Tricky Towers is an interesting little game, it has a pedigree with relatives in the mobile world and is the brainchild of Netherlands devs WeirdBeard. All good so far.
It’s also heading the PS Plus selection for August 2016, which may or may not win hearts.
At its heart Tricky Towers is a reverse take on Tetris, taking the drop puzzler out of the confines of its narrow play area and unleashing the laws of physics. The base game is all about surviving long enough to build the highest stack of blocks before they come tumbling down quicker than a Jenga stack in a room full of drunken hipsters.
Straight out of the gates it is quite obvious that the game is centred around being a multiplayer fun fest, online or preferably couch co-op work well and having a group of keen players racing to stack bricks really adds to etc experience. Not only does the game offer Races and Survival stages, but there are a number of puzzle levels with constraints like keeping your bricks under a stage ending laser.
As a party game it really is fast, furious and fun.
The stages speed by, more often than not due to clumsy block placement than game disrupting spells. Spells? Yes, the primary characters are cloud floating wizards and during each level they gain access to random spells which can either aid themselves or hamper other players. The effects of these spells vary between keeping bricks in place or locking them into their original falling shape and as any Tetris lover would know – its all about the rotation.
The levels themselves also throw in odd effects like hugely oversize bricks that can demolish your lovingly crafted tower or a few second of high speed bricks coming down far to quick to position properly. Not forgetting that losing a section of your tower will cost one of three lives and losing sections of towers can come all too quickly.
As a single player experience it lags far behind the co-op game modes.
All of the elements above make Tricky Towers fun in a crowd, but when its dialled back to Single Player it feels wrong, the balance seems to be out and the effects can destroy your game in seconds. I’m sure they are great on the whiteboard, but setting out to grow a survival tower can be dashed in under twenty bricks because the game threw a high speed round, oversize bricks and fog at you. It soon stops being fun, it may still be quick and in your face, but doesn’t feel like something you can develop or improve on. The odds are too heavily stacked against the solo player without showing any reward and that is where it will struggle on PS Plus.
In summary, a top notch party game and super fun on the couch with the kids, but not for the solo players. Wizard out.