|You get to rock 'n' roll in this game, or was it rolling rocks? Never mind.|
- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: Schrolab
- Publisher: Mito Studio
- Release Date: 10 Feb 2017
- Time played: 2 hours
What is itSchrolab seems to be a small team of developers that were purposefully formed to develop Totemori at a Hungarian development house called Mito Studio. They started working on the project in 2016 along with their normal day job (Mito seem to normally work as an advertising agency which delves into the world of web and mobile app development) and in under a year, finished developing the game. The game won first prize at a Hungarian game development competition called Grand Pix before eventually debuting on Steam in February 2017 as a free-to-play title.
Totemori is a local multiplayer game that can have up to four players or you can substitute those players with bots; you can either have all players go against each other in a Free-for-All or you can form teams. The goal of the game is to acquire the most number of points when time runs out and you do so by building towers out of blocks that rain from the sky. The taller the towers, the more points you get, however, your opponents can chuck blocks on top of your towers to steal points or they can knock them over which prevents any points from accumulating (until you start building another tower of course). Oh, you're also able to temporarily knock out your opponents directly too and level anything within a certain radius if you charge up your superpower.
How I got itWhen I acquired my Steam Link, I was on the lookout for games that were free, family friendly and that supported local multiplayer with controllers: Totemori was one such game and hence I wanted to give it a try.
|There's a handful of maps you can choose from, but you can also customise the colour schemes|
What I like:
Cute and colourful graphicsThe game contains bright, colourful and cute graphics so there's no complaints in the art department.
Catchy background musicLászló Bajnóczi (aka Rootshaper) – is an electronic artist from Hungary that specialises in psy trance and dark progressive techno; he does an excellent job with the background music for the game – pity it's only one track though.
Simple to learnThere's not really much you need to know in order to play this game: stack blocks on top of each other as high as you can in order to build towers and ensure your opponents don't do the same. Winning games however is a totally different story…
Variety of mapsThere are a few maps or arenas you can pick from and you can also customise their colour schemes too before you start a match.
Works on Steam LinkThe game works fine on the Steam Link and with my Logitech F710 controllers too.
Family FriendlyThere's only very low-level cartoon violence in this game, so you can even play it with younger kids.
Steam AchievementsThe game has 17 Steam Achievements which are quite easy to earn provided you play the game enough.
FreeYep, the game is absolutely free, so you can skip reading this review and try it for yourself if you're that way inclined 😊.
|If you want any chance of winning the game, best to bring friends over since the AI is tough|
What I dislike:
Challenging AII suspect that Totemori is more fun when you're playing it with just human players because when you're playing against the bots, it's pretty challenging: the bots are just so much better at efficiently using their time and they always manage to knock you out at the worst possible moments. I've yet to beat the bots at a single game yet, even when playing in a team against a solitary bot.
DisorientatingOne possible reason for it being so difficult to play against bots is that things can get pretty disorientating especially when there are already a lot of blocks on the screen already. Many times, I've tried to stack a block on top of a tower only to realise I'm either facing the wrong direction by a few degrees or I'm too far, resulting in wasted seconds where I could've done something constructive: this can mean the difference between losing or winning a game since you're always vulnerable to attacks by your opponents so maximising your usefulness while on your feet is imperative.
Framerate dropsUsually when a bomb goes off or a player uses their superpower to level all the blocks on the screen, the game tends to have framerate drops… or at least what appears to be framerate drops, unless the developers intentionally turned slo-mo on for dramatic effect, although I doubt it.
Score – 6/10 (Okay)Totemori is a free, family-friendly, local multiplayer game where the player that manages to accrue the most points from building towers out of blocks (and denying his opponents from doing the same) is the winner. The game works fine on the Steam Link, has bright, colourful graphics and catchy background music. However, I suspect the game is much more fun when playing against humans since playing against the AI is a bit too challenging for me, especially since the AI tend to not make the same mistakes as humans and, in this game, every second counts.
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[ LINK: Official Totemori Webpage ]
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