Pandora's Tower review
A refreshing feeling outside the common RPG cycle

The good:

Amazing story.
Deep immersion.
Multiple attack choice.
Varied puzzles.

The bad:

Not every puzzle is obvious enough to solve. This is frustrating given that you need to do perfect runs for the best affection route.
Not having full control of the camera hurts it a bit on the Water tower.


Among the multiple RPG's I have played all of them are quite... minimalistic in one aspect - interaction, you only move the character and push some buttons which does not give the feeling of true control. Pandora's Tower avoids this concept quite well with interactive stages and elemental based puzzles, the main example is on the chain you wield it allows you to interact with the stage, to a degree and with the monsters too.

For the monsters you can bind, pull and throw most monsters, meaning you can use this to quickly dispatch rooms filled with enemies by mixing it with your other weapon, your sword (later on you can chose dual swords or a scythe) by mastering this system will make your expeditions on the tower much more quicker and much more less troublesome.

Speed is the key here and I think that speed runners will have a great amount of challenge ahead of them. The reason is that the main goal of the game is to finish each of the towers in the least amount of time possible,there is a reason behind this, as your fiance is cursed, as the clock hands pass by her body becomes less human, only by killing and ripping the flesh of the monsters she can remain human, but there is a problem, ordinary flesh merely stops the curse, but it does not dispel it.

So for her to finally rid herself of the curse you need to climb each of the thirteen towers, and in each tower inhabits the strongest creature among it's fellow monsters, a Master. Each of the towers has a master and only by gathering the 13 cores and feeding them to her will cause the curse to wax and wane until it finally vanishes.

The gameplay of the game can be considered a blessed mix of things. It takes action elements out of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones/Rival Swords, where the chain will be your most useful tool as it will help to solve the puzzles and kill the monsters, whether it be by ripping them, throwing them or by binding them so you can give the finishing strike. As much as fun this is, you need to remember you are in a race against the clock, so you need to find the resting places of the chains as fast as you can to destroy them and reach the big doors and face the master.

Huh? You don't know what doors I am talking about? Must have slipped my mind. You see, each tower has two doors and two chains that bind the Master door that gives access to the Lord of the tower. To get access you need to destroy those chains, and in order to do so you need to find a special set of doors that can only be opened by using the chain to turn the gears inside the lock. Once inside the room a scene will play to show how good the condition of your girlfriend is. Depending on how much time has passed and if you have given her master flesh or not the scene will vary.

Returning to gameplay it also incorporates a level up system (to level 50, I am not sure if getting to new game plus raises the level cap) which will increase your HP, attack and defense (not by much on the last one). On the other hand it takes a Guilty Gear or Blazblue combo system, where the more you use the chain and the faster you strike with it then the bar of the object will deplete slower. That is important for a very big reason, as how much damage the chain can deal depends on how full the bar is.

It also takes on a sim date game perspective, by buying from the only shop of the game (that updates after you pass one of the thirteen towers) does not only reap benefits for your battles, but for your relationship too. Often there will be an item you can gift, and additionally searching around the observatory will give out nice gifts for her. The higher the love she has for you the closer you are to obtaining the best ending (some times if it's low enough it will cause one of the other endings to trigger up ending the game in a premature way, in one particular instance it can trigger the game over screen instead of an ending and allowing you to start the new game plus).

After writing all of these things I can finish saying, buy this game. Do yourself a favor and buy it, as the investment is well worth it and well rewarded.

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