November 23, 2015 6:00 AM | Joel Couture
Not that falling is something you want to do. You want to go UP. It's just that up is filled with treacherous leaps, huge pits, weird cat-monsters, spikes, and lots of other things that are either going to kill you or send you back down again. Way, way back down. It's a good thing that everyone who's attempting the climb has ridiculous upper body strength and can cling to any wall or ceiling they come in contact with, otherwise this would be a very short journey for many. Except that it's still going to be a real short trip for you most of the time, as the generated towers of Davioware's Towerclimb are always satisfyingly challenging. You know, in a masochistic way.
The game creates a brand new tower for you each time you start. You might hop in to find lava is pooling up underneath your feet, bubbling its way toward you. You could be underwater, huge killer fish swimming your way in moments. Or, you might look up to see a series of columns stretching up above you, just within reach. It's a new climb with new challenges every time, which is good considering how much time you'll likely get stuck in each individual chapter. These towers are not easy on our little climbers, as you'll have to take risky leaps if you're going to want to make it to the exit.
It's the tools you're given to climb that keep you coming back to try it again. The player can cling to any surface if they hold the button down, even crawling across the ceiling. The only thing you can't do is cling to a roof and swing up to a higher surface. If that doesn't help you, you have a suite of jars you can buy from witches that let you double jump, blow up pieces of wall, or revive yourself, helping you through some tough areas. The game also sprinkles lots of odd items around that you can collect, giving you weapons, boxes for a little added jump height, shoes that let you move (or kill yourself) faster, and a whole assortment of gadgets.
With a suite of neat tools and some great climbing abilities, you'd think it would be easier to stay alive in Towerclimb, but it isn't. It only takes a small error in jumping distance, the tiniest miscalculation of how close you are to an enemy, or moving just a bit too slow before you'll find yourself dead. Patience and skill will help you climb this tower and reveal its mysteries, but luckily, Towerclimb hits that very specific spot where it's just challenging enough to be satisfying instead of infuriating. Not that you won't get mad when you plummet to your death for the hundredth time. Can't do much about that.