Towers: Lord Baniff's Deceit Preview

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Role-playing games of the Game Boy variety have typically been very console-like in appearance and gameplay, with their overhead views, character-based storylines, and varied locations. But there's a totally different type of RPG that's been overlooked on Nintendo's smart little handheld. On their home computers, gamers in the '80s were regularly treated to the delights of walking through dungeons, hacking random monsters, and watching their character's statistics go up in pen-and-paper fashion. Towers - Lord Baniff's Deceit is a return to this style of curiously addictive gaming.

"Step 3D" is the term used for the visual style of this game, but don't get too excited thinking about true 3D immersion. As you view each location in a first-person fashion, your movement is restricted to predefined steps in one of four compass directions. The upshot of this sacrifice is that movement is noticeably faster than what it would have been had the Vatican used true 3D. A good portion of the screen is used up by a detailed listing of your statistics, a representation of your inventory, and a spell sheet. Not a bad way to make maximum use of the screen's low resolution.

A cool feature that other games would do well to make use of is the two-player cooperative function. With the link cable, you and a friend can roam the fifteen levels together and watch each other's back. Battery support is also included, thankfully, since the kind of passwords you would need for a game this complex would be huge. How will the gameplay go down with the average Game Boy fan, though? Stay tuned to find out.

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