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Towerfall Ascension Review

With all this new technology, be it processing powers, graphical grunt or control methods it always brings a smile to my face when the more exciting and playable games of this current generation tend to be a modern reworking of ancient classics. Resogun nods to Defender, Luftrausers has its roots in Asteroids and now we have TowerFall Ascension, borrowing ideas from single screen platformers like the original Mario Bros and Joust.

TowerFall Ascension manages to blend split second timing jumps with dead eye shooting skills in one seriously fun multiplayer game. There is a reason that the Versus mode is the first mode you come across on the title screen as it really is what TowerFall Ascension is all about, a group of up to four friends battling it out on one screen, using quick-fire skills and a lot of luck to get the better of one another. Starting the game with just three arrows, each player needs to kill the others; jumping around platforms and using the wrap around tunnel mechanics, meaning if you walk off screen you will appear on the other side to their advantage. 

Though there are only three arrows in your quiver to start with all is not lost as you are able to collect used arrows from downed enemies and walls, risking mad dashes just to get the chance at another shot. The ability to collect used arrows is pushed even further as each character is also able to perform a special dash, handy for a quick slip out of the way but it also has a very handy secondary use, stealing. Be it bumping into an enemy to steal arrows from them or even using a well-timed dash to literally grab an arrow out of the air, all these gameplay mechanics combined makes for some very fast paced and frantic action and is a joy to play with others. Sadly not being made of cash I was only able to play with two players but even then the Versus mode had that one more go feel to it, each of us trying to get the better of one another after each game. Sadly this points to the biggest flaw for TowerFall Ascension in that it only has local multiplayer options; more likely a budget constraint rather than an oversight, this would have been an amazing addition to the game.

To extend the gameplay there are a couple of single player/co-op modes to hone your skills on. With Quest you are you are tasked with clearing a series of waves of enemies at each tower, lining up lightning quick combo hits to try and utilise the use of your limited arrow supply. Even if you find your quiver empty, thankfully most baddies can also be jumped on from above, something I would not recommend in the Versus mode, however that said, even in this mode the enemies have a few tricks up their sleeves to avoid death by your hand. The challenge comes quite quickly in Quest as only a couple of towers in and there is death a-plenty, with enemies warping in at a ferocious rate, also using the wrap around tunnel mechanics to their advantage as well, they are not stupid and they will drop down tunnels and change their approach to get the better of you. With each tower hosting a few waves of enemies the odds do feel stacked against you, thankfully treasure cheats also drop, offering items like wings to fly high plus a selection of new arrows including exploding bomb shots and laser arrows that ricochet all over the screen.

Aside from the Quest mode and its selection of difficulty settings there is also a Trails mode, with each tower hosting a run the gauntlet style challenge, timing you on how quick you can dispose of the entire screen of target dummies scattered around the level.

If you are looking for a game to show off the power of your new PS4 look elsewhere, however TowerFall Ascension is yet another great title for you to shell out a few quid on whilst waiting for the next barrage of higher end titles.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS4)


+ Fantastic multiplayer action.
+ Great pixel style retro graphics.
+ Loved it on Vita remote play.
+ Solo and party players well catered for.


- Really misses an online multiplayer mode.

Edited On 25 Mar, 2014

( 2 )
Cheeky Monkey's avatar
Cheeky Monkey 3 years ago
Oh no! Not another retro game for PS4. Would anyone in their right mind invite their mates round to show off their shiny new PS4 and put something like this on? Honestly? If they did they'd be an absolute laughing stock, and rightly so.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
Yeah! I agree with you Cheeky Monkey. I don't care if it is fun or the developers have poured their soul into the game, if it doesn't look Photo-realistic it's Shite ...... Give me a fucking break

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