Celestica: Crystal Towers 2

An official Crystal Castles game could only be horrible, of course

This one goes out to all of you who didn’t think I should have posted about New Super Mario Bros. 3 down there. Mike Rose of that inpenetrable bunker of good taste the Indie Games blog just dropped me an email about Crystal Towers 2, a platformer inspired by 90s platformers that’s also a PC game in everything from its pricing plan to its gently sardonic script. You can grab the free edition (which offers some 15% of the game) here, and watch a trailer and browse my dainty collection of impressions after the jump.

In short: It’s sweet! The characters and dialogue made me grin, and while the level design and feel of the character didn’t get me too excited I did manage to drift happily through the game’s levels for some twenty minutes before remembering I had work to be getting on with.

It’s also curiously feature rich, possessing an almost daunting number of spells to be collected, items to be found and objectives to hit on each level. As much as I was playing about as far outside of “the zone” as it’s possible to be, I was also aware that there was all kinds of stuff on the peripherary that I was sailing past.

Also the plot is themed around music, with you collecting instruments and magical Music Crystals, though the game’s audio never manages to be quite impressive enough, which is totally endearing. Give it a shot. It’s excellently eager to please, and I’m sure it’ll click with a good few you of you.


  1. kubaduba_pvp says:

    Fan of Crystal Castles? Me too

    • phlebas says:

      But where’s Bentley the Bear?

    • Oozo says:

      Official Crystal Castles game? Didn’t they use to make that kind of thing in the 80s?

    • McDan says:

      Go crystal castles! It’s one game you can be sure of including a woman drowning her children…fun all round!

    • colinmarc says:

      “Official Crystal Castles game”

      Yes, please, I would love an excuse to listen to that all the time.

  2. DizzyDoo says:

    Purchased this one a few days ago, it’s a really big game, and only £3. I’m enjoying it.

  3. sonofsanta says:

    That video makes me pine for the 16-bit Amiga days, where there was no need for reality in your games. You might have a backstory half-grounded in this world (“Tom has lost his cat and needs to find him!”) but would then rapidly run off into a world of giant springs, candy-themed levels and deadly pigeons walking along the ground.

    This race to photo-realism has deprived us of a great deal.

    • SpaceAkers says:

      Agreed 100%
      here we have a medium, vidyagames, where you can create any environment with which you can interact in any way. And yet, so often it’s just another grey cityscape, bland racetrack, or identical forest.
      At the same time, I think the photo-realism race isn’t all to blame. Throughout gaming history, there have been visually uninspired games. How many 8bit or 16bit games had the same caves? Generic 16-bit dungeon #48 is now generic empty cityscape #59, only difference is polygons.
      Often, it’s the games that give us something creative in the visual department that also give us something worthy in the gameplay department.
      I think the issue is now you CAN create worlds with such amazing detail, you are EXPECTED to by the media and the market. This requires a huge team to pull off and at times millions of dollars. With that money on the line, businesses are gonna play it safe and safe means normal.
      Normal, now, means photo-realism. That’s easy, that’s marketable.

      wait, what are we talking about? Oh, Crystal Towers. Never played it.

    • Turkey says:

      You might want to check out these things called indiey games.

    • noom says:

      Also agree. The surreal aspect of games in the 80s was such a large part of the magic. Everything just makes too much sense now.

  4. MadTinkerer says:

    Reminds me of a cross between Sonic, or possibly Zool, and a bunch of early 90s style PC platformer games. (The difference between console style platformers and PC style platformers (of the 90s era) being that you usually had one or more gimmicks borrowed from adventure and/or RPG games such as an inventory, a lot more in-game dialogue, manually use-able items instead of just collectables, etc.)

    Looks lovely. Here’s hoping for a Steam edition.

    • noom says:

      I was getting very strong Zool vibes from that too. Glad I’m not the only one :3

  5. noodlecake says:

    That’s some fugly pixel art right there.

  6. CaptainHairy says:

    Man, I should have played the demo before I bought it. It looks great, and I’d probably really enjoy it if it ran at full speed, but for some reason it chugs like hell on my decently specced PC. I mean, I have no problems with Crysis, but this runs badly enough that I can’t even time simple jumps correctly.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      That’s weird. My PC is fairly old and it doesn’t have problems.

    • CaptainHairy says:

      This is it. I suspect that it’s just some weird driver thing or some odd hardware config that couldn’t have been accounted for on a £3.77 game. Still, I’m not short by a large amount of money, so I can just try on one of my other machines, or perhaps do that clean install of Windows I keep forgetting to do when I have time.