Specific Ratings

Learning CurveF
Replay ValueD

Pros and Cons

  • The game IS able to be beaten
  • Good intro story
  • Horrible graphics
  • Repetitive music
  • Huge pointless dungeons
  • Slow movement
  • Game balance
  • Steep learning curve

Deadly Towers (Nintendo Entertainment System)

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A challenge? Or just a bad game?


Deadly Towers is an action/RPG published in 1986, as the second role-playing game released on the NES. In Deadly Towers, you play as Prince Myer, who has been told by some random voice from a lake, that he has to save his kingdom by destroying 7 bells in 7 towers. When these bells are destroyed, you are told to take down the evil sorcerer, Rubas. This story sequence at the beginning of the game is one of the high points.

The gameplay in Deadly Towers is riddled with faults. You start the game out extremely weak. You can take about three hits before you die, but the enemies take about 15 - 20 hits to be killed. Also, as you traverse through the castle, there are cliffs you can fall off of. If you fall off, you instantly die. What makes it worse is the fact that, when enemies hit you, you get knocked back a few inches which, if you are anywhere near one of those cliffs, you can fall off. When you die, you go back to where you start the game, lose any items you were not equipped with, and lose all your money (it resets back to 50).

To make things even more difficult, the collision detection in this game is horrendous. You get stuck if you get to close to the wall when moving and you have to stop and reverse yourself to get out. Most likely, if there is an enemy nearby when this happens, you're going to die. The only redeeming quality of the gameplay is the fact that you can move in eight directions (unlike most NES games *cough*Zelda* cough*). This was rather refreshing.

The level design is pretty bad too. In just about every area, there are dungeons, "Parallel Zones", and secret rooms. The bad thing is that all of the entrances to these areas are hidden, but out in the open, and if you step on certain spots you get teleported to these places. If you accidentally step on one of these and you are low on health, sometimes it will teleport you right on top on an enemy, thereby instantly killing you. Also, even if you survive your entrance to one of these areas, unless it is a secret room, you can't just turn around and walk out, you have to find the exit. The dungeons themselves have over 200 rooms to go through, every one of them non-descript, which makes it VERY easy to get lost. The sad thing is, through the entire game, I only needed to go into two of these dungeons, and that was just to get supplies from the shops that are hidden inside them. So that means that the other eight dungeons aren't even needed.

The graphics are terrible and the backgrounds are drab. The only difference between a lot of them are the colors, which seems random, and some of them are bright enough to make it hard to see what's going on. The enemies are almost all just a solid color, with no details or anything, and most of them seem to be shapeless blobs.

The music is a little interesting at first, and a lot of it seems to fit. But there are maybe five different tracks to the whole game, and they are rather short. So it is pretty repetitive, but never to the point of annoyance.

The learning curve is ridiculously steep. Like I mentioned before, you start out REALLY weak and it takes many tries and many deaths to get anywhere in this game. It will stay steep until you start randomly finding the items that make it easier. Once you do find these items though, it starts to even out a bit, and when you get them all, it gets ridiculously easy....well, compared to earlier at least.

Finally, there is no replay value in this game. Once you finish it (if you did), you won't want to play it again, because for one, it's frustrating enough the first time. For two, it's no different. You will do it the same way the second time as you did the first time.

All in all, I know it sounds like I hated this game. In the end I did derive some fun out of it and I actually remember it slightly fondly now. It was difficult to get through, but I liked it in an odd sort of way. I would suggest picking it up and giving it a shot only if you are REALLY bored or if you want a challenge.

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