It’s no secret that we are fans of Tower of Time. In our 2018 review, we give the cRPG glowing praise at 8.5 stating, “Tower of Time is engaging, it begs to be played, to be experienced, first-hand.” This sentiment remains true today, if not even more so as Event Horizon has continued to improve on their already remarkable formulae. While subtle, the new additions such as Permadeath and RPGlite add complex layers that further deepens the experience.
Unlocked after clearing the first floor, RPGlite transforms Tower of Time into an all-new experience. Instead of being barred behind story progression unlocks such as all-party members, upgrades, and town building are available to the player early on. These fresh mechanics allow players to push the game to its very limits, allowing the freedom to create builds within their party that otherwise would have been impossible.
While scaling issues are evident early on, freedom of choice was liberating. The “on the rails” experience I had while leveling through the vanilla game mode was completely gone and instead I was playing a game that felt more like a Diablo meets Baldur’s Gate title. The added ability to essentially theory craft right from the beginning does create a space where early encounters are a breeze, the difficulty eventually catches up to your capabilities. I didn’t dare try the harder difficulties (I have a faint heart) but on normal, this is still the challenging experience veteran players came to expect with Tower of Time’s original release.
Permadeath is the brutal new mode that will push the player with a challenging new prospect; characters who die in combat will not return for the remainder of the playthrough. We’ve seen modes such as these in previous titles and its implementation in Tower of Time is seamlessly inserted into its mechanics. It provides a wonderful new challenge for players to take on and while it may seem like a minor nuance, it adds a layer of complexity that takes the game to a new level of strategy.
My major gripe with permadeath in Tower of Time is how punishing this truly can be for extended play. In games such as XCom and Final Fantasy Tactics, you always have the choice of creating new characters to supplement your numbers once they are depleted. Unfortunately, without a choice of creating more party members losing party members can seriously be detrimental to the progress through the Tower of Time’s campaign. Unlike RPGlite, Permadeath seems a bit more tacked on rather than a truly refreshing addition to the game’s content.
Just as a note, there are further enhancements that are implemented in the game. These don’t affect the game quite as much as the new modes but it’s worth noting the added enhancements to the new and improved version of the game. These improvements are as follows:
- A Diablo 3 esque leaderboard
- Items and Attributes balances and adjustments
- Champions, Skills, Enemies rework and rebalancing
- Anti-aliasing now works correctly (it is called FXAA)
- Few Battlegrounds were improved or even changed significantly, such as Titan Battleground.
- Added voice confirmations for champions in combat, so the combat is livelier now.
- Several skills’ SFX were improved, all range projectiles and a lot of skills.
- UI was optimized, improving FPS, especially for low-end configurations.
Tower of Time is the best tactical RPG you never heard of and at the price of $24.99 (as it currently stands on steam), you will be hard pressed to find a better deal out there. The new modes make an already fantastic title even better and there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t at least give it a try if you are a fan of the genre. Since launch the game has improved dramatically and thus, an alteration in our review score is in order to better reflect the quality of the title. Our 2019 assessment of Tower of Time is now with its improvements a 9/10.
|+ RPGlite is a Fantastic New Game Mode.||– Permadeath Feels Tacked On.|
|+ Permadeath Adds an All-New Tactical Element.||– Early-Game Balancing Issues.|
|+ Leaderboards Adds Even More Replayability To an Already Impressively Long Campaign.|
|+ More Freedom With Build Diversity.|