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Game Info:

Tallowmere
Developed by: Chris McFarland
Published by: Teyon
Release date: November 9, 2017
Available on: Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Switch, Wii U, Windows
Genre: Platformer
Number of players: 1-4 players
ESRB Rating: Teen for blood, gore, and violence
Price: $6.99

 

Thank you Teyon for sending us this game to review!

There’s not much of a story in Tallowmere besides trying to survive princess Tallowmere’s randomly generated dungeons to impress her. Before you depart, you can partake in various challenges or you can talk to the Grim Reaper to increase the difficulty of the game by taking on some punishments on your run through the dungeon. There is an option to make the game easier, but it has a cost. To get a health boost, you can sacrifice a kitten or a few of them. Not only do they lose their life in a bloody way, but your progress will be stored on a separate scoreboard than those who play on the standard difficulty. Last but not least is a shop keeper who sells different loot each time you talk to him. Unfortunately, you don’t start off with any gold, just a basic axe, shield, and a health potion.

You can always backtrack to princess Tallowmere and she will restore your health. If you're lucky, you may find blue flames that can teleport you back to the main area for healing or shopping. You may also come across transparent princess Tallowmeres that can heal you on the spot. I recommend holding off on using a health potion unless it’s an emergency. Completed rooms do not respawn enemies once they are defeated. The traps to remain in place though. On your way back to the princess you’ll still have to mind the spiked surfaces, spinning saw blades, and acid spewing walls.

Tallowmere
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun roguelike that keeps having you coming back for more; fun co-op gameplay
Weak Points: The Switch version is $3 more expensive than the other platforms
Moral Warnings: Mild language (d*mn); bloodshed and the ability to sacrifice kittens in exchange for a health boost; magic use; you must collect souls and offer them up to a demon statue to increase your power

Each new dungeon room has various enemies that have different abilities and fighting styles. Some foes will rush in towards you while others have ranged attacks. Many of the ranged attacks can be thwarted with your shield, but not all of them. Some of the enemies will hurl fire or lightning toward you. Another particularly nasty attack is one that stuns you for a couple of seconds. Every few rooms the enemies will grow stronger.

Despite the odds being stacked against you, all hope is not lost. For each defeated enemy you’ll collect their soul. After enough souls are collected, you can take them to a demon statue and trade them in for a power and health boost. The amount of souls needed for a power boost increases with each “offering”. Besides leaving their souls behind, the enemies will often drop gold and an occasional health restoring heart.

Treasure chests are always a welcome find and usually have nice weapons or armor in them. One of my favorite weapons I had in my possession was an emerald blade that masked my presence and enabled me to make sneak attacks. It also restored my health by six points every few seconds. As cool as this weapon was it didn’t last long because you only get one life and if you die, all of your loot is gone and the dungeon will be randomized and different on your next adventure.

Tallowmere
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 72%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 68%
Violence - 4/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

If you have friends to play alongside you, your odds of survival go up as you can revive each other. Health hearts are shared but the treasure chest loot is not so you’ll have to play nice and share the wealth so to speak. Setting up the co-op game took a little effort as you have to go into the game’s menu and start a new co-op game. The Switch controllers will have to be configured and each player’s name will need to be entered to tell them all apart in the game.

The visuals have a retro look to them and are nothing too special. There’s a fair amount of variety in the enemies and if you can survive long enough, some fierce boss battles await you. With the enemy deaths there is plenty of bloodshed. Although I’m not a fan of killing kittens or demons, I’m more leery of the soul offerings than the spilling of blood.

The sound effects are equally retro in nature and are nothing too complex. There are some voice overs and they sound computerized. Background music is present, but it’s forgettable.

In the end, my son and I enjoyed playing this game together. It’s fun with friends or by yourself. With the randomized dungeons, it will be a different experience each time you play it. This game also has the “one more time!” thing going for it. The portability of the Switch version is great, however, other mobile platforms are only a fraction of the price. The Android version sells for $1.99 and the Steam edition is $3.99. If you like challenging roguelikes, the Switch version of Tallowmere is worth picking up if you don’t mind killing kittens and offering souls to demon statues.

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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