April 22, 2015 | Written By: Tracy Brozek
Made by indie developer, Joe Mirabello, Tower of Guns is a randomized, fast paced, first person shooter that keeps you guessing every time you play. He describes this short burst, twitch game as a mixture of Binding of Isaac and Doom 2.
In total there are eight different guns that you can unlock and eleven perks to help you get all the way to the top. As you progress through each room you can increase your gun's power by collecting blue orbs and boxes up to level five. There are three game modes: normal, endless, and dice roll. In normal and endless you fight your way to the very top of the tower, but in endless you are ranked against all of the other players. In dice roll, every time you enter a new room you will get a bonus that will either help or hurt you. Some of the bonuses include more money, no enemies, less health, jumping the whole time, and so on and so forth. Throughout the levels you can pick up or buy different gun mods and items. At the start of every few runs is a Caketown that gives you upgrades, mods, and items that are usable for that round. Every time you shoot open a new door (yes, you have to shoot the doors in order to open them, just like in real life) to progress through the floor you are greeted with a completely different set-up. This means that the room layout, number of enemies, kinds of guns, and collectible locations all change from the last time you were there on previous runs.
The design style has a gritty, comic-like feel. Think a mixture of Wolf Among Us and Borderlands. The use of somewhat unnatural colors keep up the game not so serious attitude while still keeping things believable (or at least as believable as at tower filled with guns that are all trying to kill you can be). It has a great mix of bright and fun, and dark and menacing. The style fits really well with the randomness of the entire game. All of the guns have their own unique designs and abilities so you can determine your strategy as soon as you enter a room. The bosses are insane looking and have an intimidating feel.
Every time you start a new run you get a random story, none of which make much sense in context with the game overall. Some of the stories start out as pretty cliché, ranging from zombie apocalypse, generic action hero, and a super soldier in a war, but, divulge into ridiculousness and don’t take themselves even remotely seriously. Others are just out of nowhere, like a lost couple, a robot butler talking you through the game, to the developers themselves making fun of the fact that the stories don't make sense. You can completely ignore the stories pretty easy since they pop up at the top of the screen and only happen at the beginning and/or end of a floor. Unfortunately, if you do want to read what's going on, time still ticks away, increasing your overall time for the floor.
Tower of Guns is a great time killer with its comic-like design, a good balance of challenge and frustration, and gratuitous amount of guns. It only takes you a minute or two to figure out what you're supposed to do the first time. After that everything is determinant on what you remember of the floor plan from previous runs, your aim, and how good your reflexes are. The stories don’t really add anything but they are fun to read and laugh at. Between unlocking all of the guns and perks, finding all of the secrets in each floor, collecting all one thousand gamerscore, and, of course, getting to the top of the tower, there is quite a bit to keep you coming back. You can pick it up for $14.99 for PC, PS4, PS3 and Xbox One.