Tower 57 (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 13.11.2017

Review for Tower 57 on PC

Far in the future, long after the planet and most of its inhabitants died off, society embraced the Megatowers. These luxurious monoliths house the remnants of humanity. The poor and feeble are forced to live in the lower floors, facing the constant threat of poisonous toxins and bloodthirsty mutants. However, the horrendous treatment of the 99% isn't exactly our concern. At Tower 57, a man known as "The Supervisor" has shut down Grutin Incorporated, known throughout as the largest and most influential manufacturer. The workers have revolted, and are threatening the stability of the towers. Agents, you've all been chosen to undertake a dangerous mission. Investigate the tower, and use whatever means necessary to put a stop to this madness.

Tower 57 is an overhead shooter designed in the spirit of classic 16-bit games such as The Chaos Engine. A team of agents will explore labyrinths of steel and glass, flipping switches and exterminating foes. As they carve a path of destruction through the Tower's many floors, they'll amass a small fortune. This cash can then be spent on various upgrades, including cybernetic limbs, because flesh is overrated anyway. This solid premise is backed by impressive pixel art graphics and a fabulous soundtrack.

Before the mission can begin in earnest, the player must first choose their three agents, out of the six that are available. Their uniqueness comes from the weapons they carry. Armed with a tommy gun and landmines, the Don has little difficulty in dealing with overly aggressive mutants. The policewoman carries a shotgun and a hook, which she can use to drag her enemies close for a tremendous blast. Abraham Lin…err uh… the diplomat has a flamethrower, because he's just that kind of guy. Then there's the railgun-toting spy, the scientist and her lightning cannon, and finally the beggar, who defends himself with his trusty rifle.

Screenshot for Tower 57 on PC

All of the heroes carry a sidearm with unlimited ammo, which sort of makes up for its pitiful damage output. Altogether, they're allowed to carry two guns and one sub-weapon. Numerous other additions to the arsenal are found or purchased in the tower. Spare cash can be spent on gun upgrades. A simple rapid-fire turret can be modified to shoot in three directions. Poisonous shells are a fine add-on for the shotgun. However, if one of the player-characters happens to die, then they'll drop all of their weapons. Any survivors should make sure to pick them up, especially if the guns are fully kitted out.

While misplacing a powerful weapon is a bad idea, losing an arm or a leg isn't that big a deal. "Arms" dealers are practically everywhere, and they're happy to fix the heroes up with a shiny new limb, for a price. A simple repair job is fairly inexpensive, but players might want to opt for the upgraded models, which offer increased health and other benefits. The trade-off is that better body parts require a larger cash investment, and yet they're just as susceptible to getting severed.

Progression through the game is handled in a traditional manner. Upon arriving at the tower, the agents will explore hallways filled with baddies to maim and money to obtain. Some floors have alternate routes, and a few locked doors might require a hacking device. In most cases, enemies prefer ambushes, taking advantage of the claustrophobic corridors to trap unsuspecting visitors. Expect to deal with a number of other hazards, like acidic pools and spike beds. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for anything suspicious, such as walls that react to gunfire. There are secret rooms hidden throughout the spire, and they're loaded with treasure.

Screenshot for Tower 57 on PC

Amor's Den acts as the hub, a place to rest and recuperate before progressing with the mission. It's here where players can find numerous shops as well as a host of mini-games. Anyone skilled in the ways of darts, slot machines, and shell games can earn a tidy profit. Otherwise, there's not much else going on. Despite all of the hustle and bustle of city life, there isn't anyone to have extensive conversations with, or anything resembling side-quests. This is to the game's benefit, as time isn't wasted playing fetch or retrieving twenty mutant crab claws for a little extra scratch.

Overall, the level of difficulty leans towards the easier end. Though this reviewer is speaking from decades of experience, a playthrough on the normal setting isn't too troublesome. This could be attributed to the second torso upgrade, which adds regenerating health. It's also worth noting that the way death and revival is handled is surprisingly forgiving. When an agent dies, the survivors can revive them by approaching a fortune teller with an amber orb. However, the game doesn't end if everyone is dead. Instead, they're merely kicked back to the last checkpoint. If their favourite character dies, then players might opt to kill off the survivors, rather than deal with the consequences.

Screenshot for Tower 57 on PC

If one had to choose Tower 57's best quality, then it would have to be its attention to detail. Clocks on the wall are always ticking. If that ever gets annoying, then the player is free to silence them with a bullet. A wide variety of objects are destructible, and look appropriately demolished when shot enough times. Depending on the direction they're moving, the player-character will change the way they walk, instead of swivelling around like an old action figure. These and many other needless but appreciated touches lend the game plenty of flourish.

As charming as this twin-stick shooter is, it disappoints when it comes time for a proper finale. The enemy variety is somewhat lacking, which becomes really noticeable towards the end. Drones that home in on the player while turrets fire from afar are a constant, and there aren't enough new creations to switch things up. It takes a few hours to complete this game, which is reasonable. However, the ending still feels sudden, as if it's missing a boss fight or two. Still, there's replay value in trying different agents, not using upgrades, and playing the coop mode.

Screenshot for Tower 57 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


Tower 57 is altogether a solid game. It doesn't quite deliver twin-stick gameplay on par with its presentation, but it's still pretty enjoyable. The variety of weapons is nice, and the scenarios presented in each stage make good use of them. It's also great to a visit a world that's so lovingly crafted. The sprite work and animations are very well done. If time permits, gamers should strive to fit at least two playthroughs into their busy schedule, just to see everything.




11 bit studios





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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