4.0 Very Good
0.0 Your Mom
Funkmaster V Reviews
7800 Rank: 9th Best Overall
2nd Best Official Release
Genre Rank: Hybrid (Platformer/ Puzzle/ Shooter)
It's a Frog! And a Thing! And Another Thing!
Excellent Graphics/ Unique Puzzle Game/ Challenging/ Rewarding
Many are Thrown Off By the Difficulty and Memorization Portion of the Game. I'm not because I'm a man.
De-Turd the Shrimp!
Overview: Tower Toppler is a game where you take control of a little frog-guy who's task at hand is trying to figure out how to climb 8 different polluting towers, in order to destroy them all and save a newly discovered planet's ecosystem. Sometimes this game feels like a puzzle game, because of the different
obstacles and traps that cause you to constantly use your noodle. Sometimes it feels more like an action game, especially when you are trying to escape from that annoying super large molecule bully and you only have 20 seconds to go before time runs out. I want to point out that I owned an Atari 7800 when it was released, and Tower Toppler, Impossible Mission and Desert Falcon were the only games on the system for years that provided a sense of adventure. When I was tired of the excellent 7800 arcade ports, Tower Toppler was my respite. I loved this game.
Graphics: Graphically, the game is nearly breath-taking. The main character is in a fixed position for the entire tower climbing process, and the tower itself moves around the hero beautifully with smooth parallax scrolling. Underwater scenes in the ship "BA-1" may be the best graphics sequence for the 7800. (Did this dude just name his ship BAD ASS-1? HA! He's awesome). The colors are vivid, and if there is a flaw, it might be that some of the towers' color schemes are very tacky...
but hey, bad guys aren't supposed to be worried about paint jobs, are they? They are busy polluting the world.
Sound: Sound for this game is not too bad. There is even an option to turn the music off in the main menu which is probably an OK thing. Sounds for the bouncing balls are good, and even the tippy-tap of the hero's feet is kind of reassuring in this strange, dark world. Nothing here is outstanding, but unlike most 7800 games, nothing really annoys you.
Gameplay is all around pretty solid. But sometimes, when the robots are bouncing, the molecule is hot on your trail, and you are firing a shot, climbing stairs, or falling through platforms, there can be a small amount of slow-down. Also, your control over the frog mutant hero seems sluggish at first, but not enough to make you sick and its something you get used to. Gameplay is simple...you basically shoot, jump or climb, and the task at hand is easy to understand: Get to the top of the tower as fast as possible. The tower portion of this title involves trial and error, and the memorization requirement irritates some people. We call these people "jive turkeys" where we come from. Off the record, we call them something worse. I personally enjoy the cerebral knife fight that this game is. It's not easy. If you need some practice time in the ring, the game even has level selection for the towers kicking your ass. (Level selection tip at the bottom of the page) Collision detection is good, and the ability to sometimes double jump in mid-air makes the game more interesting. The underwater shooting sections between the towers are easy, fun, beautiful, and a reward for a job well done on taking down the previous tower.
Originality: This game appears on many systems under many names. It's kind of like God or the Devil that way. You might have seen it incognito called Nebulus, Castelian, Kyorochan Land, Subline, Yahwew, The Great I Am, Redeemer, the Prince of Darkness, Papa Legba, Scratch, Old Slew Foot... ya know... one of them. I'm still gonna categorize this portion under originality, because the game is only known as Tower Toppler on the Atari 7800 and odds are you never played any of those. And thank Old Slew Foot, Tower Toppler is the easiest title to spell. This is one of the most original games I've ever played. The fixed camera angle on the main hero became popular in games like Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider, but still, not like this. This title is a perfect mix of action and problem solving...to a degree I have never seen since. The gameplay is very unique and the subject matter of the game is very original as well. On a system known for it's quirky games, this one may be one of the quirkiest.
Value: There is no two player variation of the main game, so when you beat the game, there is nothing really calling you back to play it time and time again, although the hours you spend going through the mission the first time will justify the purchase of the cart. And there is always the challenge of beating the game faster, better and finding more efficient ways to climb the tower. This is one of the cheapest Atari 7800 games available on ebay these days. Take advantage of that before things change.
Overall: In this reviewer's opinion, this is far and away one of the best games for the system. The graphics are good looking even by today's cell phone game standards. The challenge of the 8 towers will baffle video game pros for hours. This is a game that's main strength is originality, and if I had to rank the top 50 video games of all time, I would include Tower Toppler, and probably rank it high. I said it before...and I'll preach it again~ I love it!
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: 4.5 out of 5.0 (Excellent)
The Atari Times: 9 out of 10
Atari Gaming Headquarters: 8 out of 10
Video Game Critic: C+
Hubert James Keener's Review Aggregate Machine: B
We had a contest back in the early 2000's on the old website to name the Castelian in this game, because I felt he should have a name, and the name "SLY" won. So... his name is Sly. Deal with it.