Rhythm Towers is exactly what it sounds like — a genre smash between rhythm action and tower defence games, and from a limited hands-on time with the game at EGX this year, it’s a genius one at that.
You are a dancer from a failed alien pop group. You can’t sing or play any instruments, but boy can you dance. You and your manager find yourself on Planet Rhapsody, a stunning planet of blue grass and thrumming music that’s beset by a race of ‘creeps’, aliens that want to destroy music and the melodies you can hear on the wind. Obviously, the mission here is to protect music at all costs, and if you can do that by busting a few moves here and there, all the better!
This is the crux of Rhythm Towers. You must defend a mystical power source called the Algorhythm, which powers up special pads upon which you can build your symphony. Each weapon in your tower defence arsenal is a layer of music – baselines, melodies and all that jazz — that you build up as you play.
Standing on the pad and completing a rhythm-based minigame will build or upgrade your tower. Towers — which tend to have flaming guitars upon them, or something similarly intense — then drop notes (literally, that’s not some sick slang) that you use as currency to build and upgrade your weapons — each one literally adding a new layer of defence to your soundtrack.
Do this enough times and you can protect the Algorhythm from being consumed by this tasteless monsters. You can either do this solo, finding new characters to help alter the way you play, or for those of you prefer to who dance as a troupe, you can play through the game with a friend in ‘duet’ mode, either in couch co-op or online multiplayer.
If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, you can slow the creeps down by getting in their way and dancing to the soundtrack you just made. This makes the multiplayer particularly interesting, as one player can slow the onslaught as the other builds up their defences to help settle the score.
Rhythm Tower is somehow more than just the sum of its two parts, and what indie developer Innoloop has made here is truly a fantastic take on both genres. The build at EGX has a more groovy hip-hop vibe to it, but the full game, which will hopefully be out next year on PC, promises to explore a range of genres and styles.