I'm not sure which day it was that God created Tetris, but the very
next day all the clones started crawling out of the woodwork.
From the irreverent creators of Natural Fawn Killers and Hot Chix
'n' Gear Stix comes this Biblical-themed puzzle game. When the
people of Babylon began building the Tower of Babel to climb to
Heaven, God punished their arrogance by giving them all different
languages. But what if God wasn't paying attention? That's where
you come in: it's your job to stop them. I'll leave it to the
theologians to decide whether or not this is blasphemous.
How do you accomplish your task? Surprise, surprise... you rotate
and place falling blocks. Each block has three symbols on it
(crucifix, star of David, that little Jesus fish, etc). Line up three or
more of the same symbol in a line and they get zapped out of the
structure. The more you knock out with one move, the more points
you get. And of course, eliminating blocks shifts the other blocks
down, which can trigger a chain reaction knocking out more
portions of the tower. You can shift the order of the symbols within
the blocks before they hit the tower, and rotate the tower. You
won't be needing a reference card for these controls.
After a while, you get a wider variety of symbols, making the
situation more difficult. Each stage requires that you remove a
certain number of blocks to progress to the next level. If the tower
hits the top of the screen before you complete the objective, the
hand of God sweeps down and it's game over. Some levels only
count matches in a particular direction (horizontal, vertical, or
diagonal). Later on in the game you get special blocks to help you
-- a "Wild Card" block and a "Spite Block" (which eliminates all of
whichever symbol it lands on).
At first, I had a pretty good time playing Tower of the Ancients. It's
a decent twist on the Tetris theme. But it doesn't take long to tire
of it. Once you've done the first 10 levels or so, you've seen all the
game has to offer. After that, it's just more of the same, except the
levels require more blocks to complete. There didn't seem to be
any end to it, it just gets harder and harder until you lose. This
works for Tetris because the speed of the game ramps up with
each level until it reaches a frenzied pace. In Tower, the speed
remains constant while subsequent levels will take longer and
longer to complete. You can't save the game at all, so it's either
continue after you lose, or start all over again next time you play.
The whole game is essentially frustration or boredom without
The graphics are what you'd expect from a budget developer:
crude. Lighting "effects" consist of pure white hyper-pixelated
blobs randomly floating around the screen. The backgrounds are
somewhat pleasing, but nothing that couldn't have been done five
years ago. The hand of God strangely resembles the hand of a
On the audio front, things aren't much better. The music is
appropriately epic-sounding, with ominous choirs and Gregorian
chants. However, it tends to be choppy, and get buried in the
cluttered ambient sounds. The blast of "Hallelujah" you get after
pulling off nice combo is satisfying, but the "laser" sound of a row
being wiped out will get under your skin after one or two levels.
There's no reason for this game not to have multiplayer. I'm
reasonably sure that with three days training in whatever
language this is coded in (I'm guessing Fortran) I could stick two
towers next to each other and map a secondary group of controls
for side-by-side play.
So is it worth your $15? I'm going to have to say no. Unless you
enjoy endlessly repetitive tasks, this game won't hold the interest
of even the most diehard puzzle fan for more than 10 minutes.
Run far away from this one, and don't look back or you might turn
into a pillar of salt.
Overall Impression [2/10