Tricky Towers combines the tile-matching game of Tetris with the competitive gameplay held in local and online multiplayer battles. If you ask someone if they have ever played Tetris in their life, they are likely to confirm, and Tricky Towers allows users to relive the old-school physics game in new way. Whilst controlling single blocks falling from the sky, you must compete to build the tallest and strongest tower before the clock strikes zero or you run out of lives. Developed by WeirdBeard, the game was first released on Steam for PC in 2016, later being released on PlayStation 4 in the same year. It was then rolled out onto Xbox One in 2017, with the latest release of the game being available on Nintendo Switch since the end of 2018.
Tricky Towers allows up to four people to play at once, either using online capability or local multiplayer on the same console. The aim of the game is to rotate and move the blocks (or tetrominoes) in a style which ensures that your tower won’t topple over. This task is inevitably made harder by the force of gravity and the pressure as the race is on.
The main game mode’ Race’ allows you to test your skills by creating a tower and reaching the finish line first. Once a player reaches the end of a level, a three second countdown starts, guaranteeing that the tower is sturdy enough to count as a win. You are then prompted to place a townhouse roof on your winning tower, signalling the end of the round.
Other game modes are available in Tricky Towers, providing for a fresh gameplay experience each time you play. In the puzzle mode, a laser appears a short distance from your starting position and you are challenged to fit as many blocks as you can onto your starting podium. Once the tower reaches a point where it is touching the laser, it will be frozen and the pieces are counted. The person with the most blocks on their podium wins. Whilst the main game modes are about speed and stacking, the puzzle mode requires precision and planning.
Survival mode sees players build a tower from around 60 blocks whilst only having three lives available. You lose a life every time the tower topples over or when you regrettably drop a brick. If none of the players are able to complete the level without losing all of their lives, the one with the most pieces in their tower at the end of the level will gain victory. The survival mode experience increases the tension between you and your opponents, truly putting your concentration and shape skills to the test.
Tricky Towers also gives you the ability to create tournaments where you can choose the game mode, difficulty and length, or randomise all three. This increases the competitive element of the game and allows players to suss out the winner over the span of more than one round, amplifying the possibilities of a game that started off as such a simple yet enjoyable idea. This Tetris-on-ice phenomenon certainly knows how to cause a competitive element.
Players are able to customise their experience even further by choosing their characters and style of their playable blocks. Each character comes with light magic and dark magic capabilities that can be granted to gain an edge in the level. Light magic grants a positive action to the player that used it, such as sticky blocks that twine to your existing tower allowing for a sturdy placement. Dark magic can be used to hinder your opponents and make their tower harder to deal with, these dark magic spells include increasing the size of blocks at random and removing existing ones.
Magic abilities are activated when your tower reaches a certain height in the level. These are outlined from the start of the round in the form of colourful checkpoints. When collected, you will then be prompted to play it in the form of light or dark magic at any point that round. The introduction of these skills in Tricky Towers has brought a fresh makeover to the original Tetris puzzle game that was released in 1984, bringing the concept over to next gen consoles.
Tricky Towers is largely based around multiplayer gameplay, allowing for hours of fun amongst friends at social gatherings and parties, or through multiplayer in an online world. However, the game also features a single player option in the form of two modes – endless and trials. The trials mode of Tricky Towers gives it the replayable advantage that would be missing without single player levels that increase in difficulty each time. In playing through these stages, I found that I would take time in ensuring that my tower would be solid enough to last the level, without the competitiveness of watching the opponents tower next to mine. The 50 levels available allow for hours of testing your own abilities against the game instead of other players and I found myself having to think about my moves a lot by the end of stage eight.
Whilst playing Tricky Towers on the Xbox One platform, I noticed that the graphics were at a quality that you would expect on a new generation console for this genre of game. Whilst there are no human representations or scenery to compare it against that appear in other games available on the newest generation of consoles, the colours are vibrant and noticeable and definitely passes as aesthetically pleasing. The game uses a basic controls system, with the D-pad of left joystick used to control the placement of blocks, the B button used to rotate blocks 90 degrees each time, and the Y and A buttons granting your light and dark magic.
The soundtrack to Tricky Towers is light and catchy, perfectly accompanying the graphics and gameplay shown on screen. It follows a noticeable tune that I would pair with the game in my head if I were to hear it again. Whilst it could be come repetitive as it plays on a loop through the game, it is a great choice for a game of similar simplicity.
Tricky Towers definitely holds replay value across the game, especially in multiplayer mode due to the online capabilities that it also holds. The single player trials allow players to work their way through the multiple stages, giving you a feeling of triumph. The three game modes vary enough that once you are bored with one game mode, you can move onto the other, but overall the concept of the game is the same in the aspect of using your blocks to create a tower faster, higher and stronger than those competing against you. The single player levels are enjoyable and addictive, but I feel that the initial fun in Tricky Towers comes mainly from playing against friends.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tricky Towers Review
Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Tricky Towers definitely holds replay value across the game, especially in multiplayer mode due to the online capabilities that it also holds.