Timothy and the Tower of Mu – Review
Follow Genre: 2D Platformer
Developer: Kibou Entertainment
Publisher: PLAYISM
Platform: PC
Tested On: PC

Timothy and the Tower of Mu – Review

Site Score
Good: Great art, decent mechanics
Bad: Lack of checkpoints, instakills everywhere, dying loses time
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)

2D platformers have seen a comeback in recent times. Providing hard challenges while implementing quality-of-life improvements throughout the years, these games have seen successes like Celeste come to light. However, relying entirely on their mechanics and the smoothness of their implementation leaves these games treading a thin line between success and failure. Timothy and the Tower of Mu (henceforth referred to as ToM) is a game in this vein that is marred by certain questionable decisions. Here is what it has to offer.


The game’s story follows the titular hero, Timothy, as he attempts to resurrect his grandfather by climbing a tower built in honor of the Star God, a being said to grant wishes to those who accomplish the feat. Throughout the climb, Timothy encounters a series of different characters who will plague him with small tasks required to progress, although these don’t have much depth to them and simply serve as menial task generators. Besides this, the story serves as little more than a background for the adventure, with dialogues usually being concise, although still featuring rather sketchy writing, possibly due to the translation.


ToM’s graphics are made up of rather good high-detail pixel art for both characters and environments. Although most of the tower’s generic sections share their design, the overall world is divided into several unique biomes, each featuring new enemies, traps, and themes. The main problem with the game’s graphics is one that affects the gameplay, namely the sprites not matching the actual hitboxes and thus making platforms, hazards, and at times even enemies harder to work around.


The game’s sound design is rather good, featuring a quite decent soundtrack and competent sound effects, although with a few lower-quality outliers. That said, the game does have a problem with its lack of tracks, instead repeating the same handful over and over till any novelty wears off. These tracks often shift from biome to biome, with the repetition only setting in after being in the same area for a while.


ToM’s gameplay is rather simple and doesn’t particularly evolve throughout the game. Players will be able to jump, dash and shoot with Timothy’s slingshot. Although a pair of other movement abilities are added, they don’t change much of the gameplay and only affect the later part of the game where they’re obtained. Besides these abilities, Timothy also has access to food shops where healing items can be purchased in order to restore the very limited health pool.

The gameplay will see players dealing with massive amounts of instakill hazards and enemies peppered throughout levels. Although the controls are simple and don’t evolve at all, they’re still somewhat unwieldy due to the floatiness of the overall movement and clunkiness while using the slingshot. The latter is due to the inability to shoot while moving unless the player is in the air after a jump. Combined with the fact that aiming up or down is also impossible, the already underwhelming combat is made a nuisance. This is especially true for certain bosses, where the gameplay loop shifts to shooting their weak spots, which often enough are rather small. This gets aggravating quickly because of the previously mentioned problems with hitboxes.

Alongside this, the game is also riddled with more annoying design choices which don’t respect the player’s time, such as limited save spots, long areas, no healing at save points, and more. What this entails is that should the player die, they’ll be sent back to the last save point, regardless of how many areas away it might be. This, combined with the inability to heal without items, or the occasional healing fountain, means players will often run around on a single health point for several screens and die cheap deaths. Said cheap deaths are made even worse with some levels even placing unavoidable enemies in the middle of their corridors. Although healing items are affordable, the shops where they’re sold are few and far between. These consumables can be carried in an inventory, which is never explained until players open it by chance (since the controls aren’t written anywhere and the keyboard layout binds inventory to Enter).

On top of the aforementioned issues, the game also runs into a blatantly nonsensical decision when the optional cooking minigame is suddenly not optional and required for progression. This will most likely force players to grind the ingredients required for the one and only recipe the game ever requires to continue forward, with said ingredients being random drops from monsters running on rather low rates.

Lastly, backtracking is rather common in ToM, with most of the boss areas forcing players to repeat a handful of the screens the opposite way before letting them exit. It is also rather common to ascend to a certain point in order to retrieve a McGuffin only to be sent back to a previous area to deliver it and then being forced to go through the same climb to open a door. The lack of meaningful fast travel and incredibly rare shortcuts only makes things worse.


Timothy and the Tower of Mu is a relatively good platformer that doesn’t respect the player’s time at all, constantly setting back their progress and forcing them to repeat areas constantly. While the mechanics are decent enough, the backwards ideas featured in the game make it a slog to get through, being more annoying than difficult due to the sheer amount of time wasted with each death, which may occur just by glancing at a hazard. Sold for €9,99/£9,29/$11,99, the game is not particularly expensive, although waiting for a sale might be recommendable even if it’s a chunky offering at around 10+ hours of length.

Personal Opinion

“Honestly, my opinion about this game is just that it’s incredibly frustrating. The platforming itself is hard but not much, the problem instead is that each death makes you waste a few minutes. Levels are riddled with auto scrollers where you just stand on a platform waiting for it to reach an endpoint, maybe crouching or shooting an enemy in the meantime. Should you die or fall off, you’re set back to the start of the level, forced to wait for everything to happen again. Even the levels where you can move freely are a nuisance to navigate, since almost every wall and floor is covered in instakill spikes which will send you to the latest save point. This is especially bad when you go through several areas at once without being able to save or heal if you haven’t packed items. I want to like this game, the art is good and I dig the movement, but my god, it’s just such a massive nuisance.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Timothy and the Tower of Mu - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.