For many, twin-stick shooters had their heydey in the arcades. If you grew up in Europe, however, you probably recall the Commodore Amiga bringing all manner of great shooters to your home computer. Developer Pixwerk were inspired by these releases, especially by the work of the famous Bitmap Brothers, and this shows in Tower 57. Tower 57 is a brand new twin-stick shooter for one or two players with gorgeous artwork, action-packed gameplay and a seriously cool vibe.
The very first thing anyone is likely to notice when launching Tower 57 is the outstanding pixel art. This colorful dieselpunk realm is absolutely dripping with details in every scene. Backgrounds look lush and feature all manner of intricacies. Playable characters and enemies move with surprisingly fluid animation. Bullets, of course, are quite colorful and comically big and bright so no one misses them. It’s kind of ridiculous once you realize all this work came from a single artist. Amiga gamers will definitely feel some similarities in the artwork, except now that style of art is presented in HD which is just plain stunning.
As gorgeous as the artwork may be, it wouldn’t be able to save Tower 57 if the gameplay were just plain boring. Fortunately, twin-stick shooter fans will find a lot to love in this game. The very first step is to select a character. Each brings with them different default weapons and abilities (though you can snag others during the course of a playthrough). Characters match this dieselpunk vibe perfectly, with a mobster and flamethrower wielding Abraham Lincoln available among the roster of seven unique playable characters.
Once in a level you’ll know just what to do – shoot anything and everything. There are a wide variety of baddies, each of which with their own style of weaponry (close range, long range, etc). Killing off certain monsters yields their weapon. Feel free to pick it up and start using it against others. Just be careful if you opt to play in co-op mode. There is friendly fire, which can lead to some seriously unfortunate events if you’re not careful about where you spew bullets. Shooting at crates and even walls can prove useful. This is because the destructible environment sometimes hides hidden areas with new loot.
Tower 57’s campaign is designed to work both in single and multiplayer. Anyone who opts to play with a friend has the option to jump in via local or online co-op. It’s worth noting that this all takes place in on a single screen. After all, a split screen view would probably end up looking way too hectic. Sometimes, you or your friend might even lose a pixelated limb. Fortunately there’s a vending machine accessible which grants players access to new, better appendages more suited toward battle.
A twin-stick shooter like this shouldn’t be relegated exclusively to PC. As such, it’s great news to hear that Tower 57 is coming not only to PC (for Windows, Mac and Linux) but also to PS4 and Xbox One. No release date has been revealed just yet, but we’re still expecting to see it launch sometime in 2017.