TEN – Ten Room, Ten Seconds (Xbox One) Review with stream

A precision platformer built around survival, TEN – Ten Rooms, Ten Seconds is a fun and interesting take on the Meat Boy-ish brutal level design gameplay philosophy. Instead of simply making it through a bunch of insta-kill obstacles, the player instead must survive within each of the ten single-screen stages for ten seconds before moving onto the next.

This is easier said than done as everything is out to harm you. Thankfully, you can take a couple hits before having to start it all over again. The black and white visual aesthetic not only looks pretty cool, it merges directly with the gameplay. Anything red can harm you. Anything orange can harm you in time, like spikes that pop out of the ground, but acts as a warning. The stark contrast between the background and foreground assets make it easy to distinguish the optional coins to collect too. 

TEN is a tough game and it isn’t afraid of tearing you down. In the stream embedded in this article, I managed to make it to the final room a few times only to lose in horrible defeat and start all over. One time I actually died with one second left on the clock and almost threw my controller through the screen. If you want a game that can take your anger from 0 to 60 in one second, this is it. It is frustrating to have to start all over but the stinger comes from your own skill. You know your death is your own doing, because you made a dumb mistake, and you know you can do better. So try again you will. You’ll probably die a few more times but you’ll want to keep going. Since each section is only 10 seconds, you really only get set back about a minute upon failure so it is never overly devastating. 

Accompanying the contrasting visual theme is the heavy metal based soundtrack. It is loud. It is fast. And it also bleeds directly into the gameplay and your anger. The play control is also fast and a little floaty. You can jump several times higher than the height of the playable character and he moves with speed. The responsive control is what makes this game what it is. If there was even the slightest delay in response time, this game would be an unfair mess.  Instead, it is a test of tenacity against yourself.

Meat Boy sort of revolutionized the brutally difficult platforming genre and many clones have been released over the years but TEN has just enough in the tank to call it its own. This stupid I-hate-you-so-much-I-am-going-to-rage-quit-and-punch-you-in-the-face-gosh-you’re-so-dumb-piece-of-sh**-game-arrgghhh-I-freakin’-hate-this-piss-game isn’t so much of a platformer as it is a swear generator. Do I hate this game? Yes. Am I going to keep playing it? Also yes.

SCORE: 7.5/10

Not As Good As: enjoying a nice relaxing spa day

Better Than: having to buy a new TV because you whipped your controller through it

Wait For It: an N++ sequel

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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