[Feature] Kid’s Corner – Tower of Babel – no mercy – Nintendo Switch review

Written by Thomas Haroldsen
  • Developer: DNA Studios
  • Publisher: DNA Studios
  • Release Date: 21/02/2020
  • Price: £8.99 / $9.99
  • Review code provided by DNA Studios

Video Review

Intro

The Nintendad Kids Corner segment is all about putting games to the test at various age levels to see how they work for families and children. It’s especially exciting when we can get our hands on a multiplayer experience with an emphasis on couch co-op. Instead of letting my kids run wild with this review before I checked in, we sat down and toppled towers together. There are a lot of games on the eShop with multiplayer mayhem and many get lost in the shuffle. To see if Tower of Babel – no mercy stacks up to the competition, continue reading below.

The Higher the Tower…

“No, not the wind!” “An arch? Are you kidding me right now?” “Did you just steal my turn? Come on!” These are just a few of the phrases we were constantly shouting when our family sat down to construct skyscrapers to the moon. (Would that mean they’re spacescrapers?)

Tower of Babel – no mercy is as simple as they come in terms of playability and design. The gist is to build a tower as tall as possible. In this physics-based builder you only use two buttons. The action button to release the floor, and the SR button to cast an attack. Though a simple setup, there’s a catch. Each floor you’re trying to add to your building is swinging back and forth, suspended by a crane. You have to time the release of your addition so that it lands flush with the rest of the tower. Sure, you can off-center it here and there, but eventually gravity will pull your creation to the earth below once balance is lost. A swift end to your misaligned endeavor.

One for the Money

The true joy in playing Tower of Babel – no mercy is multiplayer. There are a few different play modes. Up to four can tackle the construction of a single tower as a team. In this mode, each player gets a turn to add their floor. Aiming for a centered drop will grant bonus points. Once you achieve a set amount, your tower is cemented in and past wobbles fade away. It’s still challenging as power ups are automatically activated and used against each of you, despite working together toward the same goal.

Two for the Show

The second mode pits everyone against each other while building the same tower. If you land a perfect drop you’ll gain an attack. You can use it right away or save up for a unique attack based on the character you’ve selected. Making it suddenly windy can blow a piece off-course and either cause the column to crash or a tipsy topping for the next player to deal with. My son loved using the swap power which essentially steals a turn, giving him another go. He got so good at using it, he could time the swap mid drop and bank a perfect while robbing you. He would sometimes chain a few of these to get multiple turns. I wasn’t a fan. Another attack has you turning the suspended floor nearly invisible making it difficult to get a perfect landing. There’s a decent amount of variety in the power ups and characters which made it genuinely exciting to try an assortment of matches to thwart each other.

Three to get Ready

The third mode is a team tower. Each team of two has their own tower. Not only do you have to work well with your partner, you have to avoid attacks from the other duo. You can send your own barrage their way but we found it just as effective to build faster than our opponents. Sometimes outpacing them while they try desperately for a perfect hit sent them crumbling to dust.

And Four to Go!

Solo mode is more or less the same thing. You build your tower and the game tries to slow you down with random attacks. Though it was still fun, it lacks the appeal of bragging about how you duped your friend by converting their flat floor to an arch with no base to stand on. We were unsuccessful in getting an online match, but I suspect the enjoyment would be cut there as well. Having a live audience engaging in the squirmy structural shenanigans rounds out the experience in Tower of Babel – no mercy. One of our favorite things to do was to play one tower in competitive mode but refrain from attacking each other. This essentially gave us the chance to try and build a monstrous tower without power ups getting in the way. Tower of Babel – no mercy caters to quick-play party sessions and does have a tendency to get repetitive if you sit in for long stints.

…The Greater the Fall

The art style is cartoony and as outlandish as the premise. That’s not a bad thing. Just as the gameplay can be deceptively simple, so are the graphics. There are several characters you can select to take into tower toppling battle. Each character’s tower segments are aligned with their theme. If you pick the hobo, you can enjoy a derelict dwelling. The Queen has formidable fortress floors and the ape swings to vine strewed structures. Once you place your piece, several little avatars dance atop the tower at your success. Until the next floor is flopped down and smashes them to bits, or a wind attack introduces them to the cruel mistress, gravity.

The music is just a catchy tune set to repeat. It never got annoying but it was forgettable. I contribute that fact more to our laughing and yelling than a poorly composed melody. Staying with the theme of simplicity, the soundtrack and sound effects followed suit. We didn’t run into any bugs but there was one thing that could be off putting to some. We were only able to use Joy-Con turned sideways to play. Tower of Babel – no mercy showed no mercy to our third party or pro controllers. This can be a drawback if you expect to get four players and only have two Joy-Con and supplemental controllers.

Final Wrap

For anyone who likes to game with a group, Tower of Babel – no mercy offers frantic fun for all ages. It’s simple to learn and simple to play. What makes it charming is learning to outwit each other while constructing the next Leaning Tower of Pisa. My seven year old daughter shouted “this gets a five out of five,” following our first session. It quickly gained her stamp of approval. It’s hard to disagree with her as we shared a lot of laughs and had a ton of fun. My other kids were equally enthralled with the quick and easy approach. The only things keeping Tower of Babel – no mercy from a perfect score for a game of family fun is the lack of controller support and short sessions. This is an otherwise worthy addition to any shared Switch for multiplayer madness.

Pros

  • Frantic Fun for Four
  • Quick-play Sessions
  • Easy for All Ages

Cons

  • No Joy-Con, No Joy
  • Repetitive by Nature

Verdict
The simply constructed concept behind Tower of Babel – no mercy has a firm foundation for fun.
4/5

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