Here we go again, another Ratalaika game that is not only keeping my Vita out of the draw but also upping my trophy count. This time round I have Warlock’s Tower which has recently been released onto PS4, PS Vita and Switch.
So, story wise we don’t have anything too complicated, a dangerous warlock in his life sucking tower who feels he isn’t liked by anyone so wants to destroy the world, bad guy done. You play as good guy Tim, a courageous postman, who needs to deliver a letter to the Warlock that will show that he is liked by everyone and hopefully stop his plan. Story done!
Gameplay sees you completing single screen floor puzzles by moving from a start point to the exit. Sounds simple enough but the catch to these rooms is that every step you take costs you a life. Run out of life’s and of course it is game over. Each puzzle sees extra life tokens scattered across it, so you need to plan your route around the floor carefully.
As you would expect the puzzles get more difficult as you progress up the tower. Once you have mastered the movement and collecting life tokens the game adds new mechanics. Expect to deal with moving pots, pressure buttons and teleporters as you go up each floor. All of which keep you on your toes when planning your route round. However, there isn’t that much variation, so you quickly settle back into a routine.
Enemies will make an appearance in odd levels to add another factor to consider when planning your path. In most cases these enemies move 1 square every time you move 3 meaning you need to plan where these enemies will be. There is no combat so as soon as the enemies land on your square it is game over straight away. You will also meet people along the way and get yourself a companion which allows you to switch between players to help complete certain levels. I found this was a nice added touch to the levels, added a good difficulty increase.
Quick restarts and a simple control scheme make this game addictive. There is no excuse for not trying again when a level reset is a button press away, who knows this might be the time you finally do it. There are no button combos to remember, d-pad all the way in this game. Warlock’s tower doesn’t try and cover up its simple gameplay with any glitter, it is what it is and you like it or not.
Warlock’s tower has a very classic Game Boy retro look to it. Each level is a single screen and the main variation comes from a change of colour depending on what floor you are on. As with previous Ratalaika games, the visuals won’t take your breath away, but they work for what this game is. The levels are clear, and it is easy to see what you are dealing with and what you need to do.
This game won’t take up too much of your time either. A couple of hours and you will have completed this game and got yourself a new Platinum for the collection. Get a guide up and you will fly through this game. Considering you only need to move up, down, left or right you can pretty much watch a guide and just use the d-pad to complete the game without even looking at the game screen.
It’s hard not to like Warlock’s Tower as it never asks too much of you. The puzzles are enjoyable to complete and throw in the odd surprise here and there to keep you guessing. The game has a great retro 8-bit feel to it that works great on the Vita for gaming on the go.
Yes, the level designs do not vary too much, and you won’t need to worry about skipping any fancy cut scenes but the game delivers what is says on the tin. Ratalaika have a talent for doing enough in their games to keep them enjoyable for the time it takes to complete them. I would certainly recommend this for a Vita playthrough or for younger gamers wanting a puzzle challenge on the big screen. Plus we all like an easy trophy every now and then.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*