Recently, there was a conversation regarding the worst NES game that any of the Best.Team.Ever staff has played or owned. We listed off the worst game we ever played on the good old NES and my choice was Deadly Towers. I had remembered it as an infinitely frustrating and mundane display of mediocrity. It just so happens that there was a list that proclaimed it to be THE WORST NES GAME OF ALL TIME. However, that surely was not good enough for me. I had to make sure that those memories, perhaps blocked like a tragedy of childhood, were true. I can’t say how I was able to play it again, but I can give you a review. Scores are out of 10 suicidal gamers.
- Gameplay: Let’s start here, because it if so easy. If you could imagine the movie Groundhog Day, but strip away the comedic acting of Bill Murray, the beauty of Andy MacDowell, and anything resembling creativity, you would still have something ten times as good as Deadly Towers. The levels, or rooms, or whatever you want to call them, are monotonous at best. I know that the NES does have just two buttons and a D-pad, but there were so many games that did so much with just these three items. In fact, the Atari, with its one button and joystick, probably did more. You go around shooting swords at the same collection of about 7 types of enemies for as long as I cared to play. Every once in a while you came across a “boss”, but given that a hit from your sword would freeze its victim, they stood no chance and you were back to fighting bouncing balls and groups of pixels that I could only guess were actually swarms of bees.
Score: 2 suicidal gamers
- Playability: This game is absolutely impossible. I would not say that any one enemy is that hard to beat, but imagine this. There is a game where if you die once, you get sent back all the way to the very first stage. To make matters worse, every hit from even a living Slinky takes about one third of your life. Power ups? Never heard of them. I mean, there are those health meter increases, but they only increase your max health. Oh, and if you die, you only start with the original amount, regardless of how many of those health meter increases you find. This is that game. Did I mention that there are many ledges to perish off of, and each time you get hit you spin uncontrollably towards one? Yeah, that happens.
Score: 1 suicidal gamer
- Graphics: Seriously? Every single room looks the same. Not that the layouts are identical, but if you are looking for any way to tell areas apart in order to reasonably navigate this game, then good luck. My advice? Just keep going up. There are about five graphic features that are used repeatedly, and not very well at that. The bosses are alright. They do offer some variety, but not much. The graphic below is easily the most interesting stage I have seen in this game.
Score: 1 suicidal gamer
- Sound: I have to admit that the music is fairly catchy, and it actually changes as the game goes on. It is kind of a medieval type of music, and might make the first five minutes you play the game tolerable. It does not however, make up for anything else.
Score: 6 suicidal gamers
Overall Impression: I hate this game. I hated it when I was 9 years old and I hate it today. It not only brings back bad memories, it makes me wonder just how in the hell this game met with the Nintendo Seal of Approval.