Indie Review: Tower of Heaven (Flash)

In those moments where work is meant to be our top priority, there is always a distracting game a click away. Only a few offer the same grip on us once in the comfort of our home, Tower of Heaven being one of the latter manages to offer an addictive and nostalgic handheld-esque experience.

Originally uploaded to Newgrounds in April 2010, the game has seen rave reviews and constant praise not only from the on site community, but elsewhere such as Destructoid. And quite rightly so! Tower of Heaven not only offers a retro pleasing visual display, but a challenge even Super Meat Boy and VVVVVV would be proud of.

A climb into the past...

Taking inspiration from the Nintendo Game Boy, Tower of Heaven features an entire landscape and array of sprites detailed in just four colours. This instant monochrome reminder of the 8-bit handheld is more than enough to get retro gamers in the mood for yet another pixel inspired adventure. But does the gameplay match the fantastic style?

Taking control of a lone traveller, you must defy a spiteful god sat at the top of the world by climbing up and beyond the many challenges placed on the way up. These challenges are almost in a league of their own. As each level progresses a new rule is added to the laws of the tower, featuring it's fair selection of crippling (yet enjoyable) constraints in game.

By level 6, the traveller is now prevented from walking left, touching the sides of walls and landing on a certain colour block or he faces an instant death. Although the rules initially seem straight forward (and unfair), once combined they begin to display unavoidable obstacles and traps adding a whole new level of depth to platform games as we know it. Needless to say, you will be scratching your head rather often as you work out the best routes and techniques to advance.

It must be said, the real item which gels the entire game together is the chiptune soundtrack. Flashygoodness who kindly provided the entire score for the game, offer a unique style so fitting for the games' design and general direction. Similar to how the graphics offer a look back into the likes of the Nintendo Game Boy catalogue, the soundtrack allows your ears to revisit a time when computer chips ruled the gaming world and your very own ears.

Tower of Heaven Gameplay Video


Overall Tower of Heaven is a complete breath of fresh/retro air. In a time where Flash can offer full 3D gaming using libraries such as Papervision and Away3D, it's a real treat seeing a game dedicated to the art of the past offering a real challenge while remaining a pleasure to play.

So should you have a spare few minutes over the next few days, be sure to give Tower of Heaven a quick play through and absorb the many inspirations it has grown from.

Link: Play Tower of Heaven on Newgrounds

Last Updated ( 28 February 2011 )  


Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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