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Game Review #104: Tallowmere (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Stanley B.

Developer: Teyon

Publisher: Teyon

Category: Action, Platformer, Strategy, Multiplayer

Release Date: 11.09.2017

Price (at time of review): $6.99

Buy Tallowmere from the Nintendo eShop here.

Success always breeds imitation. For every new Borderlands or Doom release, we also got games like Alone in the Dark or Drake of the 99 Dragons. As much as I love fighting games like Street Fighter II Turbo, you won't catch me ever playing Rise of the Robots ever again. With roguelike games surging in popularity lately, I have to approach these I.P.'s with caution. Enter today's subject, Tallowmere.

It's Gonna Be a Bloodbath!

Tallowmere is a roguelike game that has a minimalistic pixelart style. And just like that, we're off to a painfully generic start. The point of the game is to rack up as many kills as you can and upgrade your stats and equipment, while trying to progress through randomly generated rooms before you lose all your health. You only get one life to live. If you die, you lose all progress, and you have to restart from the very beginning. That dope, rare weapon that you just picked up? You know, that stupidly overpowered one? Oh, and all those health upgrades? Yeah, kiss them goodbye. Total bummer.

I hope you're into dying a lot.

Hackin' and Slashin'

The controls, while basic, are rock solid. Blocking is quick and effective, and absolutely necessary to master. You can change weapons or consume potions on the fly. Combat, while simple, is satisfying. There's just something about watching your enemies explode into blood and coins. Maybe I'm a psycho, who knows? I have to mention the jumping mechanic. You can jump as many times as you want, essentially treating the jump button like you would for a Mario in an underwater level. You can kind of just float around the levels as long as you press the button in such a manner.

While the game controls fine, that does lead into some of the issues I have with games that randomly generate levels. Some deaths feel cheap and completely unavoidable. This is probably the most frustrating part of this game to me. When the warp back to Lady Tallowmere appears under a poison gas trap, you're always going to take damage if you try to use it.

Are We Here To Kill Monsters or Chill on a Beach?

Music is serviceable, in the fact that music is present. It's not unpleasant, it's just kind of there. Sometimes I feel like It drags me out of the game play because it doesn't really fit. The soundtrack is generally light and kind of bouncy. I actually prefer to play this one with the music turned off while I jam some metal and hardcore albums on my stereo. I think it fits the whole atmosphere of killing everything better.

The visuals are certainly lacking. Maybe that's my personal opinion on the over saturation of the overly basic pixelart style. I'd even go as far to say that graphics are the weakest point for this release. Don't get me wrong, I'm really big into retro gaming and don't need complex graphics in all of my games. In fact, simple graphics can be great. This looks bland, and there is no way around that. Some background variety would have been nice. Maybe I'm just not good enough at the game, and didn't progress enough to see a change.

Are you up to Lady Tallowmere's Dungeon Challenge? At $7, this is a great download from the eShop. Tallowmere makes sense on the Nintendo Switch. It's easy to pick up and play for a few minutes between classes or on your lunch break. Another bonus is that you can play this with up to four friends, and it doesn't feel chaotic. Sure, the gameplay is repetitive, but it does try to change it up every couple of levels by increasing difficulty and adding in different types of levels, such as rule modifiers and boss battle levels, to progress. You'll find yourself wanting to play “just one more round” to see if you can get past your personal best. Better check into rehab, because now you're addicted. R.I.P. - Your Free Time.

If you're not the best at this, you can always just sacrifice a kitten or two with Esmerelda. It's OK, no one will judge you up there, don't worry.

Score: 6.5/10

Buy Tallowmere from the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Teyon

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