Review: TowerFall Ascension

Picture this scene, if you will, it’s a Saturday night, and in true geek tradition, you and your mates forgo the clubs and pubs, and instead decide to order in a pizza, sit down on the couch and marathon the latest addition to the T.V. smorgasbord (or if you are anything like myself, a classic cartoon from the late 80’s / early 90’s) when all of a sudden, your mate looks you in the eye and says “Hey man, ever played Towerfall?” (now, again if your anything like myself, you make a quick assumption from the title, that he/she is talking about a tower defense game, so you reply with a dismissive); “Nah I haven’t, sounds kinda boring.” Your friend assures you it’s not, fires up his or her PC and says “We will play around or two, till the pie gets here, then we can start the marathon.” And, before you know it, it’s 2 pizzas and several hours later, and your T.V. shows are still nothing more than bits of digital data waiting to be streamed, and you’ve had one of the best gaming experiences you’ve had in a long time!!

As I mentioned earlier, Towerfall sounds like a tower defense game, but it’s not. You take on the role of one of eight archers, and aim to survive wave after wave of various monsters, either alone or with a friend, you kill these monsters by either jumping on their heads (in true 8-bit style) or, shooting them with your arrows, the games sounds pretty simple, but when you throw in a wide variety of enemies, such as other archers, flying demons and glob monsters (to name a few) add in the crazy and beautiful level designs (most with the ability to fall from the bottom of the screen, and reenter from the top, or walk off the left side and reappear on the right, think Pacman/Mario Bros) and power ups including wings, shields, and a multitude of different arrows types (which I won’t go into detail about, it’s so much fun discovering their abilities in the midst of a match) and you have the perfect recipe for a multiplayer game, that can’t get any better, right? WRONG, all this changes up in the true multiplayer mode, where you and up to three other friends can battle it out in free-for-all or team combat, now I do have to mention here that multiplayer consist of local play only, but this brings so much more feeling to the game, I can’t count how many times I’ve high-fived a friend for pinning my body to the wall with a well placed arrow from the other side of the screen, or even start to describe the look in their eyes when I’ve used the games screen mechanics to fly from left to right and land directly on their head, stealing the victory they were so close to obtaining (this game gives Monopoly and Mario Kart and run for their money when it comes to destroying friendships, but admittedly it’s hard to stay mad at someone who just pulled off one of the luckiest or skillfully mastered (depending on which side of the bolt you’re on) kills you’ve seen in a long time, or at least since the last match) and all this can be relived with either the games, rewind option, which allows you to watch the last ten or so second of a match, or the save option, which allows you to save an entire match (and even edit it down to show a particular kill)

Matches can last anywhere from ten seconds (if you happen to be playing with some friends that really, really want you dead) to five minutes, and are full of non-stop crazy antics, this is truly a fantastic game that snuck up on me, and has given me the kind of thrill, that I think, has been missing from gaming recently, in all honesty Towerfall is one of  (if not THE) best gaming experiences I have had over the last year, and urge everyone try it, you won’t be disappointed!

  • Sean Damon

    Definitely a fantastic game and love that it brings multiplayer back to the lounge. Hopefully they bring it to XBONE (not that I have one) so others can enjoy it also.

    • Brett ‘Majin’ Walford

      The local multi is a HUGE reason I love this game so much!