Tower of Guns came out on the PC some time ago and has generated a decent buzz. The project from Terrible Posture Games takes the now popular Rogue-like template and applies it to a first person shooter. It’s designed to give you a quick blast of fun when you have half an hour spare and it certainly gives you a few different things to play around with.
Though in the first person, it certainly does follow the randomness of many other Rogue-like titles. The enemies, level design and bosses are all randomly generated during each play through and you even get a little text story that assigns itself to you. Sometimes you are trying to save the president’s daughter; sometimes you are running from zombies (among other things). It’s a minor touch but something that adds a bit of humour.
As you carry out more runs in the tower you will unlock more weapons to use and more perks and bonuses that can be selected from the start screen. There’s a decent selection of both and they make enough difference to warrant some consideration before you go blasting.
During play you can pick up money to buy power ups and there is also a minor levelling system which increases the power of your gun by picking up blue dots and tokens. Aside from that you just point your gun at things and blast. While blasting things certainly is fun for a while it does quickly show up how little depth there is going on in the game and spending any real length of time with it is difficult.
The shooting itself feels a little lightweight with enemies looking a bit flimsy and a lack of punch from a number of weapons. This is a shame as something offering up bite sized chunks of Serious Sam intensity could have been a real winner. The random elements also don’t seem to create that many different things. Within our first five or six runs we noticed a large amount of repeated rooms and when a game is as short as this it becomes a bit of an issue for replayability.
It’s the lack of intensity that really holds the game back. You can be in a room with seemingly endless turrets and enemies charging at you but it still seems a bit dull. Maybe it’s the lacklustre sound but it just doesn’t thrill and that’s a bit of a problem for a game based on quick, adrenaline-fuelled lunch runs.
Though the game is designed to be blasted through in around twenty minutes, there could still have been a bit more going on. You do get a few surprises every five or so runs but after we finished the game once we didn’t feel that much like jumping in again. It’s certainly a nice and fun distraction but really little else.
Overall, Tower of Guns starts out showing some strong promise that it could be an excellent little blaster. However, the more time you spend with it the more the lack of depth and variety begins to become a problem. There is nothing bad or broken here but there is also little to keep players interested after their first handful of runs.