Monday, May 27

Review: Warlock's Tower [Nintendo Switch eShop]


There’s no doubt that retro games have been in vogue for a while now, with games that don’t require a great deal of visual complexity sometimes managing to break away from the pack with a unique visual style. While typically you’d see developers shoot for classic NES or SNES era pixel art there are also those looking to mine nostalgia for another classic platform, the GameBoy. Warlock’s Tower is one such game, sporting visuals that would look right at home on the platform and delivering some decent puzzle mechanics that may make it worth a look.


Your core goal on every level is to get from the entrance to the exit. An easy enough start. However, your movement is constrained by gems that you’ll need to get to and that only allow you a limited number of moves. This means you’ll need to carefully chart out a way to get to a new gem and ultimately end up at one that is sufficiently close to the exit and has enough moves to get you there.


This starts out simply enough but then as you get further in new elements will be introduced to complicate matters. Between enemies who you’ll need to avoid, keys you’ll need to collect, crates you’ll need to move, and more things can get pretty complicated as you progress, but at its core with determination you could also grit your way through trial and error style if nothing else. Overall, the balance of the curve in difficulty feels just right, introducing new elements often enough to keep things from getting too dull but not so quickly that you’re unable to get used to how each new challenge changes things up.


There’s no doubt that Warlock’s Tower isn’t terribly original, this general style of puzzling has been done before ad nauseum, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun for a while. I really appreciate the throwback graphics, and titles that go with the GameBoy look don’t always appeal to me, but in this case it just feels pretty authentic and appropriate. If you’re looking for something to kick around for a little bit while basking in some great retro looks this should prove satisfying.

Score: 6.5

Pros:
  • The ramp up in difficulty seems to be balanced just about right
  • If you yearn for a return to the classic GameBoy days, this should deliver nicely
  • A bite-sized budget experience

Cons:
  • The gameplay isn’t anything you’ve likely not seen before
  • If the visuals don’t charm you it probably will fail to make an impression at all