Tower Fortress Review
Packing retro aesthetics and the challenge to match, Keybol and Nitrome’s Tower Fortress tasks players with climbing a mysterious tower. Should you make the climb, or does this path lead to nowhere?
Tower Fortress Review
At its core, Tower Fortress is a simple game. Players take control of a nameless hero, one that shoots first and asks questions later. Everyone is an enemy, and the ultimate goal is to get to the top of each tower in one piece. It’s platforming boiled down to its most basic elements, and while it may not be a game-changer, the controls here work as they should.
To make his way to the top, our hero has got a walljump, a pea shooter, and a double jump that can cause damage to enemies. Said pea shooter cannot fire upward, but upgraded weaponry like lasers and bubble guns can be found. Though these have limited ammo, they are welcome pick-ups.
There is an air of randomness to each climb to the top. All players will go through the same four level types, which range from automated scrolling sections to darkened chambers. However, the layout for each playthrough is randomized. This can be a double-edged sword – though it makes each playthrough unique, it also means that there are no distinct layouts for each level. As a result, subsequent playthroughs tend to run together a little bit. The core game can be finished in around 30 minutes, so replayability largely depends on how fast you want to make it through the game.
To keep players going, gems can be gained from downed enemies. These can be used to buy different suits before each playthrough. Said suits alter the game by giving players different stats and abilities – one may offer more HP, while another may make the controls reversed. With some suits costing thousands of gems, the grind is definitely real. However, it does offer something for those who are absolutely hooked on the game.
There are also some variables in the form of what upgrades can be earned. By defeating a set number of enemies, you can get yourself a key. Make it to the end of a level, and you can then use the key to gain one of three upgrades. These can vary from piercing rounds to revivals after death, adding to some variety. The core game isn’t the deepest in the world, but the randomness and tweaks are welcome nonetheless.
Tower Fortress is a fairly straightforward game that can be finished quickly, but the number of variables could very well be a draw for those looking for more. Those that don’t mind running through the same types of areas multiple times may dig it, but don’t be surprised if things start to run together after a while.