Thanks to Ratalaika Games for the review code
Title: Warlock’s Tower
Release Date: 05/28/2019
In this puzzle game, you take control of a delivery man who dares enter a cursed tower, as you guide him to the top while being very careful with your steps. One too many, and the effects of the tower will drain the life force away into an untimely death.
Warlock’s Tower tries a really good job at copying the Game Boy art style, and thankfully it manages to succeed in the same vein as other attempts such as Squidlit and Mr Tako. The monochromatic colors are in full display here, and while there may be no fancy borders or visual options like the two games in question, Warlock’s Tower feels more like playing an early Game Boy Color title, in the sense that each floor of the tower becomes a different color, akin to how Pokemon Yellow gives every town a different color.
Thus, you don’t stick to one color palette for the entire adventure, but rather it’s used as an indicator on how far you’ve come, and works as a pretty clever way of indicating worlds, ala once again, some old GBC classics. The sprite art is well done and while the game is way more zoomed in than any GB title would ever be due to being in widescreen, (if it was the original GB resolution, Warlock would be tiny and require a border) the visuals are sharp and colorful, nailing that tribute aspect.
Warlock’s Tower is a puzzler that tasks you from guiding the delivery man to the exit door of each stage. This is done on a timing system, as each step you take drains your life force, and once it hits zero, your delivery man fades into oblivion. But hitting numbered balls will refill that life force, and thus you can take the amount of steps labeled on said balls. Navigating around hazards, obstacles, objects and set pieces, you first have to find the key, and then make your way to the door. It’s a short and simple concept, but leads to creative solutions, not unlike GB puzzlers of old.
Warlock also throws new mechanics in the mix now and then, to evolve the gameplay and help make it not feel too stale. You eventually gain the option to place your own checkpoint flag, so you don’t have to start from zero in a stage upon a failure, and some stages introduce a female girl scaling the tower, leading to some stages that lets you swap between the delivery man and girl to solve puzzles, kinda reminding me of Catrap’s late game stages in that sense.
As you unlock more stages and floors, each throwing new mechanics and enemies your way, you’ll also stumble upon bonus or optional stages, which can put up quite a fight! some of these stages are very picky with step count, requiring that you be precise with it and take one set route, but once you nail it, then it feels oh so satisfying.
In conclusion, Warlock’s Tower is a simple, yet brilliant logic game with fun puzzles to enjoy during the 100 stage journey. It’s a simple concept that sticks to simplicity while not feeling repetitive nor hastily thrown together, the stages where you swap between characters are a ton of fun as well, and overall Warlock’s Tower is a Game Boy Puzzler tribute done justice, something that I was very pleased to see for a game I didn’t have much expectations for.
Definitely worth spending some time with if this grabs your attention! Really the only gripe I have comes from how the game is still basic to a fault, but that adds more to the authenticity! If you enjoyed GB puzzlers growing up, then definitely give Warlock’s Tower a look.
I give Warlock’s Tower an 8 out of 10.