Tower of Guns Review

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A million bullets, almost as large as a person, flying at you from all directions. The source of these dangerous flying projectiles: turrets. Scattered along the walls and buzzing around in haptic formations. This is Tower of Guns, a fast paced rogue-like that lacks a bit of polish.

But it feels great to play it. Like in SuperHot, Tower of Guns involves slow motion bullets flying towards you that you have to dodge. Unlike in SuperHot, however, time isn’t slowed down, only the bullets are. This allows the player to jump around at a normal speed, so that instead of a tactical, slow paced game about knowing where the bullets are going to be, it becomes a fast paced game about not being where the bullets are.

There are about 10 different weapons, that can be unlocked through achievements, to fit different play-styles. The same goes for perks, which the player can choose one of at the beginning of each run. These perks give the player boosts such as; not taking fall damage, or an extra jump. The player can also get extra jumps and other upgrades by purchasing them in game with coins collected in game. These upgrades last until death, which is fairly rare because of the low difficulty.

I found I stopped playing not because I died, but because things were not moving forward much, and I think most players would have the same problems here. There are a variety of enemies and upgrades, meaning more and more is added as the player moves along, with new challenges presented as the game continues. Unfortunately this does not last much past the second level, when pretty much all of the enemy types have been displayed.

Tower of Guns Gameplay

Another big problem is the lack of random generation between runs. The great thing about rogue-likes, like FTL and The Binding of Isaac, is that two experiences are never the same. Each new level and area are generated randomly, meaning the player will never die of the same thing, and never have the same path leading up to the end. This has to do with the “Player Experience” that some AAA devs have been talking about recently, involving letting the player craft the experience rather than play one crafted for them. While this may not be essential in games like Call of Duty or Super Meat boy because the player is never more than 5 minutes away from where they died, it is incredibly important in rogue-likes where players may sink anywhere from 15 minutes to 5 hours into a single run.

The bosses, a huge part of the game, repeat and can be beaten easily after the first time playing against them. They do not change and neither does how to defeat them. I have only actually played against a few bosses, as they repeat, so it is difficult to see more than the first three or four. The player may become aggravated and annoyed at this repetition, and at being forced to replay things they have already mastered, even if there are a few new weapons and abilities to unlock each play.

2 Stars

Thus is the problem with Tower of Guns. Although it is highly enjoyable, it severely lacks in replayability and difficulty, not scaling up as fast as the player learns. While the idea of dodging bullets is in practice enjoyable and in fact very exciting, the game’s poorly executed rogue-like structure results in Tower of Guns having more potential than actual enjoyability to it.

Dylan Long

Dylan Long is an indie game programmer and developer who enjoys indie games with interesting and addicting mechanics, as well as sharing these games and game development progress on Twitter and his blog.

View all contributions by Dylan Long


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