Towaga: Among Shadows – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade, Character/Base defense.
Developer: Sunnyside Games
Publisher: Noodlecake
Platform: PC, Switch, iOS (Apple Arcade)
Tested on: PC

Towaga: Among Shadows – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Very nice visuals, strong sense of urgency while playing
Bad: Entire game is built around two ''mini-games'', might be too little for some.
User Score
4.3
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.3/10 (4 votes cast)

Towaga: Among Shadows follows up on the earlier released “Towaga”, which was a game that came out for mobile platforms. Towaga: Among Shadows could be seen as what Towaga wanted to be: A further developed game with even better graphics, supported by a story. It’s been made to fit the Switch and the PC. Besides that, it found its way to a full release on Apple Arcade. As Sunnyside Games has its roots in mobile gaming with games such as Towaga, how does Towaga: Among Shadows fare on bigger screens?

Story

Sunnyside Games has storytelling covered in its games. Often the editing and transitioning in the trailers are already top-tier quality that could easily measure itself with the big company trailers. In-game, the combination of the simple short pieces of text you get really brings home the core the game has. Especially in combination with the great graphics, the story is atmospherical and intertwined with the gameplay itself.

Towaga: Among Shadows is a classic story of good versus bad in a strange and enthralling universe. Your masked character is challenged to stop Metnal, a dark creature who represents pure evil. It’s a game about bringing the light to the army of darkness where you have to purify important temples in a series of fights. We actually mean using literal light from your hands like a Super Saiyan who would do a continuous Kamehameha. One lasting beam to wreak your opponents. Perhaps the spoken text and background story lack a little bit of depth, but there is extra written information available that you collect as you play, which makes up for this.

Graphics

There’s something insanely clean about Towaga: Among Shadows. Something about the graphics that really shows a professional level of animation involved in the entire game. The enemies, all the character’s movements, and even some extras in the background all look perfect. Looking at the details while playing feels a bit like playing an animated show. Sure, what happens in some of the episodes of this show looks weirdly similar to the previous ones, but because of the quality, the show looks like eye candy. Such quality makes sure that the graphics are not any cause for boredom where repetitive gameplay might be.

Sound

Towaga: Among Shadows does not have any text supported by voice-overs. It does have a classic ”voice replaced by unintelligible chatter” mechanism though. Besides this, the game is supported by music that sounds cinematic and atmospherical while playing. With grand tension or darker tones, this music does well while in a fight. Sometimes it does sound like the music starts repeating itself, even if the songs change. Despite the quality upgrade in Towaga: Among Shadows, this is the one aspect that still feels connected to the mobile-only Towaga.

Gameplay

Those looking for freedom of movement will absolutely hate Towaga, as most of the game you are literally frozen into the same place. This gives the game a lot of base defense vibes, and the player a strong sense of urgency. As you are frozen into place (on top of a temple), you have to defend yourself against waves of enemies in an arcade-like fashion. With a beam emitting from your hands, you drag the mouse or rotate the stick around its own starting axis, shooting all around you to hit enemies. The enemies, who are always dark creatures made up of black and a midnight purple, are numerous and come in different varieties which can keep you on your toes.

Each temple is made up of multiple waves. During these waves, the temple will sometimes ”grant you power” which allows you to soar up through the skies where the game turns into more of a twin-stick shooter. With one set of keys or an analog stick, you float around in a confined area while with the other controls you still shoot your beam everywhere. Floating around lasts a few waves and then you land again to continue your ground-based battle. The big difference between being able to move between these two battle modes is, that while grounded, you can actually use special attacks as well.

Special attacks offer an area-of-effect attack around you or fire projectiles that attack your enemies. These special attacks use mana that generally have just a little cooldown, and the attacks as well as i.e. your beam damage, width, hit point total and more can be upgraded to get stronger as your progress towards the end. You do so by automatically collecting a currency, as you play to upgrade said stats. While some special attacks might be more useful than others, they are generally about equally useful. This way you go through a total of 42 waves. When finished, you can do it again with alternate graphics and a harder difficulty. But that doesn’t change that this game, while well-produced, is a simple arcade game that you should not expect much variety from. There are also some extra modes such as survival, and even multiplayer, but they don’t change much either.

Conclusion

Towaga: Among Shadows is a game that has some high-quality graphics, sound, and a nice little story. In a way, it feels weird that there’s only two ”mini-games” that make up for the entire gameplay of about an hour. This is not including the extra difficulty and other modes. It’s all well made, and it’s good for what it is, but don’t expect more of it than the little variety the game throws at you.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.3/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Towaga: Among Shadows - Review, 4.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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