It’s no secret that the roguelike genre is saturated in today’s world of gaming. It seems like during each showcase of new titles; there’s always another roguelike making its debut to gamers around the world. Nevertheless, many success stories within the genre follow this trend. A significant reason is that the genre allows for a grand level of diversity, variation, and replayability.
Whether it be a rhythm game like Crypt of the Necrodancer or a hack-and-slash like Dead Cells, the roguelike genre is full of fun and exceptional experiences. After trying out Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity (in Early Access), I can confidently say that this game does well on its own to stand out in the genre.
At its core, Tokoyo: The tower of Perpetuity is a simplistic and minimalistic roguelike tower climber. While many roguelikes rely on procedural generation for layouts and mapping, Tokoyo adds a twist by using a 24-hour internal clock. This means that every 24 hours, the structure of the dungeon changes. This time restraint provides a level of replayability in an exceptionally creative fashion that complements the simplistic gameplay.
The premise of Tokoyo is that you are trapped in a tall tower full of mystery, and your objective is to make your way to the top. The first thing that stood out to me was the captivating pixel graphics. The art style is warm and anime-like, setting itself up with a charming atmosphere. You get to choose from a cast of five cute characters, all with different backgrounds, personalities, and attacks. To add style points, the music is quite impressive and pleasing to listen to.
The gameplay can be described as an action-platformer as you climb the tower to make your way to the top. What really surprised me was how the combat system doesn’t provide a basic attack. You only have two options: attack with your Special that has a reasonably lengthy cooldown or just avoid everything. This means you have to be wise with how often you use your ability, as you may end up in situations where you need it more than ever.
At this point, the dungeon does provide a bit of choice and randomization, but it’s pretty bare-bones. At the beginning of the tower and throughout your journey, you continue to discover small perks and power-ups that may come in handy. While they all are beneficial, none of them particularly stand out as impressive.
In some parts of the dungeon, the difficulty spikes can be tough to keep up with. As you ascend the tower, the hazards and enemies become much more challenging. The quality of these challenges is excellent, as I always felt like jumping back into a dungeon even after a loss. With the layout changing every 24 hours, it can quickly become a daily addiction.
Lastly, there’s a slight social element to Tokoyo, as there is a leaderboard that refreshes alongside the tower. The fast pace, difficulty spikes, daily randomization, and social features make this a quality arcade-like experience. Given that Tokoyo is still very early in development, I’m looking forward to what future updates bring.
Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity is available now in Steam Early Access.
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