TENS! is a dice, puzzle, math game? You are given one to three dice at a time, to place on a five by five board, kind of like Tetris. You are given three different sets of die at a time, they might all be a single die, they could all be three die, two die are in a line, which you can rotate, and three die are in an L shape which you can also rotate. The object of the game is to place these die in such a way that the numbers in any row or column equal up to ten. Upon equaling ten that line or column disappears, allowing you to place new tiles down. Every time you get one that equals ten you get a point, the more of them you get at once the more points you get as there are bonuses for getting multiple lines at once. The game starts off requiring you to get, I believe, forty points to win the level, and every three or so levels the amount of points you need in order to win is increased by ten. You just play until you get those points or until you’ve filled up the board with stuff that can’t equal ten, either because you filled up everything with numbers that can’t reach ten, or because you filled up too much of the board with things that are over ten that you can’t get rid of anymore.

I don’t know how many levels there are for a simple reason, the game is the same no matter how many levels you play. You always make ten, that’s the point of the game, and it always adds up the numbers on the die in the row/column. After a while, levels between versus matches add an extra thing to deal with in the level, for instance in one set of levels there were arrows on some places on the board, whichever direction the arrow faced any block placed on it would be shot that way until it hit another block or the wall of the board, another there were blocked off squares that you couldn’t place a dice. They had a lot of difficulty to those levels, but it doesn’t really change anything about the game. It’s still adding dice together to make ten, and yes I know I keep saying that, that’s cause that’s what it is. It’s fun for a while but, for me, it gets boring. If you’re someone like a woman I know, named Cole, this will be right up your alley cause she’s played to the END of candy crush, yeah there’s an end to that game. If you’re for the repetitive nature of the game you’ll love this, but I can’t do that.

To me the versus levels and ‘multiplayer’ is where the game shines. In it, you actually play an AI, you both have a board, however every tens you get sends a blocker block over to the other player, it’s just a black block that gets placed randomly on their board and they can’t place a die on it, they can knock that blocker out by making ten in either the row or column the blocker is in, if there’s multiple blockers in that same row/column it gets rid of them all. This means it’s kind of a timed race to block enough of their board that they fail and remove the blockers they throw at you before it happens to you. I absolutely love this mode, it’s fun. This brings excitement to the game because it’s a timed element where you’re trying to ruin the other player and I’m mean so I love the concept. I think these appear every three to four levels.

Throughout the game you have boards and I’m not referring to the grid board you place the die on, I mean different areas in the game. Every area in the game has around six levels and two versus levels, give or take anyways, the areas are boards and have different looking environments which are cute. Every time you finish an area you immediately get pushed to the next one. I have no idea how many areas there are so I don’t know how many levels or bosses there are, but upon beating a boss you obtain their icon. At first you only have access to boy and girl icons, then you get an owl that’s their teacher, then you get other human characters as you beat them. You also get experience every time you get a tens done, you can play a level, lose, and still get experience, and play them over for experience, granted you don’t need to do that, after you beat the first boss, you unlock an endless mode and a multiplayer mode, which is just the versus game where you choose your own character and the enemy character from the list of characters you have unlocked. Endless mode isn’t for me for the same reason most of the normal levels aren’t for me, it’s the same thing forever until you lose, but the multiplayer part is great because it’s the versus game mode. I don’t know why they call it multiplayer when you can’t actually fight another person online or local. As you level up in the game, you unlock new dice you can play with, they’re just cosmetic, so you’re not getting die that have any advantage to the game or anything.

That’s really all there is to it, so overall, I like about a third of the game. I think it’s cute, and I absolutely love the multiplayer/versus stuff, that is so fun to me. The experience stuff unlocking new sets of dice isn’t bad either cause it takes a handful of games to unlock another set of dice which isn’t too slow and you’re not getting one every level giving you a hundred different sets to have to slog through. There’s something like, I think, twenty sets of dice. The other part of the game though isn’t for me, I don’t like the mindless sit down and play games. If you like playing a level or two in a game then being done, then this stuff is more up your alley, but I like to sit down and play a game for six to ten hours straight, which isn’t normal gameplay for most people, not even reviewers, but that’s how I game, because of that, this kind of monotonous gameplay isn’t for me on a personal level.

TENS! was developed by Kwalee.

Point of Sale: Switch, Steam.


A review copy of the game was provided by the Kwalee.

darkmikasonfire does not award TENS! the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.