Written by  :  BdR (6056)
Written on  :  Dec 30, 2018
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars
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A graphically impressive game, especially for the time it came out, but much too difficult in a frustrating way

The Good

The pseudo 3D effect of the tower looks very impressive, especially back then. In a way it is a precursor to the use of prerendered graphics. It was a clever new use of sprites and the Amiga and Atari ST versions look very colorful.

The levels have a couple of nice puzzle elements. For example, at some points you have to shoot the blue blocks around the corner to clear the way, or you have to jump against walls in order to fall straight down. The first two towers pose a fair challenge, and the bonus levels where you shoot fish for extra time add some variety to the game.

The Bad

Starting from about tower 3 or 4, the difficulty is just way too high. Jumping over enemies requires pixel perfect timing or you'll just fall into the water. Walk a few pixels too far and you've basically cornered yourself on the edge of a platform; turn around and you'll fall backwards, often to your death.

There are disappearing platforms and slippery platforms, but they are not visually different from regular platforms. There are doors leading to the opposite side of the tower, but often these are trap doors that lead to nowhere and make you fall down again. This turns the later levels into a game of finding and remembering all the booby traps.

The last tower in mission #1 even ends with 4 identical doors and you'll just have to try which one is the real exit, the others just send you falling down again. The mission #2 towers are even worse, the first tower is basically a series of "gotcha" doors and platforms.

On top of all of that you have limited time to complete each tower. It is far too common to slip up near the top and fall all the way down to the beginning. Often you simply won't have enough time left to make it back to the top again, so the best strategy is to jump into the water to lose a life to reset the timer. The timer is a form of artificial difficulty and it would be much better game without a time limit.

The Bottom Line

An interesting game which still looks great today. But the gameplay relies too much on memorizing booby traps and pixel perfect timing, a gameplay style that has not aged well.