The Adventures of Ten and Till originally released in Japan in 2016, Lionwing Publishing have now brought the title out on the Steam platform outside of Japan and we are going to take a look and see if it’s worth the visit or just another drop in the Shmup Ocean.
The Adventures of Ten and Till is a Doujin shooter developed solely by Toro Nishinon with the aim of recreating CAVE style bullet hell titles in a “Lo-res” style.
Despite the game being done in a “Lo-res” style, to say that it’s absolutely gorgeous would be a criminal understatement. The characters ooze a 16bit sprite charm and the stages MY GOD do they look fantastic.
Visually Ten and Till really jumped out at me from the get go, it looks like someone provided the SNES with “blast processing” and covered it with the most charming art direction. From the enemies to the scenery this game is a whole load of beautifully crafted work that manages to grab you and demand your attention.
On the audio side of things The Adventure of Ten and Till goes with the more “fantasy” sounding audio than the techno booming sounds usually associated within the genre. It’s beautifully crafted and does go a long way to help differentiate this game from its peers.
The Adventures of Ten and Till is a vertical bullet hell “shmup”, basically thousands of bullets to dodge on screen, you shoot back and kill thousands of enemies and your hit box is a lot smaller than you initially assume. In this case despite having full sprites for Ten and Till you have a small pixel in the middle which allows for fun “grazing” bullets while dodging and destroying.
Naturally as is genre standard you have your bomb should things get particularly hairy. You switch between Ten and Till with just a button press and doing this changes your firing pattern. Another way you can adjust the firing is with the Long and Short shot, with a button press you change the length of your shot and in the shorter mode deals alot more damage.
During enemy attacks the sprite will flash, if you destroy them during this phase you’ll earn bonus points. You can also earn barrier which not only protects you from death but helps build score too, either way you’re earning points and having a good time!.
10 stages with a run time of just over an hour is standard fare for the genre; the time flies by and you’ll be replaying it to beat your best score quicker than you may think.
I LOVE The Adventures of Ten and Till, I’ve always been a fan of the genre and the more I cover them the more in love I fall with the genre. I genuinely hold Ten and Till in the upper echelon of my list along side the better CAVE shooters. Despite looking deceptively budget, this game has the heart and soul of the best of the genre and would be a crying shame should anyone miss out on this Adventure!
While a little light on content, what Ten & Till has is flawless, it looks as good as it sounds and it plays better than that!. ESSENTIAL in every sense!
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