I have always been a huge fan of platformer games, especially challenging precision platforms; there’s nothing like the sense of achievement you get after you successfully complete a tricky level. When I was introduced to the indie title TEN - Ten Rooms, Ten Seconds with its pixel graphics, black and white colouring, and awesome music, I figured this would be a game I would try my best to tackle.
The premise is simple: in each room you have to survive for 10 seconds, and each floor has 10 rooms including a boss fight in the last one. When you start TEN you have three difficulties to choose from; even on the easiest setting TEN was challenging and had me cursing under my breath — not because the game was unfair, I just got sloppy. Staying alive for 10 seconds sounds easy but when lasers cut through the level and other enemies are shooting at you at the same time, it gets intense. At least your character starts off with four hearts so you can take a bit of damage before you have to try again.
TEN consists of 10 floors, each with a unique theme, and some sound quite evil! The saw-themed level is particularly bad, as not only do saw blades come at you from the front but they also bounce towards you — and not just one blade, but multiple ones. Or they follow an invincible track that goes around the perimeter of the level, trying to pin you in a corner. My favourite floor is filled with water, so you get to pilot a submarine shooting torpedoes at enemies in order to survive the hazards that are waiting to take you out.
Once you beat the boss, you jump onto the elevator and go up to the next floor. Each floor has a rest area where you can recover your health and spend any coins that you managed to collect on power-ups for your character. There are four different rows of upgrades, and the items need to be purchased in order, so buying the first item will unlock the second one in that same row and so on. Some of these will help you out a lot on your journey — having extra hearts is always handy, the double jump is great, and adrenaline to make you move faster is a bonus. The item that sounds the coolest is the action hero, having the bullets move slowly so you can look cool when you dodge them sounds pretty awesome! On your journey you meet characters who are also challenging the floors, but the weird thing is they look exactly the same as you. No one seems totally sure as to why they are there, but you learn more of the story if you read the logs on each of the floors.
Considering how simplistic TEN looks, the pixel graphics look great. Each level has a different layout, and a variety of hazards to get in your way or outright kill you. The last floor of the game has a really cool-looking boss and crazy forced scrolling horizontal and vertical sections that will keep you on your toes and challenge you — thankfully the game replenishes your health after you complete each section! The music in TEN is great, it’s high energy and really fits with the chaos of the levels. I never got tired of it, even when I had to challenge the levels multiple times. I was always excited to try the next level to see what super-catchy music would play and what hazards were waiting for me!
If you love games that challenge you and require precision platforming, TEN is a title that you should check out. Chances are it won’t take you too many hours to complete TEN but that will be completely dependent on your skill level, how persistent you are, and the difficulty that you select. I played on easy and it took me almost three hours to reach the ending. I’m curious to go back and try increasing the difficulty to see how much harder it gets!
TEN - Ten Rooms, Ten Seconds (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
TEN - Ten Rooms, Ten Seconds is a precision platforming title that is very challenging! Surviving for 10 seconds in a room may sound easy, but man it feels like forever when bullets and saw blades are flying at you!