Despite owning tons of games on Steam, somehow I end up playing hits that have been on Steam for years only when they arrive years later on a console such as Switch. A case in point is TowerFall, which debuted five years ago on the ill-fated Android-based console Ouya, and appeared on Steam not too long after. The Switch version came out three years ago, and I've been dipping into it occasionally when my local gaming buddy and I get together. We've been having a blast with the game, and we had finished the Dark World campaign (originally released as an expansion DLC), which features waves of enemies and some fun boss fights, but we finally were able to sit down and made our way through the other campaign, which actually preceded it and was part of the Ascension expanded version of the game.

With that history out of the way, I can say that although TowerFall was primarily designed as an arcade-y multiplayer versus experience, the co-op campaign mode is super fun and beautifully builds on the base mechanics. The game is comfortably in the vein of single, wraparound screen classics, complete with retro graphics and sound, and while the various enemies and environmental hazards aren't anything too wildly different from what we've seen before in these kinds of games, the arrow-shooting mechanics feel fresh and spot on. Everything in the game just flows and feels so smooth, and the design is top notch. Although my buddy and I failed many, many times, this is one of those games that has that addictive "just one more try" and "we'll get it the next time" hooks. To add to the replayability, both of the campaigns feature hard versions of every stage that are significantly more challenging, and they also offer the allure of a shiny gold icon if you beat them without any deaths.

Even without having spent hardly any time in the multiplayer mode, this game has continued my run of great indie games that I've played this year that have somehow made it onto my list of greatest games of all time. Developer/designer Maddy Thorson has done an amazing job on this game, and I'm reminded that I really need to go back and finish my playthrough of their follow-up game, Celeste. Looking forward to it, although I'm hoping it doesn't kick my ass too hard. ;)


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