TowerFall: Ascension

What?  You’ve been living under a rock for the past year and haven’t heard of TowerFall?  Originally released in mid-2013 for the Ouya platform, it was quickly recognized as the platforms standout game.  Now, with the release of TowerFall: Ascension on Steam and PS4, the game has continued to grab the attention of critics for it’s polished, offline, multiplayer mode.  In it’s competitive mode, you and up to three other players are dropped into a non-scrolling, single-screen arena.  Players are given a bow and several arrows with which they can shoot down other players.  Alternatively, you can drop down on top of them to remove them from the match.  You’re also given a dodge button that allow you to get out of the way of incoming arrows, reach higher ledges, or steal arrows right out of the air.  Moving to the end of the area will wrap your character and their arrows to the other end of the screen.

It’s an incredibly well balanced game that’s easy to dive into, but deep enough to keep you coming back to come up with, and master novel strategies.  You can out-maneuver other players, specialize in the game’s many power ups, or simply utilize the game’s verb set more effectively.  Many battles can be decided in a few frantic moments, and you won’t entirely know what happens until you watch the match replay in slow motion.  It’s an awesome way to compete, and it can be satisfying for everyone involved, even when you’re losing.  You can definitely tell that the efforts that would have gone into making this an online multiplayer game have gone into refining the core experience and fleshing out the different ways you can play it.  While I haven’t spent much time with it myself, you and other players can run through the game’s quest mode, which pits you against waves of monsters.  If you’re looking for a game that you can play with your friends, on the couch, then you’d be hard pressed to find a better candidate than TowerFall.


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