TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Tallowmere 2’

TouchArcade Rating:

With its pre-determined launch date of September 30th it didn’t quite make it in time for our weekly round-up of new game releases, but darn it, I just don’t care. I’m not letting that technicality keep me from picking Tallowmere 2 as our Game of the Week. This game is just too awesome. Many people call it a Dead Cells-like, which is apt given how similar the games are, but the original Tallowmere actually came out in 2015, a few years before Dead Cells was a thing. I guess similar to how people refer to games as being like Angry Birds when Crush the Castle came well before it, you’ve just got to stick with what people are familiar with.

Like I said though, the comparison is a fair one. Tallowmere and its sequel are loot-based roguelike dungeon crawlers dressed up as side-scrolling platform games. Levels are procedurally generated, enemies are plentiful and varied, and the loot you come across is extensive. As in Dead Cells one of the most satisfying parts is building out your offensive skillset over the course of a run. The variety of weapons and equipment in Tallowmere 2 is off the charts, allowing you to create some truly incredible loadouts and allowing you to tackle situations in a number of different ways.

This leads to the other major element that makes Tallowmere 2 so much fun, which is the combat. It’s based primarily around using a shield to block attacks or hazards that might harm you, and then countering with some offense. If you try to rush through just hacking and slashing away, you’re gonna have a bad time. Each enemy and situation requires a different approach, and there’s nothing more satisfying than having a tough enemy in an odd location in a level and finding some clever way to use the offensive skills you’ve earned thus far in a run to take them out.

Tallowmere 2 is a game that slowly grows into a massive katamari of dungeon crawler goodness as you progress further and further in each run. Enemies get much more difficult, levels get much more complex, and your weapons and loot become much more deadly and interesting. And when you die, which you inevitably will, you’ll start right back from square one to do it all over again. I just can’t get enough, and like some of my all-time favorite roguelike games, you’ll almost always have a great story of how you eventually bit the dust due to some messed up situation. I love that stuff.

Allow me to borrow a quote from our review of the original Tallowmere from 2015 because I think it’s still fitting for the sequel. “[Tallowmere 2] isn’t for everyone, but almost everyone seems to come to like it after a while." This is a game that might seem too confusing at first, but stick with it enough and things will eventually click as you grow to understand the nuances of the gameplay, and by that time, well, you’ll likely have a hard time putting it down after that.

Since this is the kind of game that has a learning curve and sort of needs to grow on you, it’s nice that you can explore a huge chunk of Tallowmere 2 for free, and likely have hours worth of fun with it without even unlocking the full version. However, the one-time premium unlock IAP is well worth the money for the various goodies that it adds to the game, and will seem like a small price to pay for something that you can conceivably spend hundreds or even thousands of hours playing well into the future.

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