Review: Tricky Towers (PS4)

tricky-towers-review-banner-yr10

Title: Tricky Towers
Format: PlayStation Network Download (282.3 MB)
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: WeirdBeard
Developer: WeirdBeard
Original MSRP: $14.99 (US), €14.99 (EU), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
Tricky Towers is also available on PC, Mac, and Linux.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Tetris has always had a special place in my gaming memories ever since I played the original on that sturdy handheld by that other games company. Tricky Towers looks like a bright and jolly attempt at the formula we all know and love, but will it hold up today?

Gameplay:
It sounds like an easy game, but as its name suggests it is a very tricky game. There is no story in the single player modes, no rhyme or reason as to why you are all striving for the highest peak. There is simply just an endless mode and fifty trials.

tricky-towers-ps4-scr-25 tricky-towers-ps4-scr-24

The endless mode is self-explanatory and the trials either force you to reach a certain height within a time limit, stay under a lethal beam with a set type and amount of tetromino, or just use all the available pieces without losing your three lives. The difficulty in the trials has a nice curve and has done a good job of balancing fun and frustration.

This game is not like the old Tetris style games in every respect. The pieces now obey the laws of physics, and unlike the old games of similar ilk, these tetrominoes move in half-square increments. You can perform a nudge that quickly slides the piece across one square, useful if you want to plug a gap.

… those pesky little wizards …
Because of gravity and my slow reactions, I tend to make mistakes and pieces often topple when off-kilter. There is a constant imperceptible sway, unnoticeable until your tower is worthy of its name. This can result in the majority your tower toppling over into the abyss if you fail to keep it evenly balanced.

If it were a just steady stream of varying tetrominoes, I am sure I could build a monumental skyscraper. The tricky part, and often my downfall, comes with those pesky little wizards and their incessant need to disrupt your well laid plans. Every so often, they wave their wand and the tetromino that you had perfectly lined up is whisked back up into the air and changes.

tricky-towers-ps4-scr-13 tricky-towers-ps4-scr-09

The devious sorcerer’s spells can be infuriating. They do everything from chaining up the next few pieces making them impossible to rotate, to quadrupling their size, and even turning them icy. The two I dislike the most are when they temporarily increase the speed or conjure a dark grey cloud at the summit of your tower making it extremely difficult to see.

Your wizard has a few tricks up his sleeve and can help get you out of a pinch if timed correctly. They can turn the next tetromino into a very solid piece of immoveable stone, creating a floating platform to build from or lean on, and even weaving some vines around a few pieces to increase their stability. It all helps to fight back against the evil meddling of your enemy.

Before you start the Endless Mode you can see a leaderboard with your current high score. Sadly it doesn’t appear between attempts so you can see how you are getting on. I also noticed it takes time to update my current high score if I succeeded in beating it. Not a major issue I know, but it is slightly irksome.

… a fun and silly tune …
Visuals:
I like the cute pudgy little wizards riding on fluffy white clouds causing mischief and mayhem with the bold and easy to see tetromino. With so many bright vibrant high-definition colors, you could be fooled into thinking a plumber and his brother might make an appearance to save a princess.

A soft grey beam emanates from the falling blocks like an unearthly light from an unidentified flying object, this helps to line up the edges off the piece as it descends. You can still end up making a mistake, especially when the speed increases or another player casts a spell.

tricky-towers-ps4-scr-01 tricky-towers-ps4-scr-11

Audio:
Cheers of joy and maniacal laughter often erupt from the crazy wizards as a fun and silly tune plays in the background. My kids comment on it every time we play and it makes us all smile, but I could see it becoming a tiny bit annoying down the line. I guess that’s why they have volume controls in the menu.

Online/Multiplayer:
The game includes local and online multiplayer for up to four players where everyone battles it out on races to the finish or building the highest towers. There are certain height checkpoints that trigger some mischief for the other players or help for you.

It is a quick and often humorous battle with friends or family and works great as a party game. You can opt to use either good or bad magic. Bad is something that usually disrupts the other players whereas good magic helps you.

… silliness and real world physics …
Being a pre-release version I only managed to play with The1stMJC in some random games. The connection was solid and flawless, but our towers were not, much to each other’s amusement. We enjoyed the tower building fun and both agreed to play again.

We opted to play random matches but if we decided to change that then we would have to return to the main lobby and invite any players again. Slightly annoying but not game breaking in any way and with any luck it could be sorted in a patch.

tricky-towers-ps4-scr-25 tricky-towers-ps4-scr-22

Conclusion:
Tricky Towers isn’t an easy game but it sure is fun. The multiplayer is great, especially if you can get a group of friends round or online. The audio and visual departments are fun and silly making you smile and laugh.

The game manages to capture the fun and frantic lure of the classic it’s based upon but injects enough silliness and real world physics into the mould to make a game that feels fresh and new. Once I decide to have a quick go on the endless mode, it can be difficult to get me to stop.

There is plenty of fun to be had here and I urge you to give it a go. My only gripe is that I want to know about the naughty wizards. I would love to see a story that unfolds as you play the entertaining singleplayer trials. However, that’s just me wanting more of a good thing.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

If you send a friend request please add ‘PS Nation’ in the subject area.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook