I’ll be straight with you – I’m no Ben 10 fan. I’m about 20 years late to the party and my boy, Charlie, hasn’t gotten around to spamming this show on the telly. But, it is a game for kids and I’m always down for some family-friendly fun, especially when I can split screen with my mini-me.
Ben 10: Power Trip takes Ben and his friends on vacation to Europe, and here we’re given a big open-world to play around with. As has become the norm recently, I’ve found myself getting far too invested in a game aimed at kids. Which means the game is at least decent, so stick around and I’ll tell you why I’ve been spending my evenings with Ben and his alien alter-egos.
Ben 10: Power Trip is my first taste of Ben 10 in video game form. I’m aware of the cartoon, but I’ve never really spent any time watching it, and I’ve definitely never sought it out deliberately, which is strange because this year I’ve found myself watching more upbeat children’s TV programs to help block out the misery of this awful year. For those reading in the distant future – 2020 was a poo year. Open a book and find out why for yourself.
So, going into Ben 10: Power Trip, I didn’t really have many expectations, at least not high ones. Licensed games tend to be on the poorer side, especially those aimed at kids – and make no mistake about it, Ben 10: Power Trip is a kid’s game, through and through, with the target audience being ages 6-10. My boy is four and a half, and he still managed to do well with minimal help from me, so let that be your guide on the game’s difficulty.
It’s not difficult at all, and the game does a great job of pushing you from one mission to the next. Ben 10: Power Trip opens with Ben and his friends in Europe for their holidays. Before long, Ben’s alter-egos come out to play as the evil Hex has also booked a holiday in the region. What are the chances, eh?
Strange things are going down in Strudelbek – the game’s central town – and it’s your job to uncover what’s going on who’s to blame. In all honesty, that’s about as much of the story as I can remember, and I’m sitting here fresh off playing a couple of hours. The story isn’t important, and kids won’t care; they’ll see Ben the hero, Hex the villain, loads of monsters as the fodder, and the aliens as the fun beasts that they are.
Ben 10: Power Trip is a long game, too, with loads to do. The open-world is basic – it’s no GTA V or Far Cry – but it has enough cartoony charm to make it worth having a poke around. Plus, getting around town is fun – Ben has his trusty scooter on standby, but XLR8 can bomb it down the town’s streets much faster, and he can hit the ramps to cover large distances in seconds, which is a handy skill to have, given that you’ll be going from one region to the next quite often. Though, saying that, there is a fast-travel function, but I never actually used it – instead, I raced from one point to the next, using the extra travel time to pick up any loose coins scattered around.
The game’s structure is simple and very easy to follow – the game even gives you direct instructions on where to go for each mission with an on-screen icon. Typically, you get a phone call from Gwen, she tells you something important, and a new mission is added to your mission list. You can then choose what mission to tackle next, and the game will place a helpful guiding icon on the screen for you to follow. Or, you can ignore it and explore the world at your own pace. If you should choose to go exploring, it’s worth noting that some areas are inaccessible without having the right alien friends with their unique abilities.
At the game’s start, you have no alien friends. You “unlock” the alien forms by playing through the game’s story missions, which in turn lead you to void portals. Void portals introduce the new characters in a platforming/puzzle environment that acts as a kind of tutorial for each new member of the team. It’s nicely done but I’m guessing some kids will be annoyed to not be playing as their favourite alien right away, which is understandable. As a kid, I was always annoyed when games locked characters until the latter half of the story because it meant I’d have less time with those characters. Maybe there’s a cheat code I don’t know about? I doubt it.
Ben 10: Power Trip is obviously low budget, but it’s big on charm and even though I can see through the cracks and notice the at time iffy frame rate and occasional pop-in, kids won’t know any better, and they’ll have been tricked into thinking they’re playing the best game ever made, and that’s an achievement.
There are a few downsides, mind you. On a technical level, the game works well, but once it’s in split-screen multiplayer, things do get noticeably slower – and that’s on PS4 Pro. Again, this is a thing that kids likely won’t be bothered by. Another thing that did really annoy me was the inability to place my own waypoints on the game’s map. The world is fairly big and getting around is easy, but the map isn’t very easy to read. Plus, you can only really see the map in the pause menu; the mini-map during gameplay is nigh-on useless.
There’s hours of playtime to be had with Ben 10: Power Trip. The story missions are only the start, as along the way you’ll also unlock optional side missions that serve to extend the playtime a little longer. That’s not a bad thing either, because at its core, Ben 10: Power Trip is fun. The combat is simple and repetitive, but in a kids hands, each encounter is a matter of life and death. The platforming is a little sketchy, but essentially functional. Floaty jumping is the order of the day, and if you ever played any platformers from the PS2, OG Xbox, and Gamecube era, you’ll recognise the ropes holding this one together. I saw them straight away, and, honestly, I felt a little comforted by it.
Ben 10: Power Trip PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7/10
Ben 10: Power Trip is a great game for kids, and maybe even a few juvenile adults like myself. It’s charming, cartoony fun, and fans of the show will definitely get a kick out of playing as their favourite aliens. Split-screen is a smart addition, though it does bring down the overall quality, not that kids will care all that much.
- Large open world with three distinct regions to explore
- Lots of missions, side activities and collectibles to keep kids busy for hours
- Simple gameplay that’s easy to learn quickly
- Voice acting helps lend a bit more to the overall package
- Split-screen isn’t perfect, causing the performance and quality to drop a bit
- Older kids might find it a little too easy
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.