At its core, Tower of Saviors is a match-3 puzzle game, much in the same vein as Bejeweled Blitz and Candy Crush Saga. The goal is to form lines of three or more runes of the same color. Unlike similar games, runes don’t need to be swapped to make an immediate match. Instead, they can be freely dragged until they’re in the player’s ideal position. This alone creates a sense of strategy not found in other match-three puzzle games. The strategy is increased with the numerous battle and character elements Tower of Saviors presents throughout the game. Progressing through the game or spending in-game currency will unlock character cards. Each card is marked with a color and when a line of runes is formed, characters of that color will attack the enemy. During each stage, enemies will appear at the top of the screen. After a set number of turns, those enemies will begin attacking the player’s team. If the player’s hit points reach zero, the game is over, but if all the enemies are defeated, the player will be rewarded with numerous prizes, including new characters.
There’s a lot of depth to Tower of Saviors, and users who are looking for a simple puzzle game are likely to be a bit overwhelmed by the vast amount of content. The battle screen requires strict management of hit points, the grid of runes and the current wave of enemies. Outside of battle, the player needs to micromanage other areas, such as character cards, in-game currency and a friend list. Before each stage, the player can choose another player’s character. Choosing the right companion is vital for success in the main game, and provides extra help in daily and weekly challenges. The companion list is mostly populated with strangers, though users can build a friends list from both in-game requests and linking social media accounts. Selecting a friend’s character gives an added bonus to Friend Points, which can be used to unlock more characters.
As deep as Tower of Saviors is, it’s free to download, and relies on in-game purchases to monetize. Throughout the game, players will accumulate diamonds they can use to purchase character cards, revive the team after a game over, and increase card capacity. Diamonds appear regularly, but players can opt to purchase more. The price of diamonds vary based on the number purchased, starting at $0.99 for one, and up to $99.99 for 150. The most common use for diamonds is purchasing new character cards at five diamonds each. Once purchased, the player will receive a random card. The equivalent of about five dollars for a random character is likely too high for most players, however. New characters are constantly unlocked during normal gameplay, so most players won’t likely want to spend real money to obtain more.
Overall, Tower of Saviors is a fun game that provides a deeper twist to a familiar formula. Casual puzzle fans will likely be turned off by the depth of the gameplay and team management. On the other hand, serious gamers are more likely to enjoy the complexity that is built on top of the simple foundation. Because it’s a free download with no ads, Tower of Saviors is worth a try from anyone who desires a more complex puzzle game. It’d be nice to see diamonds be a bit cheaper, but many players won’t have to buy them anyways.
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A deep—but familiar—take on the puzzle genre.