Procedurally generated arenas are faced by gamers in this roguelike first person shooter describing itself as having “bullet hell” attributes, which means so many bullets on-screen you barely know which to dodge and which you’ve fired yourself. The game features a loadout system allowing you to choose a gun and a perk before running into battle rather than starting off with nothing. Coins are collected as well as experience the latter of which is used to upgrade weapons during a given instance. Weapons are increased in a variety of ways including spread and damage value. Coins though must be spent in a more discerning way as there are various power-up purchases available throughout each level. These can effect a character’s speed and other attributes.
Visually the game resembles the cell shaded looks of the Borderlands franchise. Some more unique animations and enemy design are added to give the game an almost steam-punk feel with some enemies and animations looking like a dark version of Super Mario Bros in an odd sort of way. The level design itself is something more like what you’d expect to find in old school shooter games like Quake III Arena or Unreal Tournament. Each room also has secrets that can be accessed further providing what the player needs to get through a game.
The speed of enemy bullets and movement can also be manipulated through various means. Some weapons have a serious amount of recoil and even knock players back a bit while shooting them. Inventive bosses that must be destroyed in a particular way while the havoc they are causing is avoided. There is a story of sorts to the game told through text on-screen at certain moments with possible Gears of War reference? General Marcus Funk. Coincidence? You be the judge. The plot of the story changes each playthrough as playable characters are shifted to produce a very dynamic feeling dialogue between the player and the tower itself.
Dynamic ambient music system and variety of weaponry are some of the areas where the game shines. A great deal of care and thought have been put into how the weaponry interacts with each level. It’s also great to see some of the enemy designs and level layouts that have been designed here. The game feels like it has its own atmosphere, personality, and its own world. It’s a shame that more roguelike elements are not implemented though and seems to hang on that concept since the rooms are random and there’s permadeath. Other than that, it doesn’t feel very roguelike to me. It’s still a fun game to play though and worthy of your time.
Tower of Guns accomplishes its vision of being a fun to pick up and play, surprisingly deep roguelike shooter. Although it was never intended to be a longer, story-rich game therein lies the room for improvement should a sequel ever be constructed. Roguelikes typically fill their game with lore and encourage the player to discover a greater purpose to their play. Admittedly the shooter genre and its fanbase might not lend itself to these factors in this day and age, but it would have made the game better if a substantial story was easier to connect to for the player. Overall, the game is offered at a reasonable price for all that it offers and is impressively self-made by Terrible Posture Games receiving a 7.5 out of 10 making it one of RGN’s Bronze Games of 2015.
Overall Score: 7.5 / 10
RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Developer / Publisher: Terrible Posture Games
Available On: XO | PS4 | PS3 | Windows PC | Linux
Played On: Microsoft Xbox ONE
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this Review.