The platform game genre isn’t exactly new. Many would argue it was one of the first truly established genres. Indeed, most of the modern industry is born from the success of Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for new ideas. Super Meat Boy famously breathed new life into 2D platforming with aggressive, high-speed gameplay. 10 Seconds to Win! takes that last sentiment, and ups the ante considerably.

There’s no lengthy level design like Rayman Legends. There’s no necessary objectives like Hatup. In 10 Seconds to Win!, all there is is you, the gold trophy at the end of the level, and 10 seconds. It may sound simple – and at first it is – but once you get 10 levels in you’ll realise that the developers have painstakingly designed around this principle to challenge you.

10 Seconds to Win! screenshot

Your character moves at quite a pace, and the distances you will need to pass quickly become large. Then they become covered in spikes. Then they become so intricate that you might fail the first attempt simply through time spent analysing the layout. You’ll quickly learn about fall positioning to prepare yourself for the next jump. Skid distances. Dash move duration. Edge balance. All of these tricks will soon become second nature in both the advantages and limitations.

On the note of failure; there is no penalty for doing so. 10 Seconds to Win! doesn’t have health or lives. It doesn’t have checkpoints or even enemies. Should you fall of the edge, hit a spike or run out of time, you’ll simply be immediately recalled to the start of the level with a new 10 second clock immediately ticking down.

Along with the seemingly simple nature of the gameplay comes a pretty basic presentation. The usual eastasiasoft level menu returns and the game features no alternative distractions. The colourful aesthetic is well placed within a world where everything is obvious as to how it may perform, which lends itself well to the fast nature of the game. There’s nothing particularly wrong about the presentation, but by the same stroke nothing particularly stands out.

10 Seconds to Win! screenshot

10 Seconds to Win! is a great little platform game for people looking for a new challenge. It’s both interesting and challenging in equal measure. There’s plenty of fun to be had with this simple setup, and the game has clearly been very cleverly designed around it. It’s not, however, for the less patient among us. There’s no New Super Mario Bros. style helping hand and little that resembles a tutorial. It’s just you and the clock. For many, that will be enough.

Categories: Games