I got my hands on Tower 57, a top-down twin stick shooter that’s quite playable with mouse & keyboard. This is a charming game set in a dystopian dieselpunk world where megatowers serve as the cradle of civilization
As the players, we takes control of a team of three unique individuals picked from a small list of only six. Each of these heroes has some unique gameplay elements including different starting weapons and a powerful ability that’s capable of wiping the screen clean of enemies. Deciding a team it’s important as you often have to swap between characters in order to protect those close to death or dealing with different combat situations. The chosen team has to infiltrate in Tower 57, a place of strange comedy, weirdness and of course, danger. There is a story that takes place and intermissions serve as a narrative push as well as a chance to explore the less hostile areas of the tower. There are dialogues, mini-games and plenty of other ways to spend time without unloading the guns. The world is quite rich in detail and the 16-bit inspired pixel art makes everything look stylish.
The gameplay is action packed and quite challenging with deaths being quite frequent when facing the bullet hell unleashed by the numerous enemies. Dashing serves as a way of fast navigation and avoidance but sometimes it might not be enough. There is a character based progression system to help in overcoming the challenges that wait in the tower and a wide variety of guns that can turn enemies into pile of lootable coins. It’s important to keep each character in a good shape as each of them represents one life and when all three die the mission has to be restarted. This is a neat system that requires a synergy of play style and works well with the system of swapping heroes. But if things get to difficult, there is always the option of tackling the challenges ahead and increase the fun factor through local or online coop.
Tower 57 is an artistic looking game with an engaging gameplay that can be quite frustratingly challenging at times. I don’t have anyone to play this with. But there is enough variety in gameplay mechanics and visual style to keep me pushing through the pain of my own bullet hell incompetence to finish it, and that’s something.
(This article is based on a press copy of the game provided by the developer.)