Tower Toppler

Critic Score User Score
DOS
80
...
Commodore 64
85
4.0
Amiga
89
3.8
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Description

You play a small green guy who needs to blow up eight towers, because their presence is somehow poisoning the water of planets which could potentially be ideal colonies. Unfortunately you need to get to the top of these towers to blow them up.

You make your way up to the top of the tower via walkways around the outside of the towers. You need to jump over, kick, and run from various enemies in your journey to the top. Most vertical movement is achieved by jumping onto moving ledges at the right moment.

The game was considered revolutionary in its time for its graphic technique. As the main character walked around the outside of the tower, the character was fixed in the middle of the screen while the tower itself rotated. This gave it a pseudo-3D effect.

Towers are linked together via a voyage through the sea in your trusty MK.7 submarine. This plays out as a side-scrolling collect-'em-up in which bonus points can be obtained.

Screenshots

Tower Toppler Commodore 64 Title screen and credits (USA version)
Tower Toppler Amstrad CPC Shoot the red moving balls to make them disappear
Tower Toppler NES Credits
Tower Toppler DOS Hi Scores (EGA)

Alternate Titles

  • "Nebulus" -- European title
  • "Kyorochan Land" -- Famicom title
  • "Castelian" -- GB/NES title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Dismal instructions and some random elements try but fail to scupper a classic Atari ST Martin Smith (63066)

Critic Reviews

Commodore User Amiga Nov, 1988 92 out of 100 92
The Games Machine (UK) Amiga Dec, 1988 89 out of 100 89
The One Amiga Nov, 1988 88 out of 100 88
Power Play Atari ST Oct, 1988 85 out of 100 85
The Games Machine (UK) DOS Jun, 1989 83 out of 100 83
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS May, 1989 9.8 out of 12 82
64'er Commodore 64 Apr, 1990 8 out of 10 80
Commodore User Commodore 64 Nov, 1987 7 out of 10 70
The One DOS Apr, 1989 70 out of 100 70
Amiga Power Amiga May, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 67

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

Nebulus appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Atari ST port

Hewson gave the port to the Atari ST to an external company, but after three month there still was no progress. So John M. Phillips took over the conversion and finished it in a single month.

Canceled ports

John Romero actually did the Apple IIe port of Tower Toppler but Epyx canceled the port along with all their other game ports when they were strapped for cash because they were pouring all their money into Atari Lynx launch title development. The Apple IIe version was in 16-color double-res and used page-flipping. Romero showed it off at the 1989 AppleFest in Kansas City.

The game was also ported to the Atari XE Game System, but never released. Copies of the cartridge surfaced in the late 90s, and it turned out that the XE version ran in black and white on PAL systems, except on poor display systems, where the black and white patterns turned into colours due to cross-talk on low-bandwidth colour signals. On any NTSC system the game would run in full color, looking pretty close to the 7800 version. Since the prototype uses the Tower Toppler name it probably was intended for US release, so the developers would be expecting the game to display in color and not black and white.

Graphics

For some reason, the title screen is in 16 colors only in the EGA version. The Tandy/PCjr version uses the 4 color CGA title screen, however all other screens (including the game itself) are in 16 colors.

Japanese version

In Japan, where the game was released as Kyorochan Land, the green colored frog was replaced by Kyorochan, a parrot-like cartoon bird who serves as the mascot of Moringa & Co., a confectionery company.

Remake

A remake of this game has been written to work on modern hardware/OS. See the related sites section for a download link.

Awards

  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (Issue #00) - #14 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • Commodore Format
    • April 1991 (Issue 7) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
    • January 1992 (Issue 16) - Cf's all time Top Ten Essential Mega Games
    • March 1994 (Issue 42) Heaven – The Path to Righteousness: 20 Essential Games
    • November 1994 (Issue 50) – #35 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
  • Computer and Video Games
    • May 1988 (issue #79) - Golden Joystick 1988 Award: Winner in category Best Original Game of the Year
Information also contributed by Lev Epshteyn, John Romero, and Игги Друге.

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Johnny "ThunderPeel2001" Walker (419), Gene Davison (729), RKL (5611), Kabushi (136894), Martin Smith (63066) and gamewarrior (5063)