TowerFall is an archery combat platformer developed by Matt Makes Games, the same company that gave us indie gem Celeste earlier this year. Originally released in 2013, TowerFall has finally arrived on Switch, with all previously released DLC included. A new versus mode accommodates up to 6 players, and Celeste’s Madeline and Badeline make their debut as playable characters. TowerFall is the perfect fighting game to tide you over until Smash comes to Switch, and it might even become one of your favorite (local) multiplayer indies.
Armed with a bow and a few arrows, you’ll fight waves of enemies as you jump, dash, and fall through castle-like levels. Arrows should be used strategically and somewhat sparingly, but you can always pick up used ones, even those shot by enemies. You can even grab arrows mid-air if you dash towards them at the right time. While archery is your main weapon, you can also kill enemies by jumping on their heads, but it’s crucial to master both archery and platforming if you want to excel in this game.
Treasure chests often appear during play, and the items they contain help you gain the upper hand. Possible items include shields, wings, and arrows. Standard arrows are common, but there are plenty of special arrows on offer as well. For example, bomb arrows explode after a few seconds, drill shot arrows “drill” through solid platforms, and zip shot arrows bounce between walls. All arrows can hurt you, even those you’ve shot yourself, so it’s important to stay alert and keep out of their way.
As you play, you’ll unlock new stages and playable characters, and you can play TowerFall in a fairly wide variety of modes:
- TRIALS : single-player target-shooting practice.
- VERSUS : The last player standing wins.
- STANDARD : The original TowerFall stages.
- 6-PLAYER : Expanded stages for bigger battles.
- CO-OP : Fight enemies alongside your friends.
- DARK WORLD : 1-4 players fight waves of enemies and challenging bosses.
- QUEST : 1 or 2 players fight numbered waves of enemies.
Our only gripe about these modes? There’s no option for online play. Many players have griped about this since TowerFall’s initial release, and it’s likely we’ll never see an online option for this game. This is regrettable, since online play would be perfect for the game’s VERSUS and CO-OP modes. Of course, if you’ve got friends who can play locally and there are enough controllers to go around, you really don’t need an online option, but it’s always a nice added feature, and we wish we had it in TowerFall.
From detailed character art to intricate level design, TowerFall’s graphics are pixel-perfect, paying homage to SNES-era games with simple level layouts and vibrant colors. The game’s soundscape is equally retro, with chip-tune-like sound effects accompanying almost every possible action. TowerFall’s soundtrack is, perhaps surprisingly, not very retro, but it fits perfectly with the game’s overall aesthetic, putting you in the mood for a medieval-style adventure.
TowerFall is absolutely a Nintendeal for Switch. With its simple concept, retro charm, various play modes, and flawless design, TowerFall has everything you could ask for, minus options for online play. The basic gameplay is simple enough for most players to understand, but late-game challenges and tougher modes will test even the most expert of players. If you’ve got friends to play with locally, you’re bound to have a good time, so why not make TowerFall the latest indie addition to your Switch library?
Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Publisher – Matt Makes Games Inc.
Developer – Matt Makes Games Inc.
Price – $19.99
Genre – Party, Action, Platformer, Fighting
Size – 422 MB
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick is a Super Mario Maker 2 enthusiast, but working with Nintendeal has fostered a love for tough-as-nails indies such as Enter the Gungeon, Celeste, and Cuphead. Sarah prefers sim games like Animal Crossing, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley, but she challenges herself by grinding Slay the Spire from time to time.