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2011 In Review 15: The Tower 
 PostThu Jan 12, 2012 2:01 pm
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The tower0026.png
This is a review of The Tower.

The other half of the Fan Game Contest, Voltire's "The Tower" apparently pays homage to an obscure flash game. You play Firido, a young man dared by his friends to enter the titular tower. Quickly finding himself locked inside, the only way out is up. Your only friend is an unnamed witch who promises to sell you potions and equipment every ten floors, assuming you can find money. Fortunately, there's plenty of money to be found in the possession of your foes, in chests and just lying around.

You can also find equipment this way. Borrowing a page from Pokemon, each item has an alignment and presumably strengths and weaknesses to exploit. There are no random battles, the monsters are merely stationary NPCs who block your path until being talked to. The monsters have distinctive walkabouts, letting you know what you're about to get into. This adds a nice level of strategy and you can sometimes choose a route more advantageous to your current setup. Unfortunately, you can also run away from most, if not all, of the battles making the whole thing moot.

"The Tower" has a crisp visual style. Though simple, the maptiles are sufficient to the game's needs and the walkabouts fit with them nicely. Battles are well illustrated affairs and the game's music adds nicely to the atmosphere.

For all these nice things, there are some ugly mistakes. Some enemies are mis-tagged, causing two to disappear when only one should've. A "trap" staircase leads you to an area outside of the map without letting you know you've stepped into a trap, and making you think you're the victim of a poorly linked door. Coupled with the ability to escape any enemy and the inability to descend to previously explored levels, the game gives me the impression of a really well-polished 48 hour game rather than a month and a half fangame salute.

For all its faults, "The Tower" was still better than Weegee and deserved to win the contest. It knew its own limitations, stopping at 21 levels when the author ran out of time rather than trying to stretch that material across 100 levels of tower. It stands as a great start on a fun OHR experience, and hopefully one Voltire will return to in time.

Score: 7/10

2011 Score (per May 1st): 70/100

Part of Gomey's 2011 Year In Review
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