Pixels, 8-bit music, pixels, fast-paced gameplay, shooting, pixels, huge bosses and some more pixels. What more do you need to have a great game? Not much, and game developer Manuel from RevampedPRO knows this quite well. His action-packed shooter, The Slimeking's Tower is a recent addition to the Google Play store, but it has already managed to take away more than enough time from our life. And we're grateful for that! Let's see what this dungeon crawler has to offer to Android gamers, from this review:
Gameplay above all
Independent or indie games are not new in the gaming scene, as more and more developers or small groups keep churning out high-quality games that, at least in terms of gameplay value, have a lot to offer to hardcore and casual gamers alike. Of course the lack of huge teams, a lot of specialists and a marketing machine, means that you shouldn't expect hours of jaw-dropping cinematics, licensed music or bleeding edge graphics, but hey, a good game is not made only from these elements.
Of course, as the number of indie titles keeps growing, quality can become an issue, but still, the ratio of high-quality games is still much better than in the classical, publisher-backed market. And The Slimeking's Tower is a great example. As for its genre, it is a bit hard to classify, as it is mostly an action-packed shooter that takes place in a dungeon with fantasy and RPG elements.
You are a hero (with a really cool hairstyle) who sets out on an adventure to defeat the evil slime king - and that's about it for the story. The game is rather action-focused as we get absolutely no insight into the reason why our hero is in the tower or why he wants to defeat the slime king and its minions in the first place. No matter, we're here for the pew-pew.
Set weapons to kill
The goal of the game in the default Adventure mode is to progress through several floors (some with multiple levels) of the slime king's tower, defeating all kinds of monstrosities along the way, to finally deal with the king himself. The goal is really simple: kill everything that moves with your machine gun. You can control your character with two virtual joysticks: the one on the left moves the hero, while you can use the one on the right to shoot. This way you can move in one direction and fire in any other, thus allowing the use of fighting tactics.
To make things a bit more complicated you have ice floors that make movement much harder, static and moving spike traps and lasers that hurt you, and of course a series of monsters, ranging from simple snakes, to hard-to-defeat blobs, and fireball-casting wizards that can even teleport.
In your glorious campaign against evil, you are aided by several powerups: you can pick them up for free or buy them from chests. Watch out for rooms with four unmarked chests, as these have random loot, some having negative effects.
There is also a type of chest that eats your coins one by one if you stand nearby, and randomly gives you powerups. There are 141 different kinds of powerups in the game, so good luck finding them all. By the way you can unlock these for gold coins you gather during the Adventure and Endless modes.
Your ammo is unlimited, but your health is not: by default there are three heart-shaped icons representing your hit points - most monsters and traps inflict 0.5 damage, so it's six hits and you're done. Of course some monsters drop hearts as well, so you can get healed, and you can also find hearts in special rooms and some powerups to increase your maximum health.
While we're at powerups: it's good to know that some have an immediate effect that lasts until you die (like upgrading your weapon, increasing your speed, etc.) and some need to be activated (teleportation, flame weapon, etc.).
Focus on carnage
As we said earlier, in the Adventure mode you can reach the slime king by going through its tower's floors, the first two of which have sub-sections. The number of rooms and their layout on each level are always randomly generated, and you can track these on the minimap in the top right corner. If you enter a room, you will have to kill all enemies and the doors will be locked until there are no monsters alive.
When you're done with all rooms, there is always a boss chamber on each level that houses a slime boss. These bosses come in different colors, all with their specific strengths and weaknesses, the final boss, the king being the most difficult to kill.
About difficulty: if you get used to the controls, the fact that your line of sight is limited most of the times, and to movement in tight areas or ice floors, the game becomes rather easy. Of course, there are always some tricky situations, the bosses can be a bit more difficult, but it usually takes only a couple of tries to go through the whole game.
Of course that is only true for the Normal difficulty setting. But, if you like hard games, you still don't have to complain: besides that, Hard and Insane modes are also available, and these are a considerable challenge.
In The Slimeking's Tower , the levels are randomly generated and the game has an immense replay value. Whenever you have five minutes, you can take your revenge on the slimes for a really bad Monday you're having. And that is the whole point of the game: just run and swirl through the rooms and floors, keep the ammo raining on the bad guys and have lots and lots of fun.
But that's not the only thing that increases replayability, as Adventure mode is only one of the three available gameplay modes. The Endless Mode is a dungeon with an infinite number of levels, while the Arcade Mode is a single level with incoming waves of monsters. We lasted until level 32, but it seemed to be endless.
And we just have to mention one of our experiences here: we managed to pick up some powerups that made shooting incredibly fun. Bullets were ricocheting from walls and blasting from virtually every direction. The player character was basically invincible this way, even when waves of boss monsters came, they were slain in seconds in the rain of bullets. This was basically the essence of these types of games, pity that our tablet got overheated and started lagging heavily when the whole screen was covered in enemies and bullets.
No matter how hardcore of a gamer you are, everyone needs a rest every once in awhile, and that's why the save feature was invented. The game has an autosave function, which comes in handy in the endless modes, but on Adventure , too. You just need to exit the level (or even the whole game), and next time you tap Continue , you can pick up the game exactly where you left off.
Download: The Slimeking's Tower
The Slimeking's Tower is a very promising gaming project. It brings together lovely retro graphics and soundtrack, simple controls, an action-oriented and exciting gameplay with a hint of cuteness, it is fun to play and can be insanely addictive. It is a game where death doesn't mean that you'll be rage quitting, but rather jumping back into the action.
It is also good to know that the game's developer, Manuel, is keeping in touch with gamers: if you've been keeping your eyes on the game previously, you already know why. The current version is still in Beta and it is a major improvement over the original. The developer has fixed many small issues and responded to gamers' feedback, improving the game in many, many ways. This means that there are currently two versions of the game available on Google Play: the new one and the original one. Although the current one is still in beta (so treat it like a yet unfinished product), we didn't have any issues with it, and strongly recommend that everyone play this one. If you're still having issues, just give some feedback to the developer, he will surely listen to it. If you also want to try the original one, you can get it here. Overall, The Slimeking's Tower is a fun game to play that doesn't get boring, keeps you going and offers excitement no matter if you will be playing it the whole afternoon or only for five minutes. The nice pixel art, the retro music, the great replay value and action-oriented gameplay make The Slimeking's Tower a very nice project that we are looking forward to hearing more about and we will surely keep it on our Android smartphones and tablets.