Grab a Friend: Towerfall Ascension
Do you ever wish you had more games to play with your friends when they come over? Well look no further! Grab a friend, grab a PS4 or PC, and get ready to play Towerfall Ascension!
Towerfall is a four-player, 2D, archery-based game that was released in 2013 by Matt Makes Games Inc. It costs $15.00 ($25.00 if you also buy the expansion: Dark World). It’s an arena game that pits players against waves of enemies or against each other. The game can be played in single player mode, but it’s easy to see why it is mostly a multiplayer game as soon as you start playing. The game starts you off in relatively simple arenas in which you can learn the basics of the game. These basics include aiming/shooting, maneuvering, and picking up items. Once you have a solid grasp on all three, it becomes more fun and challenging.
There are two options for multiplayer: co-op or versus. Cooperative mode puts you and another friend (another three with the Dark World Expansion) against waves of enemies. Once you complete a certain amount of waves, a boss spawns which you then have to kill. Once you kill the boss, you unlock the next arena. Each arena introduces something new for the player to experiment with. For example, the second arena introduces a new arrow type called the Bramble arrow: when you shoot it, a row of barbs will appear wherever the arrow lands. While completing levels, you can also complete special tasks to unlock a few hidden characters. The cooperative mode is a great way for not only you, but also your friends to get acquainted with the game and its’ mechanics without anyone falling behind.
Speaking of mechanics, they are fairly simple to get accustomed to. Your character is on a 2D platform, so he can only move left or right. You can jump or fall off of objects to move up or down on the map. Players who spend more time in the game will start using the sides of walls to wall jump up to higher places, or fall through the bottom to appear at the top of the screen. The game would be kind of boring if you could only move around, hence the shooting mechanic. Much like older 2D games, shooting is restricted to fixed positions like up, down, left, right, and diagonals. The arrows have gravity to them, so to hit your enemy, you will have to do a little bit of guessing on the arc of the arrow. If shooting an enemy is too hard, you can always just jump on top of them Mario-style. If one of your friends is attempting to shoot or jump on you, you have a few options. The first, most obvious option, is to shoot or jump back. The next best option is to dodge. Dodging follows the same rules as shooting (directionally), and is a perfect tool for any master. You can dodge into arrows to catch them mid-air, or you can dodge out of the way of someone dropping on top of you. All of these mechanics may seem like a lot to get used to, but a couple of matches is all anyone really needs to get used to it.
Once you get used to the controls, the versus mode is where this game really shines. Remember earlier in the article I wrote that arrow types could change? Well that’s not the only thing: Arrow types, map type, map effects, pickups, and even special traits can be mixed and matched to create a unique game every time. My favorite variants to equip are the bomb arrows, double jump, faster dodge, no pickups, and no map effects. I like to change up the arrow type every time, but bomb arrows just feel so rewarding. As for making variants yourself, try to mix and match all of the different options to create a new game every time you play with someone.
There are three different game types to choose from in versus mode: Headhunters, Team Deathmatch, or Last Man Standing. In Headhunters, each kill gets you a point, but each suicide takes one away. The first player to reach the set goal wins. Team Deathmatch is pretty similar, but you have a friend to help you. Last Man Standing is self-explanatory: be the last person standing. Matches can last anywhere from seconds to multiple minutes. Characters die after one shot from an arrow, so be careful with your shots!
I highly recommend Towerfall Ascension for anyone that has friends over that like to compete. For consoles and PC, it is available on Steam or PS4 for $15.00 USD without the expansion, $25.00 USD with the expansion and the game. So go out and grab a friend!