Back in the day old school shooters used to require a lot of skill, as the action was frantic and it often felt like you were being shot at from all directions. Movement was just as important as aim and everything happened so quickly. Tower of Guns attempts to encapsulate some of this, with what is described simply as a tower of guns.

There’s no real objective, other than to shoot everything you see and scale the 14-tier tower, whilst earning XP for your weapons to become even more powerful. Along the way you’ll encounter a number of obstacles, with the levels designed as multi-level rooms filled with enemies such as cannons and pesky flying drones. You’ll always be kept on your toes and have no time to stop and take a breather.

Tower of Guns screenshot
The tower of umm… guns

The gameplay mechanics are very simple and if you’ve played the likes of Quake, the control sensitivity will feel familiar to you. Players will also like the reward for dying – yes, that’s right you are rewarded for dying. It isn’t encouraged, but if you do get stuck on one of the bosses and keep dying, you’ll be granted more powerful guns such as a cannon which propels explosive projectiles.

You don’t have to kill everything, in fact you could run straight to the boss room – but the game rewards those kill seekers with XP. Your experience points go towards your weapon of choice, which makes it become more powerful and you can also pick up power-ups throughout the tower such as speed increase and change the properties of your weapons – for example there’s one upgrade which will change the fire rate of your gun.

Equally, engaging enemies also comes with a punishment to your XP bar, as you lose points every hit. You’ll find boss fights draining your experience meter in no time, unless you’ve died enough times to unlock an awesome weapon.

Tower of Guns screenshot
Levels generate each time you die

The layout of levels also change, with rooms switching round and generating new enemies, so the game will never play out the same way. It’s a common function used in a lot of games like this today, so it isn’t really a standout feature at all.

The general art style to the game is a semi cel-shaded style similar to that of Borderlands. You could even say some of the weapons designs look very similar. It works relatively well with Tower of Guns, but what really lets this game down are the frame rate issues. When the action gets too much on-screen, your frames will often drop massively and even sometimes freeze the game. We’re on new-gen consoles now and frame rate issues should be of the past, even though it’s probably more to do with the development of the game.

Overall, Tower of Guns has a nice sense of nostalgia if you like your first-person shooters and the frantic action from the likes of old school shooters like Quake. It also has an interesting way to reward failure, which instead of getting angry, you’ll keep on playing as you’re rewarded with better guns and power-ups. One of it’s biggest flaws though is that the game feels too dated for today’s gamers and the frame rate issues often bring the game to a standstill literally. I would avoid this game if I were you unless you want a very short burst of old school FPS nostalgia.

Pros

  • Brings back old school FPS days
  • Death is rewarded

Cons

  • Not much content to play
  • Frame rate issues
  • Pretty boring after one or two plays

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