Have You Played… TowerFall Ascension?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Local multiplayer games have made an unlikely resurgence these past two years, meaning there’s half a dozen I’ve played and loved during the period. Gang Beasts is great though still feels incomplete. Nidhogg is great but I found, after years of playing the free version, that my enjoyment of its full release was shortlived. It’s TowerFall: Ascension, then, that I would recommend to anyone who wanted some single-screen gaming.

The joy of it doesn’t necessarily come across in straight desriptions: there’s platforms, you have a bow and three arrows, there’s screen wrap, and you need to kill the other competitors to win.

The joy of it is immediately obvious if you play it. Those bows lend you a hand with a teensy bit of auto-aiming, but there is precision and skill required to nail your opponents with them. Those arrows can be caught in mid-air using the dash move or collected when dropped to the ground, creating a meta-game of trying to control your opponent’s ammo supply. And that screen wrap becomes the tool of your most graceful moments, as you fire seemingly at random off screen and hit a target otherwise inaccessible to you.

Originally released on Ouya, the Ascension PC version added a set of singleplayer levels against waves of enemies. If friends aren’t available, it’s fun on its own and I wouldn’t have regretted buying it. But gather a group of comrades around a computer screen for co-op or competition and Towerfall comes alive, its every neat little interaction prompting rivalries, yelps of surprise and laughter.


  1. RojoVelasco says:

    Greatest couch game IMHO. I use to meet with some friends on the weekend to enjoy hardcore play sessions and Towerfall is probably our favorite. Lately, Samurai Gunn is gaining his seat next to Towerfall, but I still prefer this one, equally simplier, far way deeper. Cannot wait to the expansion to come out.

  2. Synesthesia says:

    This one and samurai gunn are just pitch perfect. I absolutely love them, and would not have them any other way.

  3. RedViv says:

    Vigilante Thief Supremacy!!!

  4. jeeger says:

    Yes, Towerfall is really Quite Good™. I like Nidhogg as well, but I’m a bit disappointed that there haven’t been any updates for it. Such a small game (four levels only?) I’d like to try out Samurai Gunn as well, but from what I’ve read, the price is still a bit steep for me.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      I actually prefer Samurai Gunn to Nidhogg – first of all because there are more players, but also because it can be just as tactical as Nidhogg while being much more agile environments-wise. The downside is it’s not updated anymore, just like Nidhogg… but it’s as much fun as Towerfall, at least for me.

  5. drekhead says:

    Best couch game at the moment for two to four players. Watch a video about it on youtube, then go get it.

  6. history_denier says:

    It is 50% off on the humblebundle store right now. I just got it and went a few rounds with my 6 and 7 year old. Had a screaming good time.