Review – 10000000 (iOS)

Lately, mobile games have been a tough sell for me. Games are a dime a dozen on the iOS App Store, where there’s not a flavor of the week, but a flavor of the day (or even minute). It’s nearly impossible to find an experience that’s not only easy to get into, but something that is fun to play for short bursts and long periods of time. After sifting through a tremendous amount of riffraff, I found 10000000, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

At its core, 10000000 is an endless runner with match 3 gameplay, two of the most prevalent genres in mobile games. The goal is to hit a score of 10000000, hence the intentionally vague name. At the top of the screen, your character runs through a dungeon, encountering enemies, doors, and treasure chests along the way. At the bottom of the screen, you have a multitude of tiles that you move to control your character’s actions. Instead of moving individual tiles, ala Bejeweled, or tracing paths of tiles, ala Dungeon Raid, 10000000 has you moving entire columns and rows to make matches. Tiles include resources, keys, weapons, and shields, with each aiding you in hitting that proverbial score. As you run, enemies attack you, chests and doors bar your progress, and each obstacle slowly pushes your character to the left side of the screen. If you reach the edge of the screen, you die.

Upgrades carry over from run to run.

All of the stuff that you accumulate from defeating enemies is independent of your score and carries over from round to round. Between runs you can visit a “hub” area, where your accumulated stuff can be used to upgrade your character. This persistence doesn’t make 10000000 a full-fledged RPG, but it’s enough to set the experience apart from the crowd. Persistence between runs makes it easy to play “one more round.” Before you know it, it’s 2 AM, you’ve hit 10,000,000, and the game is over.

I love both chiptunes and pixel art. I find both to be very endearing, as they speak well to the past of gaming culture and remind me of a simpler time. The revival of these art forms with the rise of indie games pleases me greatly, and 10000000 certainly doesn’t disappoint. Aesthetically, sonically, and experientially, this is a throwback to the days when games were all about the high score. I find the style and sound to be great, but if you aren’t a fan of either, 10000000 isn’t going to change your mind. You’ve been warned.

Although 10000000 may sound like a breath of fresh, retro-inspired air, it’s by no means a perfect game.

I have yet to find touch controls that I’m overly happy with, and while those in 10000000 suffice, there are instances where your input won’t be recognized properly and you will perform the wrong action, causing you to lose the round. In a game based on time and precise movements, even in the event of user error, this can be frustrating. Early on, 10000000 tells you that magic is strong against certain enemies, while physical attacks are stronger against others, but beyond the tutorial, it’s never mentioned again. This leads to a bunch of trial and error that will cause you to die and leave you irritated.

The gameplay is fun, but I need more variety!

Upon playing extended amounts of 10000000, you can’t help but admire how indie it really is. The development team MUST have been very small. That being said, the icon for the game is weird. The name, outside of the context of the game itself, doesn’t make any sense. The lack of polish becomes more and more apparent as you continue playing. There’s no variety in the environments. Animations always look the same. As catchy as the music is, there are only two tracks. Two! You’ll get to the point where all of these unpolished elements reveal the score grind that 10000000 really is, and you’ll be ready for the game to be over. Luckily for me, by the time the charm wore off, the game was over.

Problems aside, 10000000 is a fun game. I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for something new to play on their iPhone. It does get to be a bit of a grindfest toward the end, but it didn’t overstay its welcome. The art style is great, the music will get stuck in your head, and the gameplay is perfect for both long and short sessions. Best of all, 10000000 is only $1.99 on the iOS App Store. With over 6 hours sunk into the game in the last week, I can safely say that if you like playing games on your iPhone, this is definitely one to pick up.

-Enjoy retro aesthetics and music
-Like quick, easy-to-play experiences
-Need something more from your iPhone games

-Don’t like match 3 games
-Don’t like retro art and sound
-Are looking for something super-deep and complicated

Rating - 4/5

10000000 was purchased from the iOS App Store for $1.99 and played to completion in just under six and a half hours on an iPhone 4S.

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