You guys must remember Matt Thompson of “Matt makes games” fame, right?
His first project, Towerfall, is a strange exception from the stories of successful games, since it started its life on the ill-fated Ouya console, an Android-based Kickstarter supported device that is already forgotten by many, though it seemed to be a truly revolutionary console back in 2013, in no small part thanks to the rare few gems such as Towerfall. Once the exclusivity contract was done, the game got ported to PlayStation 4 and PS Vita (another exclusive deal) and, later, to OS X, Windows and Xbox One, only to finally land on Nintendo Switch.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game, the shortest possible description would be “archery combat arena” game with a bit of Battle Royale added in. Players can eliminate each other using (a limited supply of) arrows or by head stomps till just one of them remains on the map. Since arrows are so scarce, one can replenish the supply by gathering arrows scattered through the map, or even catch the arrows that the others are shooting at them mid-air. Additional aid in the game comes from treasure chests that appear on the map and contain items like shields, wings, and arrows that are more powerful than the regular ones. Whoever is the last man standing, wins. As you can see, this means that the gameplay is dynamic, fun and fast – some critics even describe the game like “Smash Bros with archery”.
The game has four modes, including a single player where you battle against the timer to hit as many targets as possible before the time runs out (arguably the weakest portion of the whole experience), though this game mode was originally revamped in Towerfall: Ascension, the PC version of the game.
The Switch version is the one that benefits the most from the fact that the original game is almost five years old. The hybrid console gets the best from the original game, the aforementioned Ascension and the Dark World expansion. Just like it’s the case with many other titles that eventually end up on the Switch, this version of the game is something like Towerfall: Ultimate, giving the players the best of the best that came before. One more important update is that there are the standard four-player maps in this version, as well as several new, larger maps, that support up to six players on screen simultaneously. And, of course, all the maps and rules are fully customizable, bringing a new level of madness to an already hectic game.
The single-player component has also been upgraded, with a complete solo playing experience that pits you against the unfriendly environment and different AI-controlled opponents, varying from plain old bats that we’re used to seeing in games like this to enemy archers. Overall, if you have somehow missed this gaming gem for all these years, there is no reason not to give Towerfall a try now, especially if you’re the type of person who loves gaming with friends.