Titan’s Tower Review (Wii U eShop)

Titan’s Tower, a ported mobile game from developer U1st Games, is the latest Wii U eShop offering from indie developer RCMADIAX. I had a few hours to spare over the weekend, so I figured I would give it a shot. Many people, by solely judging, will immediately dismiss Titan’s Tower as forgettable shovelware. Other people might chalk it up as “another cheap cash grab from RCMADIAX.” That said, I wasn’t able to write the game off as such.

Titan’s Tower blends the endless runner and action genres together, bringing with it an interesting and original style of gameplay. Unlike typical left-to-right runners, Titan’s Tower instead tasks the player with traversing vertically through a tower riddled with deadly obstacles. The fact that the player controls a Space Invaders look-alike character is completely irrelevant and besides the point. The game’s short bursts of addictive gameplay held my attention for a few hours, and it’s the main quality that allowed me to enjoy the game. Sadly, that’s pretty much where Titan’s Tower ends; it all becomes too repetitive, too quick, with no worthwhile incentive to keep playing.

Before I continue, there’s something I would like to address with the game’s title. The original mobile game, as seen on Google Play, is listed as “Titans Tower” — without an apostrophe. Nintendo’s official website, the Nintendo eShop, and RCMADIAX all follow suit by not including the apostrophe in the title. However, in the actual game, on the title screen itself, “Titan’s Tower” is displayed. There’s an apostrophe for a good reason, and it baffles me why it’s not included when displayed outside of the game. The error could have been an honest oversight from the game’s original developer. As a result, the lack of an apostrophe has simply become the standard way of styling the title. For the purpose of this review (and because it just seems more correct), I’m adding the apostrophe to the game’s title.

The object of Titan’s Tower is simple enough: vertically traverse a tower to collect as many coins as you can without dying. Each side of the tower is lined with various obstacles that’ll send you back to the start — from shallow pits, to poisonous thorns, to rail-like barriers. The barriers are destroyed automatically with lightning strikes as you jump through them, but your timing must be spot-on. With each press of the “A,” your character alternates, by jumping, to the tower’s left and right wall.

The button action itself is where some players might give up too quickly before realizing it’s not as bad as it seems — I know I did at first. However, quickly pressing the “A” button in between jumps allows for more precision, which ultimately feels smoother and offers you more control. Also, holding the Wii U GamePad vertically instead of horizontally gives the game that left-to-right (in this case, right-to-left) feel and makes the game much easier and enjoyable to play.

Each run lasts anywhere from a single second to about 30-45 seconds. During my most successful run, I manged to collect a whopping 48 coins, and that’s a good enough score to take home 1st place. (I’m hoping Leigh doesn’t bother trying to beat my score again, either.)

Titan’s Tower on Wii U suffers from terrible frame rate; initially, I could not tell if the game’s constant skipping was the way it was meant to be played, or if it really did suffer from frame rate issues. It turns out that the mobile version of the game is much smoother in this department.

When I first fired up the game, I was greeted with a single pleasant sounding music track. Unfortunately, it did not carry over for normal gameplay. Instead, players only hear sound effects for things such as exotic birds, the pitter-patter of the character’s feet as he bounces from wall to wall, collected coins, and lightning strikes as barriers are busted into oblivion.

Titan’s Tower is so basic that it doesn’t even need a game menu. It uses the “A” button for all actions, and the Wii U GamePad’s only touchscreen function is the “Play” button that appears after losing a life. High scores are not saved after exiting the game, which was kind of a bummer; a simple Miiverse leaderboard would have been a nice addition to this port, but at $1.49, I suppose that would be asking a bit too much.

Titan’s Tower on Wii U is an inexpensive and mediocre game better suited for its originally intended mobile audience where people are always on the go. I didn’t expect hours upon hours of memorable gameplay, but the game did manage to give me a few moments of heart-throbbing tension as I raced after my high score. Once players figure out the intended action of the “A” button, Titan’s Tower proves to be an OK eShop experience, but not much else.