We already knew Towerfall Ascension was getting an expansion called Dark World. We even already knew that it would have procedurally generated levels, since developer Matt Thorson had been tweeting about making them. Now thanks to a post on the game’s blog, we know it’ll be out early next year.
Dark World aims to expand the game with “more playable archers, levels, modes, powerups, variants, trials and more.” The Dark World itself is constructed from four new level sets, which are “a twisted reality parallel to the TowerFall world you’re familiar with.” It’s the final tower of that campaign which uses procedurally generated levels. Given the difficulty of later levels of Ascension, I relied on rote learning to slowly memorise the pattern of enemy spawns in order to finish the game. Throwing proc gen into the mix makes sense given that each Towerfall level is usually only a single screen with some floating platforms, but it’s going to make that final level much harder.
In terms of the competitive multiplayer, it sounds like the new arrow types are going to make the biggest difference.
And then we have the new powerups, such as Trigger Arrows, which behave like remote mines. Stick them to walls or ceilings in clever positions, wait for the perfect moment, and detonate when your opponents least expect it. Or the otherworldly Prism Arrows that lock your enemies in magical prisons so they have nowhere to hide. These are a few highlights from our work so far.
Also it contains hyper-jumps now. There’s more detail on all of Dark World’s new features at the Towerfall blog.
Towerfall: Ascension is one of a number of recent single-screen multiplayer games to have skewered an arrow through my heart. It’s an exceedingly precise game: from its springy animations which sell the solidity of the world; to the situational awareness necessary to dodge enemies, environmental hazards and make good use of screenwrap; to the little bit of heat-seeking on the arrows players can fire at one another or at AI enemies. Everything in it is smartly considered. I like it. And it’s a great party game.
The above linked post about the Dark World expansion was written for the PlayStation blog, so it makes sense that other versions of the game wouldn’t be mentioned as regards the release date. I spoke to designer Matt Thorson via email and he confirmed that the game would be released on PC at the same time as PS4, however. Woo!