I found out about Towerfall when I got an Ouya. It was the Ouya’s “killer app”. I played the single player mode for a few minutes, didn’t see the fun and moved on. I knew it was a game best played with multiple people but I only had one Ouya controller. You can technically sync PS3 controllers with the Ouya but it’s a hassle. I had excuses.
When I found out Towerfall was coming to PS4, bewilderingly I got excited. I only had one PS4 controller. Controllers are expensive these days $60 if you don’t get them on sale. After some Best Buy price matching magic I obtained more controllers, then, I embraced Towerfall.
Towerfall is hard to explain. The fun is lost in description. You don’t have to explain Mario Kart. Mario Kart is the UNO of multiplayer games. Everyone knows about it and you’re either willing to play or not. Admittedly, that’s not the best example.
I invited some friends over gave them a controller and made them play Towerfall. After a few rounds they got it and liked it and wanted more. Towerfall is couch multiplayer at it’s finest. It’s the closest thing to Super Smash Bros. on a Playstation (I’m looking at you Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale).
So what is Towerfall? The best job I can do to describe it is: Towerfall is a 2D four player retro inspired competitive platformer archery game (phew!).
This is a typical match with my friends and wife.
Matches are fast and chaotic. Some will wait in the shadows preparing to strike while others may volley all the arrows in their arsenal. Each stage exhibits what I call uniform infinite edge flow or “PAC-MAN” physics. There is no edge and thus no real advantage spot. Each stage is symmetrical. In a modern era of HD televisions it eschews the typical widescreen format of 16:9 and goes for the old school 4:3 to condense the tension. Stages are dynamic and by default the game turns on auto balancing to make sure everyone has a chance until the end. It’s easy to learn but hard to master. Arrows are just as deadly as hopping on someones head.
There’s an underlying lore as each character isn’t simply a color. They have different personas such as “Forgotten Master” and “Turncloak Soldier”. After each match everyone receives awards based on how they played. I often get the “Most Zen” award because I’m patient, methodical, and deadly.
To add to the experience, there are a wealth of options to tailor your game to your group. Once everyone has experienced vanilla Towerfall you can start throwing in variants like drill arrows and exploding corpses. Yes those are things.
Towerfall brings back memories of playing against your friends in a room side by side, and it creates new ones. If you haven’t considered this game, consider it now.