Tower of Babel – No Mercy
Developer: DNA Studios
Publisher: DNA Studios
Genre: Action, Arcade, Party
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 21/02/2020
A code was provided for review purposes
“Tower of Babel – No Mercy” is a physics-based multiplayer game from DNA Studios where players either compete or help each other build the tallest tower. Building on wonky foundations results in failure but does the game reach for the stars or, like many of my tower-building attempts, result in a catastrophic collapse?
Any game, no matter its price, genre, or platform, needs to have a strong gameplay mechanic at its core. Fortunately, Tower of Babel delivers on this front.
The whole game revolves around one basic mechanic: each player has a piece of a building which swings on a pendulum. The player then needs to drop the building so that it aligns (or at least balances) with the structure below.
This may sound simple, but it actually causes some tension when the building is just teetering on the edge, ready to drop at any moment. If you’ve played “Jenga!”, you’ll know the feeling!
There are three game modes which offer slight variations on how the pendulum mechanic is used, however the core gameplay stays very similar throughout. The game can either be played locally or multiplayer, however I was only able to play at home as my Nintendo online membership had expired.
Two of the game modes: “selfish” and “battle”, pits players against each other with the remaining mode: co-op, allowing an experience focusing on teamwork.
In battle mode, up to four players play against each other in two teams. The goal for this round is to keep their tower upright for the longest. If the other team knocks their tower over, then you win!
The second competitive mode is “selfish” which is definitely my favourite. In this mode, both teams share a single tower. Like “Jenga!”, the player who causes the tower to topple is the loser. Because of this, it’s a mode which is surprisingly strategical. I tried making my building hang slightly over the edge so that it was harder for my opponent to build on top of. Unfortunately, this tactic didn’t work well as I caused the tower to topple which made me lose.
Across these two modes, if a tower is placed perfectly on top of each other then a negative effect takes place, either on yourself or the enemy depending on the game mode. I had a lot of fun using these effects on my opponent; one of my favourites being able to blow wind on their swaying building so that it missed the structure below.
The final mode is a co-op where all players work together to build the highest tower, taking turns to drop the buildings. I enjoy more competition in games, so this version was played the least.
Controls are very simple which means that it’s accessible to everyone. Each player has a single joy-con, pressing the right button to drop their building and the SR button to use their power-up. There’s no handheld play so Joycons must be used. I’ve got many friends who own a Switch so using Joycons isn’t a problem, although I can understand that those with pro controllers or similar may be annoyed by the lack of support.
Style and Sound
Like the controls, Tower of Babel’s overall design is simple. There are a few basic backgrounds and some variety to the buildings. Overall, I quite liked the design and it lends itself well to the fast-paced gameplay, clearly distinguishing buildings from the background. The soundtrack is also enjoyable to listen to however this was often unheard due to the exchanges of shouting from myself and the other player.
Tower of Babel – No Mercy, is a great local multiplayer game. It utilises the tower building mechanic very well. I can definitely see myself playing this with family members who don’t have much experience with gaming. The simple controls mean that anyone can play as there are no tricky combos to memorise. On the other hand, experienced couch co-op players will still find great fun battling each other. For £7.99, it’s an easy recommendation.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Tower of Babel – No Mercy from the Nintendo eShop.