TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity Review

TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity
by developer and publisher Playism—Nintendo Switch review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time:  4 minutes.

TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity is an interesting title that I have some trouble putting a good description of. TOKOYO is a 2D action platformer sort of roguelike type deal, but it's not really? It's a little hard to explain in a sentence or two, but I can tell you it is pretty dang fun.

TOKOYO is the tale of a bunch of random people summoned from their everyday lives to a mysterious tower. This tower is a mashup of different parts, stitched together like some sort of Frankenstein's creation in building form. So it falls to you, or one of the characters you choose, to reach the top of the tower and complete the story that has been laid out for you. That's about all you're really told, and depending on how you play, it may be all you find out. Each character has their own backstory, as well as ending sequence, and there are even custom characters, which are basically just palette swaps of the main cast created by fans, but hey, they're pretty cool.

So, how do you climb the tower? Well, you jump up the tower in 2D platforming segments, with the occasional boss throughout, with a tougher boss at the end. The catch? You have no standard attack, just a special attack that takes about 30 seconds to come back. This creates an interesting dynamic where you need to judge when to use your special to get rid of it versus saving it for other enemies. This gets even more important when later floors of the tower introduce a karma mechanic, where you need to clear the floor before the gauge fills up otherwise bad stuff may happen. Now you no longer just wait for your special to come back.

As you make your way up the tower, you will encounter a bunch of different enemies, as well as traps and different platform types to hamper you on your way. You will also come across items to help improve your time in the tower, which can include increased jump height, increased skill damage, or healing when you clear a floor. Every so often you may also run across a rest stop, where you can pick up a drink, on the house. These drinks will heal, and two will give you a boost for the rest of the tower run. The common items can be stacked, although they start to loose effectiveness the more you stack, while the drink effects are just a flat rate.

The tower itself is the same every run, but the whole tower will change every 24 hours. This means every day you will be able to make a run through a brand new tower, although all items and layout will be the same each run during the same tower instance. There are online leaderboards to keep track of the score you get, and while I had a time or two I miraculously managed to make top 5, chances are you'll probably be excited to make top 50 during your first few runs. Interestingly enough, when you die you can leave behind a grave marker, as well as a predetermined message, that could either give hints to others or just be kind of funny, and other people will be able to see it. An important thing to note, especially on the Switch, is that you will need an internet connection in order to play, so no "on the go" gameplay for you.

There is a lot of replayability in TOKOYO, partly out of how the game functions, and partly with how it was designed. With a cast of different characters, even going through the same tower multiple times can be rewarding, as the characters all have their own unique method of attack, from orbiting swords to homing bullets. There are also points in the tower where you'll need to choose between a "white" or "black" route, which will change the next portion of the tower. Couple this with the daily tower style gameplay, and it's really easy to pick up for an hour or two every day.


TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity is a neat package wrapped up in a retro like 2D art style with some catchy music to accompany you while traversing the tower. While incredibly simple in nature, complicated doesn't always mean better, and what TOKOYO lacks in complicated controls or background mechanics, it more than makes up for in engaging stages with a ton of different options to be pieced together e very day.

Score: 8.5 / 10



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