Hours of Fun
In recent years there has been a surge of games delightfully titled “Masocore”. The concept being, “If I don’t cry with frustration, it ain’t hard enough.” Tower of Guns flies the latex masocore flag with pride and it deserves to.
Tower of Guns is a rogue-like first person shooter that randomly generates the path you will take through the titular tower. That in itself might be enough for most but ToG takes it one step further by choosing a story at random (We’re not sure how many stories there are but we’ve counted at least 15 by now) Each story has you playing as someone different; a nameless marine, a handsome and talented gamer, an unfortunate real estate agent, the list goes on. At the end of each section the ‘story’ reveals a little bit of what your purpose in the tower is and, in some cases, what the purpose of the tower is. The stories all have a quirky personality that will have you playing at your best to see them through to the end and are packed with sketch-show humour.
Thankfully, the story knows when it is safe to poke it’s head out as during the levels we found ourselves in a trance. It becomes necessary to react quickly as Tower of Guns earnestly tries to be like the ‘bullet hell’ games of old. Spike covered balls, cannon balls, saw blades, plasma, rockets, missiles, bullets and lasers fill each level like it was the annual ordinance gala. At the end of each section you are treated to a terrifying boss fight with huge robots with names such as “Mama Spinbot” and “Big Ol’ Spike Room”.
To stand any chance of surviving the ascent you will have to explore the various rooms for hidden coin stashes, health and power-ups. Exploring is a difficult task in itself as secret areas are often hidden behind fake walls, near deathtraps or at the top of difficult platforming sections. To top it off, you will often find that waves of flying bombs will spawn just to give you that extra motivation. Thankfully though, you don’t always need to hunt high and low as enemies drop coins, energy and health and there is the slight chance of a power-up dropping.
To alleviate the frustration of dying you are awarded with weapons and perks that can be earned by completing certain challenges; destroying a certain number of enemies, taking alot of damage and some more difficult tasks that require you to find four secrets in one level or speedrun a level. These challenges give you many different things to focus on in each playthrough and are difficult enough to warrant several attempts. (Though if you want to speedrun, you may want to turn the story off).
Tower of Guns’ artstyle is somewhat reminiscent of Borderlands. The cell shaded art-style is as good (In some area’s better) than Borderlands which is especially impressive seeing as it was made by a team of two – one of which worked solely on music. The cartoon style of the game makes it really fun to just look around, though you will not have much of a chance. Everything about ToG’s visuals is enjoyable; the over-the-top robot designs, the huge cannons, even the character pictures are humorous.
The only complaint we could find was the slowness of the strafing but after a while we had adapted and no longer noticed.
Tower of Guns is a shining example of a first person shooter and the rogue-like elements give it hours of replayability. With its sketch-show humour, classic FPS gameplay and awesome art style; you would be foolish to miss this and at $15 ($10 at launch) you have no excuse for not buying it.
Tower of Guns is available on Steam