At very rare moments the gaming community comes across a game that has a unique story that impresses as well as horrifies them to the core. Pandora’s Tower is one such game. Developed by Ganbarion and published by Nintendo, Pandora’s Tower is an action role-playing game which revolves around the unique relationship shared between Aeron and Elena. The player is pit against various challenges in this dungeon crawling adventure where he faces hordes of frightening monsters. His task is to feed his ailing partner beast flesh in order to remove a curse that is slowly transforming her into a wild beast.
The story is based on Aeron who has to fight and battle his way through 13 dungeons and castles to battle the horrific beasts who inhabit them in order to life a curse that has befallen upon Elena. It is an unusual premise but does well to grab the player’s attention and make him beg for more. Each tower has a master who sits atop waiting to be slaughtered (or to slaughter you) who ultimately provides the flesh for Elena to eat in order to break the curse.
All the towers possess your typical puzzles, traps and mindless beasts who act as a stepping stone to the master. But the beauty lies within the fact that it is not all about exploration. The player has to act quickly in order to tread through the castle to reach the master on time as Elena’s time is running out. If the player fails to reach the master on time, he has to return to Elena to feed her flesh in order to buy more time which is portrayed through a gauge in the corner. This brings about a feeling of urgency and keeps the player on his toes while providing him with a worthy challenge.
The areas are all well constructed and created making the time-management mechanics a vital component of the game. The player has to memorize his paths in order to get through towers faster while unlocking shortcuts along his way to the boss. The time-management mechanics is one of the strongest points of the game as it is built upon really well while keeping the game mechanics from falling apart.
Most of the puzzle solving can be done with the help of Aeron’s Oraclos chain. It is both a means to solve puzzles as well as a lethal weapon in the right hands. It is with the help of this chain that the player can tear precious flesh from his fallen enemy’s bodies. Aeron also has a sword which deals in simple combat but is not as satisfying as the Oraclos chain. Boss battles need careful planning to deal with and acquire master flesh. Each boss needs to be approached with different tactics and techniques kept in mind.
Pandora’s Tower may seem like a typical hack n slash game but it gets better with every step the player takes. It mixes together some brilliant mechanics complete with wonderful art style and enchanting soundtrack to create a truly immersive experience.