Roguelikes aren’t uncommon in today’s video game space so every time a new one comes along, I’m always looking to see if there is anything about it that stands out. The latest one to cross my radar is TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity from publisher Playism and developer //commentout. TOKOYO is a 2D roguelike pixel art platformer where you’ll be attempting to climb a tower that changes with every real day that passes.
The story in TOKOYO follows some anime girls who have been drawn to a mysterious tower that is beckoning them to climb it. There are five different girls you can play as with each one having a different ability and their own backstory. Outside of the initial setup there isn’t much here for those who enjoy narratives so instead let’s get right into the gameplay. The most unique thing about this game that you’ll discover right away is that the tower you are climbing changes every day in real-time. The goal is to see how high you can get in the tower each day and set the best score possible that will be posted to the online leaderboards with everyone else around the world. It’s an interesting idea for sure to have everyone in the world playing the exact same tower every day to see who can do it the best. That said, since it only changes once a day this is probably the type of game best played in short bursts as playing the same one over and over can get repetitive.
The gameplay in TOKOYO isn’t very deep as you’ll be jumping and double jumping your way through the levels on your way up the tower. Each of the girls has their own special ability to attack with but you have to wait for a meter to charge up first before being able to use them. As this is your only means of attacking it means you’ll be wanting to avoid all of the enemies you can and only use your abilities when you absolutely need to. Things get tricky when some of them get in your way while your trying to navigate some tricky platforming sections. Then there are the boss fights where you’ll have no choice but to fight. These battles will test your dodging abilities as you’ll have to study their patterns and stay alive while you wait for your attack to charge.
You can give yourself a better chance at your run by using items or by gaining upgrades along the way like being able to jump higher. You will no doubt eventually die in the game though and when that happens you have a couple different options available to you. One option is to post your score to the leaderboard and start a new run while leaving a message at the spot of your death much like you would see in From Software games. The other is to use a consumable to pick up right where you just died but you have to sacrifice your score up to that point to do so. It’s always nice to have options and I liked the ability to see the messages that other players left behind when they died. When it comes to the art and music, I think TOKOYO does a really good job of both. The 2D pixel art is both cute and colorful while the music has a nice variety of chiptune tracks to listen to as you ascend the tower.
TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity is a challenging 2D roguelike platformer that has some neat ideas going for it. The tower layout changing daily for everyone in the world is cool and ensures that you’ll always have a new challenge to look forward to. It can get repetitive playing the same tower over and over during a day though so best to just dip in and out of this one if you want to get the most enjoyment out of it.
*TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC. Nintendo Switch version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity$11.99
- Challenging 2D roguelike platformer gameplay
- The tower changing daily for everyone in the world is a neat idea
- Pixel art visuals and chiptune soundtrack are great
- Gameplay isn't very deep
- Playing the same tower over and over while waiting for the daily reset can get repetitive