The Deadly Tower of Monsters Review: A Loving Homage
Greg Johnson / Jan 20th, 2016 No Comments
Some games are meant to be taken seriously and create situations that cause players to think, The Deadly Tower of Monsters is not one of them. A mix of beat ’em up style gameplay and platforming, The Deadly Tower of Monsters is a send-up to all of the sci-fi films from the last several decades. Players find themselves in control of three separate characters, each with unique abilities, as they attempt to ascend a (you guessed it) deadly tower of monsters and overthrow an alien world’s malicious overlord.
The Strange Story of Our Daring Trio
Two stories unfold in The Deadly Tower of Monsters, one is the plot of the game itself and the other is related to the constant stream of commentary provided over the gameplay. A space traveler crash lands on a strange alien planet, his robot is severely damaged in the crash and must be put back together. Meanwhile, the daughter of the world’s evil ruler seeks to overthrow her father and restore order, but it’s all just a movie.
From the get-go the director of The Deadly Tower of Monsters provides commentary as players work their way through the game. The premise being that this is his recording session for the DVD release of his all-but-forgotten film. The film’s plot is incredibly generic, which gives the director a straight-man vibe in the comedic sense, as his commentary praises the films integrity. One bit of gameplay has characters jumping over flaming logs prompting the director to comment on how it was his brilliant idea to light them ablaze. All of this was in order to promote safety by making a hazard that the crew would be more cautious around, since crew members were nearly injured prior by the non-flaming logs. The director’s commentary is what really sells this game and makes it enjoyable to play through.
As noted previously, gameplay is a strange blend of beat ’em up and platforming. The fighting portions are quick and sometimes unfair. Players that don’t quickly mow down mobs will be thoroughly thrashed by the sheer numbers. Harder enemies typically have weak points or openings in their attack pattern. There’s not a lot new offered in The Deadly Tower of Monsters on this front, nor on the platforming side either.
The one unique aspect is in the free fall dynamic, which allows players to reach hard to get to areas by falling to them once the tower has been ascended. A teleporter is also utilized so players can jump out, grab something from the air (or merely explore down the tower), then promptly teleport back to the jump-off point. This serves its greatest use when a misstep is made, causing players to fall after miscalculating a jump or being knocked off by an enemy. Many missteps will be made by the player, some of which will be their own fault while others are due to the game’s slightly stiff controls.
Upgrades and new weapons are also acquired, changing the dynamics of combat, offering choice in how to tackle enemies, and ultimately opening up new areas to explore within and around the tower itself. The stun baton is the game’s starter melee weapon. It has a good balance of speed and strength, but weapons such as the mace offer pure power while sacrificing speed.
One Big Climb
Save points along the tower allow players to travel seamlessly back and forth between previously explored areas and the current position up the tower. Being able to easily backtrack makes exploration enjoyable and rewarding as time will not be wasted in conquering previously unreachable areas. Graphically, The Deadly Tower of Monsters is nothing to sneeze at, as the pseudo stop motion of many of the game’s enemies fits in well with the B-movie atmosphere the game puts forward. Every bit of the game feels like living out an action-packed episode of the sci-fi classic Buck Rogers, with the tongue-in-cheek self-awareness of Duck Dodgers.
The Deadly Tower of Monsters greatest strength is in its previously mentioned commentary. The director himself is a great character that seems to know he’s not particularly bright, but owns it and hopes his sense of ego will ultimately win him a following. All of the writing is incredibly clever and pays homage to films all the way from Flash Gordon to Jurassic Park and everywhere in-between. While the gameplay itself isn’t anything new (save some stiffness on the controls in terms of precision platforming) it is a well-done and polished experience.
The Deadly Tower of Monsters was reviewed on PC using a code for the game provided by the publisher.
tags: action-adventure , pc , platformer , review , steam , The Deadly Tower of Monsters