbs fall into the hole, it’s game over. Matching the orbs in threes eliminates that portion of the snake, and it will recoil into a smaller form while still working towards the hole. Keep eliminating sections by matching in threes, and the next wave will come. And so on and so on, and successful and consecutive matches will earn you power-ups such as blasts that remove orbs from the snake or color splash which will paint your orb of choice and nearby orbs the same color. Sparkle 2 is a relaxing and clever game that doesn’t ask much of you, and you get a lot out of it.

 

Neon Chrome
– Purchase Price: $14.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Oct 12, 2017

Falling into the genre that 10tons Ltd is known for: shooting from a top-down perspective. In Neon Chrome, you play this hybrid twin-stick shooter and RPG. To start, you enter a cyberpunk VR simulator, and choose your “asset” or character which is one of three distinct playable characters. Once you enter, you’ll loot and shoot your way through levels until you reach the overseer. This is done by simple shooting, or by blowing holes in walls to reach your destination. Along the way will be mini-bosses and very challenging rooms. Should you die (because you will at some point), the game will tell you how many seconds you were alive from the timer, and any progress through the ladder you’re climbing towards the overseer will be lost and a new asset will have to be chosen. Know that any upgrades and currency earned will remain in a shared bank account that can be used to improve your characters across the board. In this, it is like a roguelike. You’re encouraged to retry and play as different kinds of characters as levels will have terminals and access points for specific character types, like hackers. Neon Chrome has a steady progression arc, and dying and starting over feels exciting each and every time.

 

JYDGE
– Purchase Price: $14.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Oct 19, 2017

Not unlike Judge Dredd, you are the law. Not unlike Neon Chrome, there’s a timer counting up and a cyberpunk punk feel. But make no mistake, your lust for wanton destruction must be dialed back. Your “gavel” is also a gun, and you use it to imbue justice at every corner. Not only must you shoot and destroy your way through levels, but saving citizens are a must. You have standard halt/proceed commands to keep them out of harm or to escort them towards your police car. Upgrades let you place nodes onto your JYDGE to either help you (like adding extra armor) or help citizens (by giving them more health) passively. Both annoyingly and hilariously, every “u” in the game is replaced with a “y”. Each mission is selected from a map, and has unique objectives to complete, doing so earns the most rewards. JYDGE is a really focused shooter with lots of replayability and challenge.

 


Time Recoil
– Purchase Price: $13.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Oct 26, 2017

This game gets a lot of flak, but one of my favorites that 10tons Ltd has made. Time Recoil has you bouncing between two different years: 1981 and 1987. In either, you are in possession of a time device that with each kill, slows down time. And killing in semi-quick succession keeps the slow-mo effect going. Doing so gives you the utmost advantage. It seems like this makes you extremely powerful, but the caveat is that you are extremely fragile. A single bullet to any part of your body is game over, and you must try again. You also have limited ammo, and getting precise kills earns you a powerful dash move to knock down thin walls. Comparisons to SUPERHOT will be made, but this isn’t quite that. Time Recoil is shrouded in espionage, assassinations, and top-down ballet in slow motion.

 


King Oddball
– Purchase Price: $4.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Oct 30, 2017

This couldn’t be a more apt title. You play as King (noted by the crown you wear) who wears a cracked eggshell helmet who uses his tongue to pick up boulders and fling them at tanks. You only get three boulders to throw, and if you don’t kill all the tanks on a level, you must retry until you do. There’s a bit of Angry Birds in here, but the way in which the swinging and physics work, feels like a much different thing. There’s no star system here, so if you had one bad toss but you fix it with really good two throws, then you’re good to proceed. The barrier of entry here is low enough that you’ll be challenged but not restricted by an arbitrary scoring system. King Oddball might not be everyone’s first pick when looking at games to buy, but it’s low price and silly direction are more than worth it.

 


Spellspire
– Purchase Price: $9.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Nov 9, 2017

A spelling game? Yes, a spelling game – and a good one at that. Spell words from a series of letters, and use them to cast spells against enemies until you clear a floor. Clearing floor earns you currency. You’ll be upgrading your weapons so they are more effective in combat which reduces the need to have to spell large words to do the most damage. But there’s power-ups that will spell the biggest word available for massive damage. The game is mostly relaxed enough to let you take the time to come up with a word to spell. Though tougher enemies will engage a timer so quicker thinking is always expected. This game can be played entirely with the touch screen so you don’t have to press any buttons. How C-O-O-L is that?

 


Xenoraid: The First Space War
– Purchase Price: $9.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Nov 17, 2017

Earth has gotten so technically advanced we have taken to space, engaged with alien species, and made enemies with them. So now we must defend all we have from the alien threat. While this resembles top-down shooters like 1942 or bullet hell shooters like Raiden, it’s more nuanced than that. This is a game where you are flying in a squadron of four planes, but only control one at a time. And like a fighting game, can tag out for a different plane which will likely be outfitted with a different set of weapons that can better handle the situation. The one thing that took a while to get used to was the momentum. In most shooters of this kind, you just strafe side to side. Here, you angle your spaceplane and then start moving left or right, which creates some not-straight shots. This is mostly fine, but you end up doing this wiggle motion to cover the difference in shots. You have time between missions to do this in the hangar, and it’s worth it to setup your planes differently and swap out regularly. If you lose a plane, it’s not mission over, but it’s more cost effective to keep it alive. Xenoraid has depth and complexity in what would otherwise be a straightforward game.

 


Crimsonland
– Purchase Price: $13.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Nov 24, 2017

Where it all started. This is 10tons Ltd first game, and it’s glorious. This is the remastered version, and not the 2003 original. But it’s a really great version. Whether following the Quest mode or Survival mode, you’ll be equipped with a basic pistol and work your way to upgraded weapons and earning experience which let you reach new levels and equip new perks. These perks let you fire faster, dodge faster, or not be slowed down if attacked. You’ll earn temporary power-ups such as fire bullets or faster movement to assist you through levels. At the beginning of each new stage, you start over and have to work your way up. And doing so is not always easy as the game ranges from enemies such as spiders, zombies, lizardmen, and more. Doing this alone is one thing, but being able to bring in a friend for co-op makes this such a pleasurable experience. Crimsonland absolutely nails the top-down shooter and brings in roguelike RPG elements in such a clever way. This is a game you’ll be going back to again and again.

 


Tennis in the Face
– Purchase Price: $4.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Dec 8, 2017

Another puzzle game in which you’re a tennis pro up against anyone who don’t like you. First up are the balloon-holding clowns, and it escalates to SWAT and so on. How this differs from King Oddball, efficiency is required here to have extra balls left over and earn crowns for high-level gameplay. Tennis in the Face‘s simple but angle-focus has you chasing high scores to be the best. This is another aspect of it being an Angry Birds-like by making the best use of balls and minimal amount of shots that will have you retrying levels to perfect them.

 


Sparkle Unleashed
– Purchase Price: $7.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Dec 25, 2017

There’s not much to say about Sparkle Unleashed that wasn’t already said about Sparkle 2. The major difference here is that the orb launcher glides across the bottom of the screen as opposed to the centrally located and rotating orb launcher of the prior games. There’s new gameplay hooks and more of the orb ordering in threes you’ve enjoyed before. This is a better game, hands-down but both are worth playing, and their modest pricing is easy to get into.

 


Azkend 2: The World Beneath
– Purchase Price: $7.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Jan 12, 2018

“So where’s Azkend—” Don’t start. Azkend 2: The World Beneath is a fascinating matching game where there’s a whole adventure and story to experience. Gameplay is consists of matching three or more of the same pieces, or linking them via special pieces. There’s also hidden object puzzling involved between stages that really help break up the gameplay. You may not have heard of the game or series before, but you’ll be pleasantly what’s offered here.

 


Baseball Riot
– Purchase Price: $4.99
– Date Released onto the eShop: Jan 19, 2018

This is pretty much Tennis in the Face, but with a baseball theme. The need to three-star levels is back. And to see everything the game has to offer is satisfying as it ups the ante with exploding crates, breaking glass, and. Being able to create that perfect run where you use the minimal amount of balls to complete the level is always satisfying. The low price of this makes it very enticing. You don’t get to be John McEnroe in this game, but you get to knock out old cranky dudes – so it’s got that going for it.

 

After playing every single one of them has taught me there’s tremendous value and variety in each title. The Nintendo Switch is just the perfect platform for each of them, and the touch controls implemented on certain titles are intuitive and a great alternative. Having the entire 10tons Ltd library to the Switch is impressive, and absolutely worth it.

10tons Ltd provided Nintendo Switch eShop codes for each of their games