Four brave heroes. A tower full of ferocious guardians. The power to change one’s fate.
Welcome to “Towertale,” a story-driven action game developed by Philippine-based studio MiSou Games, and thanks to Philippine game company Keybol games, it’s coming to the Nintendo Switch this Q4 2019.
“Towertale” revolves around a legendary Tower that rewards anyone who can best its guardians and reach its summit and gain the power to change one’s fate.
The past 100 years have seen many entering the Tower, but none have returned.
This is where you come in.
“Towertale” will have you playing one of four characters: a noble knight, an elven archer, an anthropomorphic rabbit mage, and an edgy yet strangely chipper assassin.
Each character boasts a unique and exciting skill set. The mage, for example, can surround himself with floating rocks and hurl giant fireballs at enemies. The assassin, on the other hand, prefers lethal rush attacks and evasive maneuvers.
Each character also has their own story which gradually unfolds—via wonderfully illustrated sequences and hundreds of cut scenes—as you ascend the Tower.
You’ll need to play all four characters and make different choices to unlock all the story content, including multiple endings.
Standing between you and your goal are 18 challenging multi-phase bosses that will test your mastery of your character’s abilities. Beating them will also require a combination of patience, pattern recognition, quick reflexes, and even quicker thinking.
Additionally, “Towertale” features 12 levels, over 34 music tracks, an Arcade Mode for those who want to skip the game’s narrative elements, and more.
The game’s Nintendo Switch version will have a local coop mode upon release, as will the PC version via a future update.
Climbing the Tower
Partners Blas Eduard “Mipzy” Dizon and Danielle Louisse “Soulty” Endrin founded MiSou Games in mid-2017 during their last year in college; the name “MiSou” is a combination of their pseudonyms. They eventually recruited Osias Lemuel Bantug, Mordi, Gina Loughlin, and Arwyn Silva. The latter composed the music for the game’s first trailer but left to start his own project.
Currently, MiSou Games consists of Dizon (Game Designer, Programmer, Writer), Endrino (Character Designer, Illustrator, 2D Game Artist, Animator, Music), Bantug (2D Game Artist), Mordi (Battle Music Composer, Overall Audio Direction) from Norway, and Loughlin (Character and Story Music Composer) from the U.K.
Initially, Dizon and Endrino wanted to make a Metroidvania. However, they decided to scale down their project due to lack of resources.
“[M]etroidvania-style games require you to explore the world and do a lot of backtracking before you see an event or a boss fight,” said Dizon. “I wanted to make a more compact experience where there is always something happening, and so we made a boss rush game with a cool story.”
Dizon counts “Megaman,” “Castlevania,” and “Dark Souls” among the game series that inspired “Towertale’s” gameplay and focus on boss battles.
The story of “Towertale” meanwhile was inspired by the “Tales of” series of Japanese role-playing games, which often involve a group of friends coming together to fight a world-ending threat.
“But instead of that same old clichéd storyline, I wanted the story to have a deeper meaning,” said Dizon. “The story of ‘Towertale’ is about mental illness. Each of the four character’s storylines will somehow reflect that.”
For instance, “Towertale” explores issues such as finding difficulty moving on from a loved one’s death, the inability to let go of someone who left you, and the creation of an alternate personality to cope with past mistakes.
“These are all derived from my personal experiences,” said Dizon.
MiSou Games spent a year designing and balancing the game’s bosses, and another year fleshing out its story.
“It was tough because we were still in college back then and our school didn’t support us,” said Dizon. As a result, the team’s morale suffered “which ended with us having to delay the game a couple of times. It was only during the last 8 months before release that we were able to focus on it full time, because at that point everyone had already graduated from college.”
All that hard work paid off, and MiSou Games eventually published “Towertale” on Steam.
Reaching the summit
After “Towertale’s” Steam launch, Keybol Games CEO and Co-Founder Bari Silvestre reached out to MiSou Games and offered to publish the game on the Nintendo Switch.
“Our goals seemed to be aligned so we decided to join them,” said Dizon.
Dizon is extremely excited about “Towertale’s” Nintendo Switch release:
“I remember my childhood days when my father first bought us a Famicom [Nintendo Entertainment System]. It was our first ever console and the one that gave us a lot of memories playing ‘Mario’ and ‘Duck Hunt’ with my cousins. Being able to publish our game along will all of those great titles on the Switch fills us with lots of pride and accomplishment. We are very happy that our game will be shared with a wider audience.”
But MiSou Games isn’t going to rest on its laurels.
“We are actually already planning our next game,” said Dizon. “We wanted to continue the Metroidvania game that we postponed before […] Our next game is going to be fun, though we can’t reveal anything yet. But it involves cute animals with a bunch of dark humor.”
Keybol Games recently showcased two of its other upcoming Nintendo Switch titles—Keybol Games and Mike Studios’ “Jack Axe” and Drix Studios’ “Grand Guilds”—at the Media Indie Exchange and Indie Arena exhibits at one of the world’s largest gaming events, Gamescom 2019 in Germany. — LA, GMA News