The Deadly Tower of Monsters

We don’t usually do PC games here, but I got the chance to play The Deadly Tower of Monsters a few weeks ago, and I thought I’d give my thoughts on it.

Right from the moment the game boots up, you’re treated to the game’s vocal flavor. The “Director” of a would-be old B movie starts talking about the splash screen. The first time you hear it, it’s funny, but the second, third, fifteenth, etc time you boot it up, you just want to skip it. Beyond that, there are numerous chuckles to be had due to the director’s commentary. Sometimes, the interviewer will even chime in, making it seem like even the commentary is poorly done.

What is not poorly done, is the presentation. Holy fuck, this game has done a lot to make it appear as though the monsters you fight are either stop-motion or actors in costumes enlarged with movie magic. Considering none of this is true, but the player is lead to believe that they are, in fact, battling clay models says something for the graphic capabilities of DToM. The environments look like a budget movie set with unbelievable “rocks” and plastic trees lining what looks like beige carpets sprinkled with dirt. It’s wholly hilarious that they really nail the whole B movie vibe. Even the voice acting is like that of the over-the-top 60’s space TV shows. A lot of the dialog is tongue-in-cheek, and filled with bad puns, but it’s enjoyable the first few times you hear it.

Which leads me to this. You will probably die a lot, and be forced to hear the dialog numerous times. When you do die, the director screams at someone in the background for rolling that blooper footage again. Dying doesn’t really cost you much more than a short rewind, and once you get used to the controls, you won’t die very often as combat is fairly easy. I must confess that for the first few hours of play, I was using keyboard/mouse controls which didn’t do the game justice for me. Your mouse points your character in a direction while left click is your attack. WASD is how you move around. This combination proved to be extremely frustrating for me, but if you’re a kb/m player, you should get used to it quickly. When I switched to controller, it played more like a twin-stick shooter, but I found that I missed the accuracy of the mouse, as is usually the case.

Truth be told, combat is fairly easy and straight forward, and really isn’t the main draw of the game. There is a whole lineup of weapons with a fully realized upgrade system that utilizes hidden coins to pay for them. I wish the combat had more to it, but as a straight forward brawler or top-down shooter, depth isn’t really required to be a fun game. At it’s core, the game reminds me of a mostly melee version of an old school game called Ikari Warriors; one of my favorites of it’s time. Unlike that game, this one’s draw isn’t from the challenge as much as it comes from following the story to completion. It’s one of those, “so bad it’s good”, kind of things. At $10-15, it’s a fun diversion for casual gamers, but an absolute must-have for bad movie fan buffs.

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