Tower of Time is a classic styled RPG set in a once-beautiful land left broken, destroyed and in need of desperate revitalization by a mysterious cataclysm. 1000 years later, a powerful earthquake reveals a great tower. The strong powers within the tower draw a young boy, who is compelled to lead a group of lionhearted warriors, to uncover its secrets, in his later adult life.
Since it's release on the 13th of July 2017, the game, which is developed by Event Horizon, has won an award for 'Best Story Telling' at the White Nights Prague 2017. The classic take on a RPG can now be brought from Steam for £10.99.
Artara was once a place filled with great peace, joy and beauty. But, without warning a mysterious event occurred, which effected this precious peace. As time quickly passed, the effects of this unexpected event became apparent. The land became broken, crops were unable to grow, and water quickly became to grubby to drink. The people of Artara were left starving without a efficient food and water supply.
More than a thousand years passed since the mysterious event, which left the once great Kingdom of Artara, in ruins – destroyed. Our hero (the protagonist) came across a great and powerful tower as a young boy – which was revealed because of a strong earthquake. Deep inside the tower, it is obvious that it wields a great power, and from that day on the hero, is compelled to further explore the tower, alongside a party of valiant fighters seeking to restore Artara to its once former glory.
The game is solely single-player therefore meaning that Tower of Time is a story-driven game. Although the story lacks originality, Event Horizon, the developers of Tower of Time, have promised an "engaging story" which is a "new take on classic RPG's". It is clearly evident that Event Horizon have fulfilled this promise as the games story is put forward very well using cinematic cutscenes, which clearly tells the story, and speech boxes (similar to the way you communicate with people on games such as Pokemon). Moreover, the writing of the game is superb, making it obvious how much effort Event Horizon have put into Tower of Time. In addition, Event Horizon have designed some substantial characters who make the story a lot more enjoyable and give you a zeal to play the game more.
The developers say Tower of Time gives around 15 – 20 hours of gameplay – which is around average for a game in Steam Early Access.
For a game still in Steam Early Access, I was surprised about how well the game ran. Evidently, the game still requires a degree of optimisation, but that is likely to come with the games full release later this year. Tower of Time has a similar style of mechanics to games like Runescape (that takes me back), where you click a location in the vicinity and your character moves there. It is an commonly used old fashioned system – but one that works very well in this game and similar games in this competitive genre. The main goal of the game is to further progress and explore the tower, allowing the characters to fulfil their ultimate goal of restoring the once great Kingdom of Artara to its former glory using the powers of the great tower.
As you explore the tower, you can enter battles, this is where the tactics come into play. Developers, Event Horizon, claim that the game combines a classical styled RPG with a tactical strategic one, and they are correct as battle do make the player think, as one mistake could potentially lead to the downfall of the team. However, the battles can get repetitive as time goes on, but battles with big bosses help keep the game flowing and more bearable.
When you initially start you have two characters a warrior (swordsman) and an archer. You are able to control both characters – who both have unique abilities. As time goes on, and as you progress in the games story, you gradually unlock more characters (as the game gets much harder). Tower of Time also offers difficulty levels from story difficulty to epic difficulty where one mistake can lead to the teams demise. I personally think adding difficulty levels in a game is a fantastic idea – as all players have different skill sets. Furthermore, as you go around the tower you can find 'Tomes of Knowledge' which allow you to upgrade your city, allowing you to construct better weaponry and upgrade your characters.
As with many RPG's you have additional rooms, which are not part of the main storyline, but allow you to gain additional loot, as well as side quests. The player can also find treasure along the way which can be anything from gold to gems. The looting system is fun, enjoyable and quite generous, as chests are fairly easy to find and the so-called 'secret rooms' aren't so secret at all.
Taking everything regarding gameplay into account, the gameplay is superb for a Steam Early Access game, as it offers difficultly levels to suit every player, battles combine tactics with a classic RPG, and they are fun despite getting repetitive over time. Moreover, the loot is generous (probably to generous) but works well in the RPG genre.
Graphics and Audio
As previously stated, Tower of Time looks superb for a game in Steam Early Access. The way the tower has been designed gives off a mysterious vibe and encourages the player to further explore and progress in the story. In addition, the monsters are well designed to and have a cartoonish yet devilish style to them which suits the games genre to a tee. However, the game does need some work and house keeping in certain areas, but I am certain that will improve once the game is fully released.
In regards to the audio, I think it is great, as the soundtrack of the game has a Lord of Rings style which I absolute love! But, it must be said that the sounds from the monsters aren't the best and lack variation, and background noise is minimal – but once again these are minimal issues – which can easily be configured and improved by Event Horizon.
In summary, Tower of Time exceeds exceptions. The gameplay is great, and the story is conveyed well – despite lacking originality from other RPG's on the market. Developers, Event Horizon, have most definitely fulfilled their promise to combine RPG styled combat with tactics, and the ability to choose a specific difficulty allows players with different skill sets to enjoy the game best suited to them.
It is clearly evident that the game is well designed, but optimisation is most definitely required to allow the fruits of the game to truly blossom. The combat also gets repetitive over time and the quality of audio could be improved. Overall, Tower of Time is great, and I have really enjoyed playing it, with good development this game could be great once it is fully released later this year.
|+ Well written and engaging story||– Story lacks originality|
|+ Good combat system which combines a classic RPG with tactics||– Game in need of optimisation in preparation for full release|
|+ Difficulty Levels|