Sunday, August 8, 2010

Flash Game Reviews #1 Tower of Heaven



Flash Game Reviews.

The game can be found here:
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/544332

STORY:
Straight from the description:
"Climbing up the stairway in search of revelation, a lone traveler defies a spiteful god residing at the top of the world. Unamused, the indignant deity lays down increasingly difficult laws designed to kill his unwelcome visitor as he ascends toward the moonlit skies. Can you make it to the very top and discover the secrets of this divine structure? May heaven grant you fortune."

GAMEPLAY:
A traditional puzzle platformer with a twist. Each stage will bring a new challenge by adding another "law". For example, one law might be that you can't touch the sides of blocks. These rules stack which is only half of the challenge. There are puzzle aspects to the game but the predominant factor is the hardcore platforming. If you aren't able to pull off precision jumps between multiple giant moving buzzsaws then this might not be the game for you. To add to the complexity, every stage is timed so you need to be moving constantly.

GRAPHICS:
Old school Game Boy fat graphics. Shades of yellowish green and black are all you get. I personally find it nostalgic because I grew up with the original Game Boy (Game Boy fat) but I understand that many of the younger generations might not understand it.

MUSIC:
Top notch, heavily addicting, midi format sounding music which fit well with the graphics.

LASTING APPEAL:
A speed run mode, level creator, three hidden secrets, and the ability to load custom levels (although no one had made any the last time I checked) means there's a decent amount of extras but nothing overly exciting.

OVERALL:
Everyone can try this but only hardcore gamers are going to appreciate it. Casual gamers will get heavily frustrated and ragequit. With only 11 stages, it's rather short though I will admit that it's probably for the best due to the level of difficulty. The interaction of the "god" was rather interesting but I would have preferred more. I've seen this approach many times and this particular one lacks depth or a unique touch.

___________________________
Legend:
+ = plus
- = minus
+/- = too subjective to grade (you'll have to add or subtract based on your own criteria)
___________________________

+/- High level of difficulty and old school appeal means this won't please everyone
+/- There are many extra modes but none of them were very exciting.
+ The music actually adds heavily to improve the experience.
+ The platforming is very polished.
- The story had a lot of potential that I felt wasn't used properly.

Overall score: 8 out of 10

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