What is Ben 10?
Ben 10 is a TV tie-in game based on the popular cartoon (specifically the recent 2016 reboot), which retells the titular Ben Tennyson's origin story. The game itself sees Ben facing off against some of the best known villains from the series' history - such as Zombozo the clown, and Queen Bee - as he gradually gains his alien transformations along the way, in a game designed to be easy to pick up and play, and packed with enemy-bashing, light platforming, and cutscenes that could very easily be lifted straight from the show, complete with obligatory sibling banter between Ben and Gwen.
How do you play Ben 10?
The game itself is split into three 'episodes' of sorts, which each deal with a different boss and their minions. With your trusty alien transformations at your disposal, it's up to you to make your way through each level, defeating all the the bad guys as you go. Combat is simple and button-mashy, with each of Ben's alien transformations having their own unique arsenal of moves at their disposal - some, like the hulking Four Arms, are better at close combat punching and throwing, while others, like the smaller, nimbler Grey Matter prefer to take out enemies at a safe distance with laser beams. Optional objectives pop up from time to time to challenge you to defeat the bad guys in different ways, perhaps using Heatblast's special attack a set number of times, performing a certain amount of counters, or not taking any damage.
Outside of battle, Ben 10 is a fairly simplistic platforming adventure, where you'll sometimes need to make use of Ben's alien transformations to get past certain obstacles, much like in the LEGO games - for example, Four Arms can pull locked gates off their hinges, while Cannonbolt can launch himself off ramps to roll across a gap, and Grey Matter is perfectly petite enough to fit through little doors. Making use of your different alien abilities is often the key to progressing, as well as the key to finding all the hidden Sumo Slammer cards in each level.
How easy is Ben 10 to pick up and play?
On the whole, Ben 10 is a pretty simple, easy going adventure, designed for the young Ben 10 fan. While there's no difficulty settings to choose from, the game's been designed to be forgiving, with nothing in the way of "game overs" - when defeated in battle, you'll simply revert from your alien form back into being Ben, whose health will regenerate slowly if you can avoid the bad guys for long enough. When fully recharged, you can switch back into your alien form and resume the beat down. Should Ben himself take damage and fall in battle, you'll be respawned a short way back to try again. There's no penalty for dying, and you can retry as many times as you need to.
Levels are also fairly linear affairs, so you're unlikely to get lost as you travel from A to B. For the most part, when you need a particular alien for a particular job, a prompt will pop up telling you to switch, accompanied by a mugshot of the correct alien, to make sure you're not in any doubt. Perhaps the only exception to this are some rather long jumps, although fans of the show will know to switch to Stinkfly, as he has a longer, hovering leap that lets you glide across.
For the youngest of players, Ben 10 is a game with full voice acting, meaning there's not really a great deal of reading to do. While the initial tutorial section is delivered through text only, as are the optional objectives that crop up in battle, neither are 100% essential for enjoying the game. For the hard of hearing, the game is also fully subtitled.
- "Each alien can perform a unique combat ability by pressing O. Each time you use one, it uses up energy. But don't worry, punching enemies fills it back up again."
- "Smash objects and enemies to get Boost Points. You can spend these at Boost Stations to make your aliens more powerful!"
- "Knockout all enemies in under 33 seconds."
In terms of mature content, Ben 10 is much like the cartoon series of the same name - there's no gore, no bad language and no sexual content whatsoever. Violence is limited to slapstick battles in which Ben and his alien transformations punch, kick and zap enemy robots, clowns and mechanised bees with over the top, super-powered moves, accompanied by light effects and impact sounds. When defeated, enemies simply fall over and fade away.