iPad Game Review: Titan - Escape the Tower for iPad Review
Reviewed by JadeDragon
A part wrecking ball and part strategy game, Titan was one of the top games for the Amstrad CPC in the late 80's. French publisher Anuman Interactive has now brought back this classic title under their Joystick Replay label and given it a new look. Titan - Escape the Tower is a top-down 3D puzzle game that centers breakout gameplay in a 3D environment and brings new element to the 2D fun arcade genre. The game offers 80 levels from the original Titan game in two difficulty levels and different camera angles and positions. Does the game seem as much fan as it did when it first came out?
Titan - Escape the Tower plays in confined arenas where you control a square robot to bounce a ball and break the square blocks to complete the level. The first few levels in both Easy and Hard mode play out just like you would imagine a Breakout game would play in a 3D environment: bounce the ball with your robot until it breaks all the squares. But things get dicey as the levels progress. Not only you'll run into bad robots that come into the arena and chase after you while you're busy chasing after the bouncing ball, but also traps, zaps and other dangers you might accidently run into that will take away your life bars on the top left corner. And when all your life bars are gone, you guess it, it's game over.
In Easy levels you'll encounter fewer challenges than you would in Hard mode, and the arena layout becomes more hazardous slower also; but you'll not escape them. Not only some of the traps can be tripped by the bouncing ball which rolls at a pretty fast speed, but also you'll often navigate through confines of unbreakable blocks or walls yet the bad robots who chase after you can go through walls or blocks of any kind. And at each of the world you'll encounter a tough boss fight where you have to bounce the ball to hit the boss who takes many more hits than the blocks. Not fair! You do get some help at least though. Like in a Breakout, you can turn the bouncing ball into a fireball or multiple balls for a while, and your robot with zapping electricity and more. So be sure to pick up these power-ups hidden in the breakable blocks once the bouncing ball break them. There's also a useful magnetic mode for the robot to attract the bouncing ball to orbit around it, so that you can control the ball by literally having it run circles around the robot.
The levels are sufficiently varied to keep your attention focused. Before each level that introduces a new element in the arena, you get a graphical tutorial that explains what these new elements might do to your robot or the layout in general. For example, some walls you can only pass a certain number of times before they turn completely solid blocking your way and the bouncing ball from entering the necessary area to break the blocks. Puzzle fans should get a brain workout with the level design. While the game works smoothly on the iPad with Retina Display, the control works only on the left hand side which makes it hard to use for a right-handed player. We suspect that this was leftover from the original game design, but we would have been happier to see a moveable virtual stick that allowed the right-handed player to use their dominant hand.
Graphics & Sound
The 3D graphics in Titan - Escape the Tower look sharp and pleasing on the iPad with Retina. The 80 levels of arena are grouped into 8 worlds, and each world has its own theme and color that offer visual breaks in between levels. The animation plays smoothly and special effects look nice also. While in-game visuals look polished, the game's menu screens need more work. The English version has French dialogue and the achievement screen has such small fonts that are hard to reach. I'm sure the game will receive future update and some of these will get addressed.
The techno background music matches the gameplay well and there are sound effects for most of the actions. The sound effects are well done and they're disguised under the same techno beats as in the sound track, making the entire audio package coherent.
If you're a retro game fan, Titan - Escape the Tower provides a fresher visual presentation to re-experience a classic title. Playing a Breakout game in 3D is a unique experience and the game certain provides enough entertaining challenges to make that experience fun. With 80 levels in two difficulty levels, Titan - Escape the Tower is worth the time and money. We do like the polished visuals and very competent audio package. The only we wish it were a little different was the position of the control. It'd been better to make it either movable on the screen or provide switchable for left-handed or right-handed control.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- Nice 3D visuals, smooth gameplay and animation. Sound: -4- Well thought out package with BGM and sound FX rolled into one presentation. Controls: -3.5- Works reasonably well, but not option to switch for right hand control or move the virtual stick around the screen. Gameplay: -4.5- 80 levels are all very well designed, boss fights are sufficiently tougher to make them stand out.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Save your power-ups for boss fights.
-Use your environment to your advantage, like make the wall solid after the ball takes out all the block in that area.
-Use your magnetic wisely to direct the ball and protect the robot.