This title was reviewed on Xbox One, but is also available on PC and PlayStation 4.
It seems that the point and click genre is making somewhat of a comeback, as I have had to review a fair amount lately. Another one has been thrown into the pile, albeit with a unique twist. Combining point and click with an escape room theme, we have Tower of Beatrice, but is it worth escaping? Let’s have a look.
The graphics get off on the wrong foot right away. Mainly, in terms of overall style, it looks very similar to the abundance of ‘Detective’ and Hidden Object games on mobile, so unfortunately appears a bit generic and cheap. However, it isn’t all bad; as the visual variety across each of the rooms in the tower is actually kinda impressive. Each room is unique, which fits the whole idea of you escaping a witch’s tower, and seeing what unique room is next actually ends up being a driving force for getting through Tower of Beatrice.
The story here is sadly very simple; You break into the eponymous Tower of the witch Beatrice to steal her book. It ends up being a trap, and so you must escape her tower by working your way down it. On the plus side, at least it sets up a fair motivation for escaping the tower, and by extension actually playing the game.
Tower of Beatrice is a point-and-click-style game. It’s different to the previous few I’ve reviewed as you don’t have to move around a set environment. Instead, the game is essentially in first person, and using the analogue stick, you select set items and objects in the game world to interact with. Tower of Beatrice is heavy on its puzzles, as each of the rooms is one big puzzle you have to solve in order to escape. It mixes environmental and inventory puzzles quite well, and overall I enjoyed the variety of puzzles on offer, whether it be causing a talking face on the wall to sneeze so it would spit out a statue head you need, or bantering with a devil and snowman that were playing cards so the devil could melt the aforementioned statue head (yes these took place in the same room.) The puzzles have added depth because not only do you have to mess about with the environment, but you also have to collect ingredients. Beatrice’s spell book doubles as a cook book, and lets you know what you need to create certain potions. For example, in the first room you need a bunch of feathers, a cold bit of coal and a few other things to brew a levitation potion to make a rock (and therefore the key attached to it) to rise towards the door to the exit, and in the second room you need to brew a potion of life in order to revive the skeleton of Beatrice’s pet hamster.
Sadly though, Tower of Beatrice has a bunch of problems that bog it down. The main one that annoyed me was the poor controls. There are a ton of issues with it. For starters, everything that can be interacted with is locked onto with a golden ring, and moving to a specific item is weird, as it seems you can only select with the left and right directions on the analogue stick, even if the item you want is above the item you’re currently on. The controls get worse when you have to select stuff in your inventory, as getting into your inventory, selecting the item, and going out of your inventory to use it is more akin to patting your head and rubbing your stomach. I reckon these control issues would be non-existent on PC, but on Xbox it’s a pain. Another minor gripe is the game’s ‘dialogue’. At certain points in the game, Beatrice or another character in the environment will talk to you, sometimes giving hints. The problem comes from the fact that this dialogue is both accidentally repeatable and unskippable. So if you get stuck and do the tried and true method of interacting with anything and everything, you will most likely restart some dialogue and have to sit through it again, which is a pain.
Like the visuals, the audio is rather cheap and generic sounding. The music is extremely repetitive, and the majority of sound effects just don’t sound very unique, but at least they aren’t annoying to listen to, so there’s that.
Tower of Beatrice is a fairly decent point-and-click game. While its overall presentation is cheap and its story simple, the visual variety and motive the story establishes gives players a reason to stick with it. The puzzles are also in-depth, fun and varied, with a solid mix of environmental and inventory puzzling. However, the poor controls and unskippable dialogue bog the game down quite a bit. If you play this on PC or otherwise tolerate the problems though, you’ll find a decent time here.