Breaking The Tower

This little browser-based strategy is painfully slow – so slow you can go to the post office, extricate yourself from having to talk to the old woman from next door, then make a cup of tea and still only have generated just enough resource to continue – yet it’s somehow utterly engrossing. As the title suggests, you have to break the tower at the far end of the island. You can only do this by placing buildings on the island, and eventually masons at the foot of the tower. That’s all the influence you have on the lives of the peons and warriors who populate the island, and who battle with the monsters that emanate from the tower. No, really, it’s got something. Try it. (And don’t accidentally click away from a twenty-minute game, as I just did. NoooOOOo.)

I found this minuscule treasure over on


  1. TychoCelchuuu says:

    Sounsd a bit like Majesty. I’m excited!

  2. cullnean says:

    25 mins in monster’s 0 me 1

  3. Jochen Scheisse says:

    The planter is a scam! Resources are your enemy!

  4. Optimaximal says:

    It’s like browser Settlers!

  5. Rosti says:

    Loving this game as a background activity. 10 mins in, not sure how it’ll go…

  6. Erlam says:

    Forgive me for being dense (I’m working 12 hour days six days a week), but is it install only? Or is there a flash version? Something I don’t have to install at work?

    • CT3LA says:

      There is no install version. it’s an online Java game. You just go to the webpage and click in the game window to start up. Protip: If you build a farm and windmill and forget about the game for four hours, you’re set for life in food.

  7. SteevR says:

    How do you build a miller to make more food?

  8. Crash says:

    @Erlam: it uses Java, so no need to install.

  9. Ben Abraham says:

    It reminds me of Black & White, except without the stupid creature.

  10. Him says:

    SteevR – Farms grow food which is taken to a miller.

  11. phuzz says:

    it’s like a cut down settlers, only without the pretty graphics.

  12. mysticsika says:

    I seem to be living in perfect harmony with the tower, its rather benign.

    30 min in and my island is a peaceful haven, when can I build hotels?

  13. cullnean says:

    1 hour in i think im winning?

    ill let it run

  14. InVinoVeritas says:

    @SteevR- The miller can be made at any time! I thought it was crossed out too, it’s just the windmill blades that look like an X.

  15. Colthor says:

    I won! Time 39:25, score 15570.

    But I wasn’t paying attention at the time, I was reading the Sam and Max entry :/

    Still, this is like Settlers, and Settlers is good.

  16. Crash says:

    Oh noes, those pesky tower ninjas (they’re black so they MUST be ninjas!) can attack my buildings and peasants!

    Unrelated: after one hour of happy tree-chopping I ran out of wood. Best lesson of ecology ever.

  17. mysticsika says:

    If only my lil guys built boats and sailed away.

  18. Erlam says:

    Yeah, when I load the website, it’s just:
    Breaking the tower
    (tonnes of space)
    Check out my youtube video…

  19. Cooper says:

    Now I’m gonna have to play settlers when I get home.

  20. DSX says:

    Very fun game, took me an hour and 10 minutes, thanks RPS!

  21. Ben Abraham says:

    Woohoo! I won! 51:07, Score – 12,007

  22. SteevR says:

    InVinoVeritas says:

    @SteevR- The miller can be made at any time! I thought it was crossed out too, it’s just the windmill blades that look like an X.

    Now this game REALLY reminds me of the bad old days of 320×240 and 16 colors… you had to be good at guessing what things were!

  23. Jim Rossignol says:

    It might need Java installed?

  24. Crash says:

    Do you guys use guardposts? I can’t find any good use for them, my peons and soldiers are walking wherever they want, no matter where I place signposts.

  25. roBurky says:

    That was fun. 40 minutes to victory.

  26. Senethro says:

    I put 3 guard posts around the tower and 50% of my warriors are there at one time.

    Important info: BUilding houses raises pop cap.
    Building barracks raises warrior cap.

    Peons seem to evenly distribute themselves around the different buildings. If you’re not getting enough food, increase the relative proportion of farms and delete some of your lumberjacks.

    Edit: Oh, and heres another one. I thought 1 mill would do 3 farms (this being Settlers and all). I was wrong. You have to build lots of mills to encourage them to harvest.

  27. Nimic says:

    39 minutes, and I wasn’t really paying attention for a while. Kinda fun.

  28. Half Broken Glass says:

    Java is not a programming language.

  29. tehf0nx says:

    How do you get them to attack the tower ? should i build a mason’s building next to it or will they do it automatically once there a “clear path”

  30. Crash says:

    @tehf0nx: chop the trees, build masons. Here in England we call it Industrialism.

  31. Damien says:

    I may have won, but now I live on a completely deforested island. I sense an impending ecological tragedy far greater than a giant evil tower could ever have caused.

  32. Beastman says:

    Err…I destroyed the tower, but there was no message or anything saying I won.

    So I destroyed all my buildings and the game lagged like hell, presumably trying to figure out what to tell 150 people to do with no buildings to do anything with -_-

  33. caramelcarrot says:

    I’m running out of rock. Can I plant rocks?

    Also, almost won at 1 hour 11, but half the map is planets – because I believe in sustainability.

    edit: Won 1:17:55, score 7877. They should give points for thinking of a post-tower island future!

  34. JamesC says:

    1hr, and of course, I wasn’t watching.
    Now playing the after-game – what is the highest sustainable population of the island? I don’t think the little mens need food once created, so in theory I could end up with an island of just apartment blocks? Destroying woodcutters & stonecutters once I have enough resources, to make space.
    Which will give out first, my patience or my laptop fan (it’s struggling at 220 peons).

  35. caramelcarrot says:

    @JamesC: I call it, “HONG KONG”

    Also, turns out you don’t need residences or barracks? I just deleted a few to relocate them to my METROPOLIS and it’s remaining at 170/150

  36. caramelcarrot says:

    Managed to get up to 460 peons and 30 warriors before I ran out of stone. Boo.

  37. Lucky Main Street says:

    What are the win parameters? I’ve got 150 population, 100 warriors, and the tower seems to have gotten smaller, but I’ve been playing for 2 hrs with no win! And I’m out of rocks!

  38. dave says:

    Huh I got bored after I had 30 warriors just running around.

  39. Nimic says:

    100 warriors?! 15 warriors was easily enough for me. I just built a bunch of those quarries around the tower and my guys chopped away at it.

  40. anon says:

    Keep in mind that he made this in 48 hours for the Ludum Dare game compo, pretty amazing.

  41. Duke says:

    Here is my happy village of 500.
    link to
    It has a garrison of 30 soldiers to keep the villagers at bay and to rid the town of those troublemakers with the silly idea that life has no meaning now that the tower is gone

  42. Cradok says:

    I forgot about my island and left it alone for four hours. I came back to find nearly everywhere that wasn’t building had overgrown with forest, I had 0 wood and all my peons were stranded away from the huts. It took some creative building and selling before I could start to clear the area…

  43. Seb Potter says:

    That was ace. A couple of farms and mills to get to 50 villagers and 10 warriors, a row of lumber mills to clear a path to the tower, and then a guard post and 5 mason huts next to the tower to bring it down. Victory in 53 minutes – most of which I spent playing Tomb Raider Anniversary. What a great little distraction.

  44. Talisker says:

    35:41, 17147 points. Woot!

  45. Mark says:

    I think I’ll study the source code for this.

  46. vinic says:

    I dug on this yesterday. Did a little resource management, took a shower, and came back to find I had won.

    It seems like the “hard” part of this game is the first handful of minutes.

  47. Dominic White says:

    68 minutes to win on my first try. Clearly you can win a lot faster than this, as I don’t think there was a single point where monsters had lowered my population by more than 2-3 below maximum.

    By the end, I had 170 villagers, 55 warriors.

  48. ADamnFox says:

    Having won, and subsequently utterly decimated the ecology of the island, I felt guilty and thus immediately began a massive reforrestation project. I eventually demolished everything except about 20 or 30 planters. Once you have the population, you don’t need the houses anymore, so even they went. All 100 of my people and my 30 strong military apparently live in trees now.

    This is how I discovered that the game is, in fact, an elaborate telling of the origin story of elves.

  49. feitclub says:

    The guardtowers aren’t as effective as they should be. During the endgame I had at least 6-7 soldiers just wandering around aimlessly on the shore instead of defending my masons surrounding the tower, despite the fact that I had built four guardtowers in that area to keep them focused.

  50. Stromko says:

    That was fun. I took an hour and 30 minutes to take down the tower, mainly as I avoided touching it until the rest of the stone was gone. Got rid of all the existing forests but replanted them in three locations. Always kept an army half as big as my villager population. Had 140 villagers when the tower was finally gone.

    I didn’t figure out until near the end that the most important thing for production was population and location, not number of buildings. Same goes for farms and planters, they’ll place lots of crops and saplings if there’s plenty of space. Most of my planters and farms instead only had about 30 – 50% of their total growing area because I thought I needed more of them.

    I actually spent much of my time watching the screen kind of distractedly, rather than just doing something else entirely. I always find it oddly comforting and intriguing to see an ‘ecosystem’ I built run its course, which probably explains why I’ve spent solid weeks doing little other than watching little ASCII happy-faces with beards trundle along corridors.