There can never be enough retro styled games if you ask me. There’s a bit of charm and flair to them and their classical counter-parts that has seemingly eroded from big production games since about the time everything went 3D. Good thing developers like Pixwerk continue bringing us titles like Tower 57 to satisfy that craving. The zany stories and sometimes off the wall characters were there to say “hey look at me, I’m fun!”. Aren’t games supposed to be fun after all? You know what they say, that first impressions are everything, so let’s take a quick peek at Tower 57 and see how it is shaping up.
Tower 57 is a top down twin stick shooter set in a dystopian diesel punk world. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but the gist is really this, play as some interesting characters with interesting weapons and try and blast the hell out of everything that moves. That doesn’t sound some complicated now does it? It features some 16-bit inspired art and game play meant to be a more modern take on what made AMIGA games so fun back in the day. I’ll have to take their word on that, as it comes up between us here more than one might expect, that the AMIGA here in the US wasn’t even remotely as big a thing as it was in the UK. It’s importance as a source of retro styled games however is far more reaching now.
I’ve spent a few hours with the game so far but haven’t been able to gain much traction with it. Top down shooters like this are a genre of game that I’ve spent countless hours on, but occasionally I do come across one that just doesn’t seem to click with me or the way I play. Although as of tonight it seems things are finally coming together for me, so I can get more in depth here soon with the full review. But the basics are what you would expect from a top down shooter with plenty of dungeon crawling like exploration. It is slowly growing on me the more powerful my characters become.
The cast of characters is a wacky mix of video game stereotypes, including Abe Lincoln with a flame thrower, although he doesn’t shoot laser beams out of his eyes with a monocle wearing bear riding on his back. Players get to pick a team of 3 characters to try and infiltrate the tower. When one dies another takes their place. But what if instead of dying they merely had their legs or arms ripped off? What an odd question to ask you sick weirdo! Oh, wait, that’s a thing that happens in the game though. Lose a limb? No problem buy and upgrade them with robotic ones. Yes, you will be pulling your legless body around the floor at some point, which is a lot more fun than it sounds. Bet you weren’t expecting that.
Those are certainly the things that will pop out at you the most to start. That and the absolutely delicious art in the game. I may be more of an 8-bit guy, but it never ceases to amaze me how good artists can make 16-bit or 16-bit inspired art. For now however it’s back to Tower 57 for me to try and figure out exactly what the heck is going on here. It’s not just me either, my characters don’t seem to know much either. Some help they are pffft. Whatever you do in meantime, stay tuned for the full review coming soon™.