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TowerFall: Ascension (PS4) Review

/ Mar 28th, 2014 No Comments

TowerFall: Ascension

TowerFall: Ascension originally was an Ouya exclusive, but has finally made its way to PS4 and PC. TowerFall is a local multiplayer game for PlayStation 4. Matt Makes Games developed the title. Matt Thorson directed, designed and coded the main game, MiniBoss provided art and Infinite Ammo (Alec Holowka) and Power-Up Audio contributed music and sound to the game.

The game is comprised of several modes–the main Versus mode for up to four people, a single-player Trials mode and the co-op Quest mode. TowerFall: Ascension features clever gameplay with a steep learning curve, great art and superb music. The game makes for some fast-paced, crazy multiplayer mayhem.


The object of TowerFall’s gameplay is relatively simple; anything that is not you needs to be shot down with a flurry of arrows. That directive may be simple but execution of the directive requires patience, a keen eye, sharp reflexes and training.

TowerFall: Ascension

The best training ground for competitive matches against friends is the game’s Quest mode.

TowerFall boils down to a player starting out with a set number of arrows to shoot off at enemies or other players. If a player hits an enemy or another player with an arrow, they die and the shooter gets a point. Arrows can be shot in any direction. The easiest shots to use are straight-on shots using the cardinal directions but more advanced players can shoot curved shots using diagonals to their advantage. It is important to be patient with arrows, as they become up for grabs after being shot and quick opponents will steal arrows.

Luckily, arrows are not the only way to kill things. Players or enemies can also be killed by jumping on top of their heads. This works best in Quest mode because a smart opponent can let loose an arrow before you jump on them or dodge out of the way. Players can also use a quick dodge to move out of harm’s way. If a dodge is timed right when being shot with an arrow, players gain a special arrow.

To spice up matches, different items from extra arrows, wings, shield and special arrows can show up in treasure chests. Things get real crazy when everyone is shooting off bomb arrows at each other or using drill arrows to get really weird with a map’s borders.

TowerFall: Ascension

Quest mode in TowerFall: Ascension helps players acquaint themselves with the game’s learning curve.

Versus Mode is clearly the main attraction in TowerFall: Ascension, offering the most varied and focused form of gameplay. Quest and Trials modes allow players to learn the nuances and intricacies of gameplay while giving them compelling challenges to undertake.

Quest Mode essentially boils down to one or two players tackling different maps with increasing difficulties and a set number of lives. Each map has a number of enemy waves that players must defeat in order to unlock more maps and progress through the mode. It is a great way to practice with the game’s various items and see the different maps the game offers as well as being satisfying to beat on its own.

Trials Mode offers three different challenges per map. Challenges get increasingly difficult as players need to clear a number of targets in a specific time frame. This trains speed and accuracy while learning to use the dodge and jump effectively. TowerFall offers plenty of interesting and satisfying ways to master its archery-based combat.

Graphics and Sound

Visually and sonically, TowerFall is a spectacular achievement. Beautiful pixel artwork from MiniBoss is incredible. MiniBoss’ art brings to life a world where different warriors fight off wondrous and dangerous creatures. Character and enemy animations are great. Specific enemy animation types help players learn the best means to dispatch them in Quest mode.

Level design in TowerFall makes for exciting multiplayer matches. Different maps allow players to employ a layer of strategy based on the specific placement and different types of environmental assists in the game. Also like Samurai Gunn, TowerFall makes fantastic use of infinite scrolling to allow for some fundamentally messed up kills.

TowerFall: Ascension

Make matches lively with some bomb arrows.

Alec Holowka’s score is a perfect match for TowerFall’s frenzied gameplay. It feels like medieval techno in the best way possible. It is a hard hitting score that reminds players of the stakes when in a match. Holowka’s score features a good amount of variety to add nuance to the game’s soundscape. While it is rare that a soundtrack is good enough to warrant a separate purchase, after playing TowerFall: Ascension, you will probably purchase a copy of the score.


TowerFall: Ascension is an amazing game that offers exciting multiplayer action and co-op missions. Gameplay is extremely satisfying to learn and master. MiniBoss’ art and Alec Holowka’s score are the perfect complement for the game.

It is fantastic that TowerFall: Ascension is now available on platforms people actually own instead of languishing on the Ouya. In a game landscape where online multiplayer is the norm, it is thrilling to see a local multiplayer game that is so good it demands you gather three other buddies to enjoy to some archery havoc. TowerFall: Ascension is a must-buy game for PS4 owners.


Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
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Gaming Illustrated RATING



TowerFall: Ascension's gameplay requires players' concentration, reflexes and skills in order for them to be successful. It rewards a close eye and a steady hand with an opponent's death. The gameplay is fast and frenetic with a huge potential for insanity thanks to a sadistic set of special weapons. With a variety of modes, TowerFall offers plenty opportunities for players to hone their archery skills.


Graphically, TowerFall: Ascension features gorgeous sprite based art with beautiful animations. The various levels and lands that comprise TowerFall are varied and interesting with excellent level design.


Infinite Ammo's music is spectacular. It provides the perfect soundtrack to TowerFall's specific brand of quick and insane gameplay.

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