Pixel Perfection: Tower 57 Hits Amiga


This Tower 57 article has been on the “list” for way too long now, the crazy thing here is that the first preview article was nearly done in “early” January and then postponed due to Daniel ‘Daytona675x’ Müßener’s (the guy behind this Amiga port) hard work and ongoing changes and optimisations.

I was let in on the beta-team early and believe me, it’s been a long time since there was an Amiga game that got this much attention from me. It was pretty clear early on, that Tower 57 was most certainly going to be the best Amiga game in long, very long time for sure.

There were beta testing, features suggestions and a lot of Amiga love going on, the articles were always pushed in front of me, in fear of demotivating either Daniel or the original creators in one way or another which could or would have led to the Amiga project being cancelled or whatever.

So without more excuses and silly ideas, here is a little write-up about one of the best games ever to grace the Amiga OS4.x platform.

Tower 57 is a Steam/Diesel punk-themed old-school Top Down 2D Twinstick shoot em up developed by Pixwerk which might give you strong vibes to the Bitmap Brothers Amiga classic – The Chaos Engine.

Multiplayer plays a big role in Tower 57, yup just like The Chaos Engine and as we all know, most games work best if played together with someone and therefore recommended, there ain’t any A.I. cooperative choice, so if you play alone then you will be alone too unlike in Chaos Engine where you got that A.I. player that run all over the place.

The first thing you have to do is to select three characters out of 7 possible (see screenshots below for the six others)  and if you’re playing with a friend then he must select three others too.

The style is distinctive and it’s easy to spot the differences between each player and avatar while playing so there is no need to carefully select which ones to chose with your friend.

The three characters you select works as a three-life-tag-team system if you die then your next one jumps in if you lose all three then its game over and you will have to start from the last save point.

You can also switch between your three selected characters, sometimes very smart to do so too due to the various weapons and skills that tell them apart.

The unique graphical/visual style and variation has to be the best thing with the game.

The thing with Tower 57 is that each human player gets to chose three characters at the beginning of the game, if you die then you play the next one you selected and if all three dies then it’s game over.

Each of the characters got special weapons and gear, some of them feel very similar to each other but others are downright brilliant and exceptional at times. 

I learned early on that selecting the right players meant a lot to my game style, the upgrades is another thing that is quite crucial too, they’re not common either so when you do an upgrade in the shop then make sure you go for the one you like the most (if you know by then that is… you will learn it the hard way for sure, that’s what i did anyway…).

The graphical style of the game is pure pixel art and its goal was to make one of the best looking retro-styled games so far, Diesel-Punk is the best word i can come up with right now as it ain’t 100% Steampunk either, a good mix I’d say and it looks amazing to say it in a nice way (i want to use the F… word here but i try to be civil :p).

The game starts off rather slowly and quite boring, I want to blame the first music track really, absolutely not my kind of soundtrack in that level. The train level kicks off with a tutorial that i have probably played 100 times by now since i wanted to start from the beginning of every major update on the beta list, and i have to admit that i had to switch off the music after a while.

I bet you’re wondering about the rest of the music and sound fx? , well, it gets much better after a while, but i never found a track that i really, really liked, but it was only the first level track that i switched the music off in.

The sound fx works really good, very good quality and never annoying or repetitive.

The graphical style is changing throughout the game and it works tremendously good as an “ONE MORE GO, I WANT TO SEE THE NEXT LEVEL” motivator.

The more you progress the better are the weapon upgrades and specials.

You will eventually get to some intense boss fights, throwing specials and shooting like a maniac is a must here if you want to succeed.

The bosses can be a pain in the arse even on Easy difficulty, too much action means that if you’re not paying attention or have stacked enough up before the fight means that you simply won’t stand a chance.

The technical side of the game is rather exceptional too, the final version shows a pretty fluid framerate and a really good experience in 1080p, yes even on my Pegasos 2 board with a Radeon 9250 card in it. 

Daniel has worked really hard on optimizations and rewrites to be able to pull off this masterpiece of a port, the framerate, the controls, and the whole games feel like an AAA title and maybe most of all like a real Amiga exclusive title.

Another cool feature that i have yet to see mentioned elsewhere is the auto updater, as soon as you start the game there will pop up a box which gives you the chance to update the game to the latest version or not if there is a new update of course.

I have tried it and it’s quick and easy, very uncommon on the Amiga :p.

— Out with the PlayStation 4 and PSVR sets now —

My fellow blogger and good friend Gianluca ‘g0blin’ Girelli made this Feature picture for the review, in his typical style and as always funny.  Good stuff, thanks again g0blin.

If there is one thing i want to be done with Tower 57 then that is a big boxed retail version, no need for huge posters and figurines or whatever, but sure if they want to do that then i want it too.

I played the game mostly with a PlayStation 4 pad, but there’s also PS2 pad support and a lot of other controllers too, but make sure it got dual sticks as playing with one is rather pointless I’d say, yes it’s a twin-stick shooter you know ;).

The reason for the Xbox controller picture is beyond my understanding, but nonetheless, the game supports a lot of controllers even if it shows a god damned XBOX something controller :p.

You can also play it with a mouse & keyboard method, i suck at controls like this but i know a lot of PC gamers prefer this style over a normal gamepad.

Tower 57 started off as a Kickstarter game and the developers joked around with an Amiga logo and such at first, it was meant as a tribute only and there was never going to be an Amiga port originally.  I was one of the guys asking them about a possible Amiga port and somehow the ball started rolling and it didn’t take long before Daniel was tagged in the discussion, amazingly he said yes to do a port and even better, the devs did agree on it!.

The Kickstarter managed to get 1984 backers, a huge feat for such a title and project.

My deepest gratitude and respect goes to the developers of this project, best of all that the guys allowed an outsourced Amiga port too which is out of the question for many devs today.

Grab the game from the Pixwerk website, it’s only 11.99 USD.

The final verdict is pretty clear i guess, mostly positive things to say means that this ends up as the best game yet on the AmigaOS 4 platform, great controls, loads of tweaks and one of the best 2D pixelized looking games on all current formats, there ain’t any random generated levels and useless 8 bit looking design to be found, everything looks and feels like a AAA title and ranks high on the ladder on my retro of all time list, yes on every system that i have played.

This game is a must buy, it’s cheap and i suggest that you donate some extra money directly to Daniel as he ain’t getting any money from sales from Pixwerk/Benitosub.

Sorry for the late review Daniel, i will return with more soon enough, thanks again.

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14 thoughts on “Pixel Perfection: Tower 57 Hits Amiga

  1. Wow! 10 out 10! But then again I do agree! 😉 I had to play this on STEAM. But I would love to play Tower57 on an Amiga! 😀

    1. I had you fooled 😀
      I just didn’t want to spoil it, just to tease but i had to make sure it really was as good as you said before hyping myself up 🙂

      1. Thanx m8, looks like I’m better at drawing than at coding …. 🙂
        Anyway, I’m currently working on porting Middle City on Android and then … something else may appear, but it will take a while.

        1. Thanks a lot for that very very generous donation of your 🙂
          Ahhh, Middle City! I remember that when I translated its review for the AmigaFuture I found the critizism way too harsh. The gfx and story were top and the code-issues were no show-stoppers. Good luck for the Android-port!

  2. Slowly on the rise here ( likes ),i noticed that there are quite a few guys who said that they have bought the PC version now thanks to my review… i hope the Miggy version got a spike too. Dsniel? You know any details?

    1. I can’t tell. My update server only records the successful update-requests itself, so it’s somewhat good enough to roughly tell how many Amiga-copies of the game are in use and on which Amiga-flavour they’re running on. But I don’t log the update-date (and I didn’t monitor the stats), so I cannot tell how many have been added since your article went online 😛

  3. Gianluca, as ever your picture is very cute. ^^

    This game is playable in Amiga, isn’t it? It is surely a wonderful thing.
    I was interested in this game.
    However, it had been erased from the wishlist of steam before one is aware.
    I read this article and realized my mistake.
    I would add this game to wishlist again. Thanks for this post! ^^

    1. こんいちわ雪,
      the PC game is available on Steam. The Amiga version can be downloaded from the link inside the article.

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