Anyone can pick up and play TowerFall and be successful at the game, leveling the playing field and effectively removing the barrier of entry that prevents many players from delving into more complicated and intimidating multiplayer titles.
This stems from how accessible Vancouver’s Matt Thorson, as well as the rest of his development team, have made TowerFall. Gameplay boils down to shooting arrows at one another, dodging and racking up as many kills as possible (of course this all depends on what gametype you’re playing).
But in general, everyone from the most experienced players, to those who rarely play video games, will find something to like about TowerFall, whether it’s the game’s retro-inspired pixelart-infused visuals, or its simple yet creative enemies.
This is something multiplayer games have been missing for countless years. People claim titles like Smash Bros. and Mario Kart are accessible, and they are to a certain extent, but TowerFall takes things to another level.
Not since Super Bomberman on the Super Nintendo have I encountered a game that instantly makes sense, even to people who don’t play video games. Players don’t need to control an unwieldy camera or learn complicated move sets and controls. TowerFall instantly makes sense to most people and only requires a few simple button presses to play.
Small touches also help ensure TowerFall, whether you’re playing on PC or PS4 (where the game is called TowerFall: Ascension), is a balanced experience. Rather than pit players against one another in a large battlefield, multiplayer arenas are confined to a 4:3 ratio, leaving a letterbox on each side of the screen, which forces players to always push forward and engage in combat.
“Hanging back and shooting arrows from afar is rarely a strategy that’s effective in TowerFall, especially if you’re playing against experienced players who are able to grab your arrows and fire them right back at you.
Then there’s also the wide variety of arrow types thrown into the mix to help shake up gameplay (even more are added in the game’s new expansion TowerFall: Dark World). Still, even with these additional variables, Thorson has found a way to make sure things don’t get too complicated and overwhelming the average player in the process.
If you’re looking for a quick and relatively simple, pick-up-and-play multiplayer game, TowerFall is your best bet. The game’s accessibility, retro-inspired visuals and addictive nature are unparallelled by almost any modern game.
TowerFall and the game’s expansion TowerFall Dark World are available on the PlayStation 4 and PC.