Tower of Time

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Tower of Time Game Poster Image
Fantasy adventure has rich, engaging story, mild violence.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Driving force behind story is finding a way to, literally, save the world. Ongoing themes of choice, consequence, overcoming obstacles, developing relationships, working as a team.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters run gamut of fantasy roles, from honorable soldier to shady rogue, everything in between. But each character operates within his or her own code of honor, loyalty.

Ease of Play

Uses a mix of standard role-playing game, real-time strategy mechanics. Can take a while to get used to, but players can slow, pause time to effectively give orders to party members. While game is difficult by default and lacks a tutorial, multiple options let you change difficulty to suit your play style.

Violence

Fairly constant stream of violence as player's party faces a variety of supernatural creatures. Battles are waged with an arsenal of melee attacks, medieval weapons, magical spells. Not much blood, gore. Defeated enemies simply collapse and sink into ground.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tower of Time is a downloadable single-player role-playing game (RPG) for Windows. Tower of Time uses a unique hybrid of traditional action/adventure RPG and real-time strategy mechanics, which translates to a bit of a difficulty curve. Thankfully, the game includes "Arrow-time," the ability to slow or even pause time on the fly in order to effectively issue commands. There are also multiple difficulty options to choose from to better suit your skill level. Violence is a given due to the almost hack-and-slash nature of the game, but there's very little in the way of on-screen blood or gore.

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What's it about?

TOWER OF TIME is set in Artara, a once beautiful world left in near ruin after a mysterious cataclysm struck centuries ago. As a young child, the main hero found himself drawn to a set of unearthed ruins, a tower that has been strangely buried upside down. After an encounter with a powerful magical force within the inverted tower, the hero is told of his destiny to change the world and then is expelled from the tower. Compelled to return to the site as an adult, the player leads a group of adventurers back into the tower, descending through its levels and seeking out the source of its magical power. But will that power save Artara ... or finish its destruction?

Is it any good?

This role-playing game produces a deep story and unique gameplay to keep gamers playing for hours. Right from the start, Tower of Time strikes a natural balance between the nostalgic feel of classic fantasy role-playing games and the innovative ideas it brings to the table. One of the interesting things about the game is that, in spite of being the main hero, your character is largely absent from the adventure. Instead, you send your party forth to do the dirty work. Combat takes a lot of getting used to initially, as you're dishing out orders in real time, with enemies approaching and attacking constantly. The "Arrow-time" feature lets you slow down the action to allow for more time in making decisions, and if you're still having trouble, you can even completely freeze time to think over your strategy a bit more. The game's story is rich in lore, but to get the most out of that, you'll have to work for it by collecting artifacts, reading journals, and so forth -- pulling the lore from the items you find. Tower of Time doesn't just hand things to you on a silver platter. You need to work to get the most out of it, but the end reward is a deep and engaging experience that, like a good book, is easy to start but hard to put down.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about choice and consequence. How can the actions we take affect those around us? How can some decisions look different when viewed from another perspective?

  • Talk about challenge in games like Tower of Time. Do you prefer an easier game experience focused on the story, or a more difficult game that can challenge your skills? How important is it to allow players to adjust the experience to keep it from being too easy or too frustrating?

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