Due to how big the video game industry is these days, there are more and more games releasing every year, month and week than ever before. Making it is easy for real gems to slip through the cracks. Especially more indie oriented titles, which don’t have the marketing budgets to put posters on public transport or ads on TV.
Well I’m here to tell you about one of those titles. A game which was released on PS4 and Steam last year and is out today on Xbox One.
The wonderfully silly, ridiculously fun and absolutely addicting game that is Tricky Towers.
Originally I found out about it through receiving it as part of my Playstation Plus sub, Sony’s online paid subscription, during the middle of the year. A time when my backlog of 2016 games had already grown to a scary amount. However, I quickly forgot about that backlog and all of my responsibilities, as my friends and I quickly became addicted, even to a similar level as we had been with #IDARB and Rocket League.
Tricky Towers takes the fun and very familiar mechanic of Tetris, but adds a unique twist through the use of real world physics and a number of challenging, multiplayer focused modes.
Playing alone or with friends, the aim is to build a tower, because every wizard needs a tower of course. Although depending on the mode, you may need to build fast, not drop any bricks or need to solve puzzles.
Most importantly though, Tricky Towers is challenging, exhilarating and damn fun. Particularly when played with friends in local co-op.
When it first was announced as a PS+ title, like so many others I assumed it was there to fill the space in the monthly line up of games, rather than an experience which truly deserved my time. But after deciding to give it a try on one lazy afternoon, it became the one of my favourite games of 2016.
For weeks we would gather round, shouting and laughing with each other, as we fought to see who could build the tallest (and often very structurally unsound!) tower and determine the best wizard amongst us.
Based around the theme of magic and wizardry, while building your towers you can cast spells to help make your tower stronger, or remove a poorly placed block. Allowing you to keep your crazy structures together somehow, despite making an absolute mess of it.
But the true fun comes in the dark magic attacks, which allows you to use spells against other players. Perhaps removing one of their blocks, making their next one an absurd size or transforming them into ice in the hope they’ll slip straight off your opponent’s tower.
The use of spells, along with the real world physics, leads to a majority of towers collapsing and tumbling to their doom. But if you manage to persevere, to overcome your own poorly placed blocks, the spells of your opponents and win, it’s unbelievable satisfying. Especially in beating your friends of course!
The three main modes include Race, in which you are racing to a finish line in the sky (my personal favourite), Survival which involves placing a number of blocks without dropping too many and losing lives, and Puzzle which requires more thought and finesse to fit as many blocks below a line as possible.
There is something for everyone and more than likely, you and your friends will each find one you are better at or prefer. The short length, colourful artwork, repetitive yet charming soundtrack and simple mechanics make Tricky Towers a blast for parties and for those who love to play together… or against each other.
For those of you who prefer to play alone, well there is a plethora of content available too. Including dozens of single player trials to work your way through and hone your skills in, and endless leaderboard modes (including an exclusive mode for Xbox One users).
On top of all that there is online competitive multiplayer and tournaments too!
In a similar vain to Rocket League though, Tricky Towers was not the first iteration of this successful and silly formula. The first version of what would go on to eventually become Tricky Towers, was 99 Bricks Classic. A Flash game released originally on Kongregate back in 2008, going on to be played by millions of people.
The Dutch indie developers Weird Beard Games, knew they were onto something but it wouldn’t be till 2014, that they would release the sequel of their highly successful Flash game on mobile devices. This time around it was called 99 Bricks Wizard Academy, which is an incredibly fun and satisfying experience in itself (and free to download).
After years of iterating and polishing the experience, Tricky Towers is now not only one of the best local multiplayer games on PS4 and Steam, but Xbox One too.
It’s one of the best surprises I’ve discovered on PS+ as it is such a wonderful, content filled game, well worth the price of admission after it left the monthly service. Jumping back into it on Xbox One today brought all those memories of endless nights of rematches, joyful frustration and laughing back to me. Reminding me again why it was one of my favourite games in 2016.
If you are looking for your next party game or want a new game to play with your partner or friends in general, then there is no need to look any further than Tricky Towers.