Tower of Guns Review

Tower of Guns Review

Home of the Rocket-Launching Shotgun!

Tower of Guns Review
Release Date
March 4, 2014
Terrible Posture Games
Steam, Xbox One, PS4

I remember when Tower of Guns was first announced. I remember it so clearly because I was literally right there. I was sitting in a seat in an auditorium at PAX East, when the game’s developer Joe walked up to the mic and introduced the game to us. He rolled the trailer and in came the heavy-metal guitar riff and off we went, through the Tower of Guns. I was impressed then, and I’m even more impressed now that I’ve finally got my mittens on the finished game.

Tower of Guns is a first-person shooter, which to be honest, isn’t so common in the indie development scene. I’m actually a fan of shooters, despite being awful at pretty much every single one I’ve ever played. Usually I find myself wandering around online, getting capped over and over again. When I learned that Tower of Guns was designed from the get-go to be a single-sitting, single-player experience I was actually relieved. I didn’t want to play the game with the temptation of going online and feeding some 9 year old’s K/D ratio.

Tower of Guns Review - Spikes
Its literally a room with wall-to-wall spikes. That’s just dangerous, man.

Let me actually take a second to rewind a bit. Tower of Guns is designed to be a single-sitting experience. That essentially means that the game’s core design allows you to enjoy it without investing a massive amount of time in it, whether that be in one sitting or over the next 100 years. You can run from start to finish in an hour or two, depending on how fast you plow through the stages. The developer was keen on the fact that so many of us either don’t have a lot of time or have too many damn games, so Tower of Guns is designed to be enjoyable even if you don’t have a lot of time to play. I appreciate that. I’m sure many of you will too. That isn’t to say that the game is a one-and-done experience; not at all. Although you can “beat” Tower of Guns in a couple of hours, the game is nearly completely randomly generated. The rooms, the enemies, the powerups, the bosses; pretty much everything is randomly set when you start up a new game of Tower of Guns. This ensures that every playthrough is unique. I should clarify and say that the rooms are not procedurally generated, but rather their placement and order through the game is randomized, so you might see the same room but it wouldn’t be where you saw it last. Either way, the effect is there. It never feels like you’re playing the exact same game.

Tower of Guns Review - Luck
You know, sometimes a little bit of luck can go a long way.

Tower of Gun’s gameplay is simply a lot of fun. The art style is unique and the game occasionally feels like a first-person bullet-hell. The speed of the game will get your heart pumping and you speedrunners out there will want to blast through these levels as fast as you can. You can really play this game any number of ways. If you want to run and gun, go for it. If you you believe that slow and steady wins the race, give it a shot. Either way, there’s a lot to enjoy here.

Despite all the randomly-generated content, being absolutely terrible at FPSs has it’s downsides. I found myself playing the first 3 stages over and over again, and while the bosses were random, sometimes you can feel as if you aren’t making progress. Thankfully, as I played the game, I was able to unlock new weapons and perks. In Tower of Guns, you are able to select a single weapon and a single perk. These choices have a very significant impact on the game, as each gun suits a particular playstyle. Similarly, each individual perk gives you a needed edge in combat that can make the difference between making it out alive or not. You are only able to choose one for each playthrough, although you’ll quickly wish that you could use all of them at once because Tower of Guns is hard. This isn’t a game that will take it easy on you. Its ruthlessly challenging and your near-perfect run could turn disastrous rather quickly if you take a few shots from the wrong enemies. Thankfully the “TooYoungToDie” perk makes the game easier… whew!

Tower of Guns Review - EasyMode
Thankfully, this perk makes the game easier for baddies like me.

Oh, and before I forget, you’ll find yourself unlocking perks and weapons fairly regularily. While some require legitimate talent to unlock (completion time, reaching a high level, ect), others are unlocked by just playing. If you die a few times, you’ll unlock a gun. If you shoot a thousand shots, you’ll unlock a perk. As I said before, Tower of Guns has been designed to be accessible, and the perk/weapon unlocking is the same way.

While you are shooting through the Tower (of Guns), you will come across items and powerups that help you push into the later stages of the game. The weapon modifications are the best, as they can drastically alter your gun making it an absolute ass-kicker. Running around with a 609mm hand cannon is a great feeling, but running around with a 609mm hand cannon with spreadshot is just awesome. While the randomness of the powerups make each game unique, part of me wishes I could save these powerups and design custom loadouts from the getgo. Knowing my luck, I probably would never see my ass-kicking 609mm hand cannon ever again, and that made me sad. Really sad. So while the random nature of the game is awesome, from another perspective, it can be depressing when you realize its up to the luck of the dice for you to see your favorite gun/mod combo again.

Tower of Guns Review - TNT
TNT mod! Aw yiss… *sinister grin*

At the end of the day, I really enjoyed my time with Tower of Guns and it’s a game that I will be picking up to play from time to time. Whether that’s to do a marathon livestream or to just get a game in while my wife watches The Bachelor, either way I’m happy. Its a good game, and I think that you will have fun with it.

Tower of Guns Review
Review Summary
Tower of Guns is a game that brings a unique perspective on the FPS market. It'll make your pulse rise, and it will make your tears fall. In the end, its an enjoyable experience that everyone can appreciate. Oh, and it was all made by one guy. That's pretty damn cool.
The Good
Great core design. I love the idea of being able to enjoy a game even if you only have an hour to spare.
Random generation keeps things fresh for each playthrough.
Solid art. Good soundtrack.
The Bad
Tears cannot bring your favorite gun back when you get fragged.
Maybe a tad too unforgiving at times.

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