10000000 Review: What’s In a Name?
Another iOS port to PC. I’ve had such good luck with iOS games that why shouldn’t I pick up another iOS game ported to PC. After all, it’s not like Death Rally was an over-priced, under-performing game or Super Hexagon made me physically ill. Oh wait…
That brings me to the latest iOS port to make it Steam and subsequently make a dent in my wallet. 10000000 (that’s “ten million” because developer EightyEightGames doesn’t believe in commas… or spaces) is a puzzle-RPG hybrid that sees you fight your way through a dungeon with the ultimate goal of scoring 10,000,000 points in a run. When you find that tidbit of information, the game’s title makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it?
The puzzle element of the game comes through the 8×8 grid that takes up most of the screen. There are six types of tiles on the grid (excluding the wild card tile) and you must match tiles in groups of at least three to progress. Matching sword or magic staff tiles attacks enemies. Matching key tiles opens locks on chests and doors. Matching the shield tiles gives you a defensive boost. Matching the wood, stone or backpack tiles gives you resources to upgrade your character to aid you in your quest in escaping the dungeon (that’s the RPG element of the game).
Your health in this game is effectively time based. If you get pushed off the left-side of the screen, you’ve run out of time and your dungeon run ends. You get forced left if you take too long to progress (unlocking a door/chest or defeating an enemy). Conversely, getting by the obstacles in your way gives you a time bonus. You can also gather items to get you by obstacles more quickly and items (food) to give you a time bonus.
There is a progression system in the game. There are objectives you can complete earn gold and experience. Complete enough objectives and you level up to another rank which brings a higher difficulty level. The higher difficulty also increases the score multiplier which helps you to get to 10,000,000 points faster. The resources you gather can also be used to upgrade your sword attacks, magic staff attacks, defense (through shields and armour) and passive abilities (to enhance resource gathering abilities and time bonuses).
The controls are okay. You use your mouse to slide the rows and tiles of columns in order to match three or more. (I should note that there are bonuses to matching more than three tiles in a row, chaining matches together and matching multiple sets of tiles at the same time.) Occasionally, the row you’re moving doesn’t quite do what you expect. If you twitch up when you mean to go left or right, you’ll have some trouble getting going. There is an occasional bout of snapping to a match so I’ve ended up with a match that I didn’t want.
The biggest problem with this game is the amount of luck required to succeed. Because the tile drops are randomized, you could end up with a great run where you progress to an area designated as for the next highest difficulty level or you could be out after two monsters and a treasure chest. I’ve tried strategic tile matching and matching the first group I see. My very unscientific method indicates that haphazard matching produces better results.
Another issue worth looking at is wasted tile matches. If you match tiles and trigger a chain of matches because of dropping tiles and are not standing next to a chest or enemy, that chain is wasted. I’ve had a few instances where I lose out an easy enemy kill or chest opening because a lengthy chain carried into running to the next obstacle. If it wasn’t for the random tile drops, I might have been fine. However, a chain into thin air has often seems to result in leaving you in trouble when you reach the next lock or monster in your path.
The graphics and audio aren’t going to win any awards. They’re described as 8-bit but I would classify them as closer to 16-bit (SNES/Genesis) quality graphics and music. Maybe some of the other “8-bit” games make 10000000 look better by comparison so I could be wrong. The graphics are functional. The soundtrack is good but there are maybe two or three songs. A little variety, especially in the dungeon run music, wouldn’t have hurt this game at all.
Fortunately, my experience with 10000000 was far better than my experiences with the last two iOS ports to PC that I’ve played. I actually found myself quite addicted to this game. My first playthrough lasted for two hours despite the fact that I never intended to sit down to play it for that long.
That being said, it’s not as technically crisp as Super Hexagon, even if I had much more fun playing 10000000 than Super Hexagon.
My continuing question with iOS ports is the price increase when moving from iOS to PC. I know there are added development costs with the switch but can’t they still recover those costs at the original price? In the case of 10000000, it’s an increase from $2 to $5 with an updated user interface and mouse compatibility as the only additions as part of the port. Still, it’s not as bad as Death Rally going from $1 to $10. I’d just like to know why there’s such a price jump for iOS ports.
10000000 was reviewed for PC but is also available for iOS. An Android version is in development. Your impressions may differ depending on the platform you played on and how the luck of the drop benefited you.