The world has succumbed to darkness as an evil warlock slowly siphons the Earth’s energy. In many, if not all, RPGs, from here some unknown adventurer will set forth to level up, find macguffins and eventually defeat the warlock (in three forms).
Not in Warlock’s Tower – the world knows its beat and instead decides to do the civil thing and submit to the evil Warlock’s demands. However in true RPG fashion, the woefully underlevelled and underequipped mailman Tim (and spunky assistant Hess) is dispatched to deliver the peace offering.
Warlock’s Tower is another lovely Gameboy homage, with excellent low res pixel graphics, chiptunes and the kind of gameplay and spirit that is a pleasing throwback to the types of puzzle-based adventure that were common in the era.
This means gameplay mechanics are quite simple, for the most part: there’s no quick time events or hacking minigames to worry about – just good old fashioned ‘reach the exit’ navigation around each of the tower’s floors. The real meat of the game comes in the form of the various puzzles and obstacles your under qualified mailman will face, which like all good games, gradually grow in complexity and deviousness.
The tower, like all good warlock’s towers, is cursed you see; sapping one of your precious and very limited hearts with each step. Now, I’m no interior designer, but I dare say this design choice is fraught with oversight – it at least must make the Warlock’s trips to the loo quite complicated to say the least.
Nonetheless, crossing this midnight-toilet-visit-unfriendly labyrinth of death is what you must do, so do you must, mmm. The deadly steps mechanic requires you to carefully plan your navigation through the maze-like floors based on the positioning of the various health crystals purposefully scattered around the place. Later on though, the game introduces more and more features to keep you on your toes – keys, lever, pushing jars and other sorts of puzzles, as well as of course, our friends the hideous monsters. A nice addition on top of all this are the ‘tag team’ (back again) levels, where you must switch between the mailman and his assistant to solve larger puzzles together.
While not quite as involved as say, Puzzle Depot, Warlock’s Tower sticks to its guns with some fun gameplay and great humourous writing, and is definitely worth a look if you’re into old school puzzle adventures, as we here at New Retro Games are.
Warlock’s Tower | Download