I don’t think there’s anyone alive today who hasn’t played Tetris, save for those people in the bomb bunker in my backyard who were convinced that a rooi gevaar were coming for them in the early 1980s. But for the rest of the planet? Tetris is a part of our culture, an idea backed up by a catchy piece of music that has spawned numerous sequels on just about any gaming platform.
The idea of fitting blocks into the right-shaped hole (STOP LAUGHING DAMMIT) is timeless. And possibly difficult to reinvigorate for anyone who wants more of the same but packaged with some new paint on top of it. Tricky Towers is that game that attempts to do just that. By not being a Tetris game at all.
On the surface, the idea is simple: It’s Tetris with a vertical goal and actual physics injected into the mix. And that makes for a tense, somewhat frustrating game. It’s not about scoring points with lines, but rather building a structure into the heavens itself that will most likely end up being flimsier than inquiry into political corruption. Familiar blocks now present new challenges, especially those bastard z-shaped ones of either side. I hate, I hate them so damn much.
It’s maddeningly captivating, building and watching your construction fall down like a house of cards, as Tricky Towers has a heavy reliance on the luck of the draw. Much of this comes down to the Trials in the single-player mode, as you stack and build across a wide variety of tests while some other little prick on the screen makes things more difficult for you with several challenges along the way.
Reaching certain thresholds does allow you to cast some magic to solidify your stairway to heaven as the clock counts down. With each successive trial passed, the puzzles only get harder and more devious, making the possibility of your wizard running out of life with a series of mishaps based on your poor building plan rather high and nigh.
The real meat of Tricky Towers however is in the online modes available. Players can challenge three pals or randoms and see just who the best builder is , unleashing dark magic to dick them about and bugger up their towers to your advantage. It’s easily the heart if Tricky Towers, and where most people will spend their time outside of the sole Trials and Endless modes available in single-player.
As the kind of game you’d tackle for a few minutes during a lunchbreak, it’ll probably be perfect as a short experience when augmented with one of several different match-types. That’s for local battle at least, because anything longer than a quick ten minute session will probably result in somebody getting groin-stomped.
Online is the mystery however, as the review copy we were provided with had just about zero presence in that digital multiplayer arena. I’ll take an educated guess and theorise that the experience will be largely similar, only with more cursing on the other end of your party line and chat.
Last Updated: July 27, 2016