It's hard to find another game that is as embraced by Japanese players, and as panned by American players, as The Tower of Druaga. When this game was released in Japan in 1984 by Namco, players flocked to it and traded information about how to uncover its secrets. When the game was tested in American arcades, it was a complete flop.
At first glance, the game seems simple enough. It appears to be a maze game where a knight must navigate various corridors, fighting monsters and searching for the key that leads to the next floor. In reality, the game is much deeper, involving hidden treasures on every floor that require a specific unique action in order to reveal their location. Some treasures are required to beat the game, and if you miss them, or do not know how to make them appear, you will be doomed to failure no matter how hard you try. A few treasures are trapped, and can cripple your abilities and make the game more difficult than it already is.
From some player's perspective, the amount of knowledge required to play the game correctly is beyond what they are willing to remember to make the game enjoyable. But for other players, particularly the Japanese, that is precisely what attracts them to the game so much: those little nuances that you must know and perfect and retain throughout all 60 floors in order to rescue the princess. As a result, the game saw no home conversions in the United States (until it was included in Namco Museum Vol. 3) but has had a plethora of releases on Japanese systems, including the Famicom, Game Boy, MSX, Sharp X68000, and a few others. An enhanced version was released for the PC Engine featuring improved isometric graphics and numerous changes. The game has spawned no less then five sequels.
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