Review – Tesla vs Lovecraft

Even if this game turned out to be a bad one, I’d probably have played it for the weird plot and setting alone. A twin-stick shooter in which you control every nerd’s favorite early 20th century inventor, the one and only Nikola Tesla, fighting against hordes of monsters created by every nerd’s favorite 19th century horror author and blatant racist, H.P. Lovecraft himself. A nonsensical premise that could easily become yet another subpar indie in the market. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Tesla vs Lovecraft has a few issues, but this is one fun little shooter.

lovecraft5 Eat lead

Unusual themes aside, Tesla vs Lovecraft plays mostly like your conventional twin-stick shooter: move with one stick, aim with the other stick, shoot with a trigger, use a special attack with another trigger, dodge with one button. Buddy, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. With the exception of some additional in-level perks, the game features the same advantages and disadvantages any other twin-stick shooter does: on one hand, you’ve got slightly confusing aiming at first, while on the other hand, you have access to fast-paced arcade action.

The best aspect of Tesla vs Lovecraft is how the developers managed to shove in literal hundreds of enemies onscreen at once without ever hindering the game’s framerate. It’s true that the game isn’t a looker, with all enemies looking like what most polygon-based mobile title assets look like, but it’s impressive nonetheless. The game provides the same type of cathartic fun a Dynasty Warriors-esque title provides, this time around with revolvers, shotguns, tommy guns, and a giant robot armed with machine guns. Because there’s no better way to kill all of those unpronounceable Lovecraftian monsters than with a mecha piloted by the most famous Serbian of all time.

lovecraft3 They sure knew how to make Lovecraft look as unfriendly as possible!

Levels are short at first, but they get progressively longer and harder in a Fibonacci-esque style. The first levels are literally seconds long, but it won’t be long until you start facing levels featuring literal thousands of enemies to kill. The premise is simple: kill every single baddie until the meter goes to zero, then kill a few Cthulhu-shaped statues to stop them from being respawned. Once that’s over, time to go to the next level. The game features three worlds, each world featuring dozens upon dozens of levels, so even though individual courses are short, the game itself isn’t, thankfully.

Another positive aspect of this game is its soundtrack. It’s mostly comprised of electronic tunes, but with the addition of some goth and macabre sounds in order to make the game fit in with the Tesla (electronic) and Lovecraft (horror) aspects of the game. I’m not a huge dubstep fan, but I have to admit that the dubstep tunes played when you’re riding your mecha are a decent match. I’d have personally preferred blasting demons to the sound of deafening metal, but that’s just the Doom fan in me thinking out loud.

Not only does the game feature lots of levels, but it also features daily challenges, an endless horde mode, more than twenty powerups, additional perks obtained by collecting crystals, and even an online co-op mode for up to four players. Tesla vs Lovecraft is a good example of “bang for your buck”.

lovecraft4 Mowing down Lovecraftian monsters with a mecha!

Tesla vs Lovecraft isn’t innovative when it comes to its gameplay, but it sure knows how to deliver a fun arcade-like experience. Mowing down literal thousands of Lovecraftian monsters with a huge amount of weapons (and a giant robot!) to the sound of a delightful electro-macabre soundtrack is more than enough to make me want to play this game again and again.

Graphics: 6.5

Visually speaking, the game looks like an above average mobile title, but I need to give credit to the fact it maintains a very high framerate with literal hundreds of foes onscreen.

Gameplay: 7.5

Aiming is a bit confusing at first, but you’ll get used to the controls quickly, as it’s the same gameplay as every twin-stick shooter out there.

Sound: 8.5

A soundtrack comprised of electronic tunes with some macabre elements, fitting perfectly with the Tesla and the Lovecraft elements of the game.

Fun Factor: 8.5

One of the most enjoyable twin-stick shooters I’ve played in a while. The levels start off being very short and easy but the game gets a lot more challenging pretty quickly.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Reviewed on Xbox One. Also available now on: PS4, PC, Switch. A copy of Tesla vs Lovecraft was provided by the publisher.