Talk about hazard pay
Neither snow nor rain nor warlock’s curse…wait, what?? Gives new meaning to the mail must be delivered, doesn’t it? This is a review of Warlock’s Tower yet I have devoted 2/3 so far to talking about the postal service. Well, Warlock’s Tower IS the story of a mail carrier named Tim. Tim is a brave mail carrier. In fact, Tim is the bravest mail carrier in all the lands.
Warlock’s Tower is an 8-bit puzzle game brought to you by Midipixel and published by Ratalaika Games. If the name sounds familiar, you may have seen it on your phone’s app store. You play as Tim and have to deliver a letter to the warlock from all the nations of the world as some form of peace offering. It does not seem like much of a story but when you think about it, it is quite clever.
The titular tower is comprised of several floors each with 8 or so levels to complete. Typically, one or two levels are optional and every few floors contain a secret level locked behind a specific percentage progress which can be seen right on the map.
Your goal in each level is to reach the exit (duh!). The catch? Every step you take, you lose a life.
As you can see, levels are littered with numbered “coins.” Each coin’s number represents steps you can take until…
Players can view the entire level simply by moving the right stick – unless the level has no lights but more on that in a bit. The purpose of viewing the entire level is to plan out your moves since they are limited. Each “coin” will override your existing steps remaining (i.e. if you have 5 steps and pick up a 3 “coin,” you just sacrificed 2 steps). Levels can be simply reset by pressing square which is helpful as there will be plenty of trial and error. You will become frustrated and satisfied all within a 30 second window as you solve the puzzle of what path to take to the exit door.
Figuring out the correct sequence of steps will not be the only obstacle the warlock has at his disposable (other than his awful puns). Tim meet zombie. Zombie, Tim. Similar to the player, enemy movement is also restricted. Every three steps you take, regardless of direction, the zombie will move. Stand one tile away (up/down or left/right) and you are dead. It almost plays out like chess in some regards. Do not worry though. Planning your way around the zombies is only the tip of the iceberg. I did mention earlier that the lights go out. All you can see when this happens is the tile you are on, and, as you move, tiles containing “coins” but only when they are a space away. You want trap doors? What about walls that can move or door switches? I hear conveyor belts can be fun…
If you’re my age (i.e., you bought games at Toys “R” Us via a ticket), you either had a Casio keyboard or knew someone with one of those bad boys. The music in Warlock’s Tower reminds me of those premade clips you could play on the keyboard or any of those MIDI files you downloaded in Windows 3.1 of every movie/TV theme song. You know what? That just screams old school, and in the best way possible.
Warlock’s Tower is available on both PS4 and PS Vita. Cross-buy will net you both games for the price of one but, alas, no cross-save. I reached out to the developer and it is something that may be added in down the road. The game runs equally well on both systems but personal preference pushed me towards the Vita. The gameplay lends itself to quick sessions and the Vita is better suited to handle that especially in my household with two small children.
Trophies! How could I forget about the trophies??? For you hunters out there, there are 6 lists (3 regions) and all are stackable meaning 6 possible Platinum Trophies. The trophy list seems reasonable with your standard completion of floors being a trophy and introduction of a new mechanic and then beating said mechanic being another set of trophies. All trophies are obtainable just by beating the entire game.
Maybe gloom of night in the unofficial postal motto was actually referring to a warlock! Do yourself a favor, especially if you like puzzle games, and go pickup Warlock’s Tower. I bet none of Tim’s coworkers will ever complain to him about bad weather or psychotic dogs when he gets back from this delivery.
I tell Dad jokes much to my wife’s chagrin. Sometimes, I write movie reviews. I love all video games. I am really bad at fighting games. I co-host Nerds Gone Platinum every Tuesday night at 9PM EST at http://www.youtube.com/nerdsgoneplatinum. You can e-mail the show at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us at NG_Platinum or call into the show at (929) 333-5762. Check out our instagram page at http://www.instagram.com/nerdsgoneplatinum and join our Discord channel at https://discord.gg/UXYfVtE. I can be found on PSN, Twitter and Instagram at Gimpyjayy and emailed at email@example.com.