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Tricky Towers (Xbox)

Developed by WeirdBeard, previously released on PC in 2016, Tricky Towers is available now on both PS4 and Xbox One for £11.99 on whichever platform you prefer! There are additional, inexpensive add-ons which you can also buy but they are purely cosmetic.

Tricky towers is essentially a physics-based, tetromino block placer. One of my earliest memories of gaming is when I played Columns on my Mum's Sega Game Gear and I've been a huge fan of any games that resemble it ever since, so I really couldn't wait to get started on Tricky Towers!

Tricky Towers is nice and colourful, well animated and sounds good (I was actually quite surprised that the background music was so calm compared to similar games!). Controls are easy to pick up and are easily viewed in the menu. Moving blocks is simple and you can easily change between positions, I haven't experienced too much stuttering, in fact, it only stutters slightly during puzzles where I am trying to "nudge" a piece into a gap; thankfully it is quite rare that this happens.

There is quite a lot of content available for you to get through and there is also competitive multiplayer both online and local!

In single player, you have "Trials" and "Endless" modes. A total of 50 trials for you to complete which increase with difficulty as you progress through them, completing one will award you a medal, collect enough medals and you're able to unlock the next set of trials (in order, they are: Rookie, Apprentice, Pro, Expert and Master).

The trials are made up of different game types:
  • Race - Quite simply, beat the AI (or if you're online, another player/s!) to the finish line!
  • Puzzle - you are given a set amount of block pieces and you have to stay under the designated laser line! It is trickier than you'd think...
  • Survival - you have 3 lives and you have to place as many blocks as possible; each time you drop a block, you lose a life!
Endless mode is the same game types just "endless" and you can see how you fare against the rest of the world or just your friends in the leaderboards! I was, at the very beginning, top of the leaderboard but I have resumed my place back down the list again since more people have been playing!

When you feel you've become an expert, you can take your expertise with you to play against others online which is a fantastic element to the game. Online matches are very much the same as the types you find in the single player, you're just up against others! It is definitely a lot more nerve-racking when you're trying to win a race against another player and you can tell when they're panicking because they start rapidly placing blocks willy-nilly, which of course only ends in tears literally as everything starts to crumble around them, ultimately ending their chances of a win.

My only issue though is that I've struggled with the online aspect. I tried over a few days at several times of day to find online matches and I was successful twice and both of those times, I played against only one other person (the game can support matches of 4 players). On the times where I was unsuccessful, I waited over ten minutes for someone to join me but they never did. Thankfully, if you have friends with the game then you can invite them to play with you online, which is what I ended up doing but I really would like to experience a full group of players!

I do love how there are magic spells to pick up and use to your (dis)advantage. It is a really nice twist to an already very enjoyable game. With a total of 17 dark and light magic spells available you can either help you or hinder your friends! I tend to lean towards helping myself for the most part, whenever I try to slow down the opposition it usually backfires and complete chaos unfolds on my half of the screen! From creating ivy covered blocks to latch onto others to having icy blocks that will literally stick to nothing! There is a lot of fun to be had just with the spells alone.

Overall, I have enjoyed playing Tricky Towers, I love the concept of it and the fact that you can play with friends is brilliant but it's not without its issues, matchmaking being my personal nemesis. If I had to give it a score it would be 7/10. Fix the random freezing and somehow find a way to improve matchmaking and it would have warranted a much higher score! Certainly a decent game nonetheless and there is plenty to keep you occupied in the single player modes!

Tricky Towers has 29 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore and I'm not joking when I say that this will require some serious hard work (and a fair amount of luck) to unlock all of the achievements. There are some progression based achievements for unlocking the next set of trials, winning online matches as well as a number of specialist achievements (Build a tower with 99 bricks in endless survival challenge without losing any hearts stands out as a particularly arduous one for me!). If you need any help or guidance with any of the achievements then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information!

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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