Power of Ten Review: Cleared for launch

The holiday season for me was very unfortunate in terms of maintaining this website. I’ve hit some significant roadblocks during it, mainly my GPU breaking down, and with that, I was not able to produce as much content as I’d liked. This included the weekly “Upcoming Roguelites” videos. Unfortunately, the release of Power of Ten coincided with one of those weeks, and I could not cover it.

Now that I was able to, the game told me what I was missing: a game that was a combination of multiple successful games, roguelite or not, rolled into one fine pixelated package.

Deceptively Vast

The one thing I did not notice right away was how big each system was. It is so vast, it’ll take you 5-10 minutes, maybe even more, to do an entire lap around it.

Also, whenever I visit a new system, there’s at least one planet and a ton of stuff to do. There are the usual rescue missions where you save a planet from an alien invasion, and sometimes, two invasions happen at the same time on different planets! Given how big each system is, you’d also have to carefully consider which planet to help first which really amps up the risk-reward challenge of the game in a very good way.

Power of Ten Review: Cleared for launch

The Plot Thickens

Being a genre that relies on repetition, one of the missing ingredients in most roguelite games is the lack of a story, but lately, more and more games are starting to gain an edge by including them, making their games more interesting. Hades is the most glaring example of a game with amazing gameplay that was amplified by the fact that it also had an amazing story.

Power of Ten also showcases the presence of a storyline and does so at the very beginning. The game starts with you communicating with your family you left at home as you go on a mission, but as you go deeper in your voyage, your connection gets less and less reliable until all lines have been cut off. No longer able to tell your family where you are, you are now hellbent on coming back home safe.

It’s not the most gripping of stories, but I commend Pew Times Three for laying the groundwork for your character’s motivation to finish his adventure. I feel that with most of the features and tricks within the genre having been discovered, it’s the plot that could separate other games from the rest and should make players care more about their game.

Pixels in Outer Space

Most visually-pleasing space games use a more realistic approach to give the feeling that you are in space. Games like No Man’s Sky, Dead Space, and the Warhammer games come to mind. Their gorgeous graphics make you feel like you’re actually in space.

That said, I’m pleasantly surprised that despite the pixelated limitations, the galaxies on Power of Ten actually do not look bad at all! The planets are detailed and have a lot of variations in color, and they actually have shadow effects that make it look like a star lights over them. Your spaceship has visual boosters in them, and there are a lot of backdrops seen. All of the little things that, while not notable on their own, give you that feeling of vastness when combined together, and I’m really impressed by its implementation.

Power of Ten Review: Cleared for launch

Shooting Blanks

For all the great things about this game, there’s one thing that REALLY annoys me, and that’s the aiming mechanics. Now I’m far from being a good shot, but the aim in this game is just really bad. It is so bad, that I tried not moving and firing at where my mouse is, and my shot completely missed the mark! Using a twin-stick controller, which I used throughout my First Hour Playthrough of the game was just as bad, if not worse.

The thing though is that how bad your shots are depends on how close, or far, the target is. If they’re close enough, you’ll hit them, but a few inches away and it’s double vision city for you! Add the fact that your ships have limited ammo which, for the record, I’m not complaining about but is a hindrance because of the terrible aiming, and you get a frustrating experience when it comes to one of the most important aspects of the game: combat.


Power of Ten is really ambitious, and I applaud Pew Times Three for creating such a game. You could tell that a lot of effort was put into this, especially on the visual side, but it falls really short when it comes to its frustrating combat just by its mediocre aiming mechanics.

The good news is that this is a hindrance that I believe can easily be fixed by a balance update, and even before that update comes to fruition, I’d still recommend this game, especially to those who love roguelites and/or space exploration games.

Power of Ten

Ready for takeoff!

+ Very impressive pixel art
+ Vast environment
+ Lots of things to do per galaxy
+ Story is decent
– Terrible aiming mechanics

Leave a Comment