Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity

You might find a lot to like about indie roguelike Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity. The game is a 2D platformer that offers a cool little combat mechanic and a brilliant take on procedurally generated stage design. Some really cool ideas aside, though, the game is definitely lacking in terms of its actual gameplay. What’s left is a good idea that may appeal to some, but it sadly misses the mark overall.

Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity is essentially a hack-and-slash platformer. The combat is purposefully limited, however, and your attacks rely completely on a cooldown. Your sole attack is powerful, yes, but because you can’t spam it, you’re forced to play carefully. It’s all about being smart and maneuvering around enemy attack patterns until you’re finally able to deal some damage of your own.

This combat limitation is actually quite rewarding. Enemies can be pretty tough — and annoying a lot of the time — so every single one of your attacks needs to mean something. Keeping track of your cooldown and unleashing offense at the perfect moment can mean the difference between reaching the end of the game and being forced to start over.

Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity Indie Roguelike

Another cool feature is how the game handles its procedurally generated levels. The end goal is to climb the titular tower, but here, the tower resets once per day. This means you’ll either have to master the current day’s tower to try and beat the game or wait to see if you stand a better chance in tomorrow’s tower. It also means that if you’re really digging the game, you’ll be treated to a different tower every day.

Speaking of the game’s procedurally generated design, everyone playing Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity gets the same tower on a day-to-day basis. As such, there’s definitely a sense of community to be found here.

Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity Platforming Gameplay

Unfortunately, for as cool as all of this stuff is, Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity just isn’t all that fun. The platforming feels floaty. Movement is slippery. The whole thing is nowhere near as polished as it should be to provide an experience that plays well and feels solid. Quite frankly, the gameplay is a bit generic — like something you’d see in a free early-era Flash game website.

On top of that, Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity is kind of ugly. The visuals look uninspired and lazy, and they’re right in line with the gameplay mechanics in terms of just how underwhelming they are.

The core foundation that Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity is built on is fantastic. The limited combat hook and the neat take on procedurally generated level design are super interesting. It’s unfortunate then that the actual gameplay mechanics are so lackluster. Perhaps with a bit of fine-tuning, Tokoyo could become a stellar 2D action game. As it stands, though, this is a game with ideas that I love, but with an execution that could use a lot of work.

Disclaimer: I was given a review code for Tokoyo: The Tower of Perpetuity on Nintendo Switch, but the opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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