Title: Deadly Tower of Monsters

Platform: Windows, Steam, PS4

Reviewed on: PS4

Genre: Top down hack ‘n’ slash, Action RPG

Players: Single player, Local Co Op



Written by Whistler 27th April 2016




















I’ll confess I never really got into the classic sci-fi scene despite my love for other genres of that era (and that catchy Queen song). I did however love the special effects, the cinematic techniques and especially the monster designs during this movie boon. I can remember staying up late frequently to rewatch several of Ray Harryhausen’s film such as the 7th Voyage of Sinbad and my personal favourite Clash of the Titans. So perhaps it’s the setting for ACE team’s tribute to the classics of sci-fi that leaves me so unphased.


Deadly Tower of Monsters is an action RPG and the title to the sci-fi flick that sees you play the role of galactic space adventurer Dick Starspeed. After his ship is shot down he must brave the heights of The Deadly Tower of Monsters (roll credits) accompanied by space siren Scarlett Nova and his trusty mechanical companion Robot. While ascending the titular tower your characters actions and current scenarios are commentated over by the film’s egocentric director Dan Smith. A nod to many of the borderline self centered directors, he proudly recounts various tidbits like how he explains they secretly shot scenes on sets from other films or why the protagonist ad-libbed breaking boxes to keep scenes exciting.  

While some of the director’s jokes do a great deal to enhance the comedic value of scenes it doesn’t take too long to get old, and worst of all doesn’t distract from how dull the game really is.


























Each of the three protagonists can be swapped out at stations dotted throughout the tower and are equipped with their own gear and abilities. Oddly for a game all about Ascending you’ll do just about as much descending as you backtrack down the various floors to open up paths to climb even higher or go skydiving for hidden loot. It makes good use of camera angles to help emphasize the scale of the goliath sized structure and even makes use of the camera to regularly deliver a sort of reverse Alien Invaders. Sadly however I found myself struggling far too often with the camera and clunky controls as your character aims over the edge for these sections. Other than that the gameplay is just simply boring and far too simplified to be enjoyable. You’ll explore the various locals reminiscent of old school era films like a stone age-esque island with stop motion dinosaurs as well as an aztec temple with giant ants or fire breathing pterodactyls. Combatting these creatures just becomes a button mash till the enemies drop, there’s no strategy involved nor fun to be had mindlessly slogging away at them.


The visuals are fantastic however, perfectly recapturing that oversaturated color and faded film grain style of low budget flicks. Textures look appropriately ‘fake’ and little touches like grubby finger prints muddying the lense flares or the obvious lines of string holding up certain monsters are great nods to amateur film making.


























A film buff would likely pick apart the game’s overall lack of film era consistency but the attempt to create such a game paying homage to those low budget and classic features was noteworthy in itself. It’s a title worth checking out at least for it’s quirky and arguably unique spin. In terms of action and gameplay it doesn't really live up to the quality I expect from ACE Team’s previous ventures. But at least as an attempt to recreate the classics of yesteryear it’s a worthy endeavour with an inspired setting that I’m sure even the Harryhausen would be crack a big smile.



Pros:

Great dedication to source materials,

Ooozes authenticity of classic monster movies,

Fantastic artistic direction.


Cons:

Slow and dull gameplay,

Director commentary and dialogue get’s grading far too quickly,

Comedy moments don’t make up for the overall execution,

Constant battles with the camera.


Final verdict,

Deadly Tower of Monsters scores a so-so 6.5/10.

 

Written by,

Whistler

 

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