Question – What do you get when you combine the randomness of a rogue-lite with guaranteed game-crashing bugs?
Answer – A game so rogue that it can never be beaten.
As much as I wish the above was just a poor dad joke, alas, it is not. Rather than being a charming Cinderella story, this is an endless loop of crash screens and error reports, a damsel in distress that is in desperate need of a patch on PS4.
Tower Princess is a bitesize rogue-lite filled with potential, where as a knight you must save the princess and beat the bosses in a death-reset adventure, but it is so filled with issues that I was not only prevented from progressing, but it corrupted my save file a little more than halfway through.
Although I was able to view the rest of the game played on different platforms, with my experience of it being shorter than expected, in the interest of fairness I’ll keep this review short.
The game looks like every other fantasy Fortnite lookalike – I actually thought I was looking at Dungeon Defenders when it loaded up initially – with a cartoony design working well with the game’s sense of humour.
Stringing together permanent sections with small dungeon-like areas that are few in number, the rogue-lite features of Tower Princess never quite endeared themselves the way I thought they should, and despite the action being relatively decent in execution, it’s so succinct for such a long period – due to the stinginess of the ability upgrade system – that monotony seeps into the experience not long after you’ve started.
Thankfully, you aren’t all on your lonesome during the journey, however, as you can liberate – and be joined by – 8 different princesses who all have their own abilities, providing some much-needed variety to the repetitive die-reset-repeat gameplay loop. The abilities of your companions can be upgraded by giving them presents, and supposedly, even by taking them on dates.
A fun addition is that they chatter away during battle to mix up the cookie-cutter experience, but it would be nice if attacks were further integrated between partners. One partner, for example, will turn into a sword you can wield, which is great – if you happen to have chosen the rifleman knight (over the swordsman) – as it provides you with two different types of attacks, but outside of this happenstance, you are limited to separate standard single attacks.
The boss battles are really where the potential of the game comes together, with amusing boss designs and decent attack patterns, but with only three in total, it’s not something you can really hang your hat on for the core experience, which for the most part is either avoiding assault course obstacles or spamming the attack button to defeat minor enemies.
The best moment of the game, for example, had me putting out a stove fire by keeping ingredients moving along a conveyer belt to initiate a boss battle with a pig, but said interesting level design is few and far between, with the largely mediocre action simply too monotonous to get overly excited about seeing the same sections over and over again.
Overall positivity was, unfortunately, in short order though because as soon as I progressed to the second area, game-crashing bugs plagued my experience. In most cases, an autosaved save file would load the area prior to the crash, but in one particular case, an area momentarily loaded and autosaved before crashing, creating a blue deathloop that permanently corrupted my save file.
It’s hard to truly judge a title that won’t let you progress a little more than halfway, but what I know of the remainder of the experience, this a knight to forget; an average and repetitive title that is about as rewarding as the princesses’ throwaway comments as you adventure with them – by the 4th time, you’ve seen and heard enough.