Tackling “Two Towers”

I’ve been meaning to take on more card based games but often find them quite daunting, which is why Little Alchemist appealed.

Two Towers looked just like the kind of game I traditionally shy away from  The sort of game with different metrics, confusing terminology and loads of balancing factors and extra complexity that may make a better and more challenging game but not something for the bus home after a long day at the office.

A tutorial of sorts

My initial impressions were ones of fear, confusion and amusement. The first screen that you are shown when starting your first game was absolutely terrible. A barrage of text that is very hard to process. With no clear order to read and a lot of screen taken up by explanations it was too overwhelming and nigh on impossible to take it all in.

This led to a pretty dismal start to the game where I had no sodding idea what the hell I was doing. To be honest this isn’t the worst thing in the world. I don’t mind having a throwaway first go at a game. Growing up the games of old had very limited tutorials and you had to learn through trial and error. Perhaps rather than overloading you with so much information they could have just given you the bare minimum and let you learn. Maybe most players don’t have the patience to screw up, try again and enjoy the game, however I do and that works for me (so long as there’s enough feedback to understand what you did wrong!).

There were a large amount of spelling errors and other grammatical mistakes. I feel a bit bad picking on this because this isn’t a game by mega corp and their first language isn’t English, however there’s so many that it does harm the players first impressions, which is vital. Getting half way through and having a typo, sure, but not loads at the start!

To aide in learning by doing, games usually give you a nice and simple approach where you start off exposed to a selection of gameplay mechanisms and this is added to over time. This provides two benefits. It helps the player learn the game at an easier rate and the learning process is more successfully as the player has more time to experiment with and understand new concepts.

The other benefit is that it means the game continues to evolve and become more interesting as it goes on with new mechanisms and aspects to learn in time. This is where Two Towers falls short. Three or four games in and you’ve pretty much done everything unique in the game and it is then repeated over and over.

Interfering adverts

It is an interesting card game though. With multiple ways to win you can employ different tactics. Do you focus on collecting one of the three resources in the game, or utilise them to either attack or grow when possible? Sometimes you might want to be reactive to the enemy and block them from making moves by discarding cards that may be useful to them. It can be entertaining. However as I mentioned, the game doesn’t evolve meaning that it can get awfully samey. Card games should give you unique games each time as you learn the many nuances. Computer versions can add new elements over time, however that just doesn’t happen in Two Towers. Even the number of cards isn’t all that great making it repetitive after a while.

So yeah, I’d say it is worth picking up and playing Two Towers. Stick with it for a couple of games but if it is starting to get old, you might as well delete it because there’s nothing more to come. Whether paying to get rid of adverts is worth it, I’m not sure. They are bloody annoying but is there enough depth in the game for a business model based on replay value? I’m not convinced. I don’t think the link even works!

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