TowerFall Ascension Soundtrack, Alec Holowka, 2014
Created by Alec Holowka’s friend Matt Thorson, multi-player brawler TowerFall proved to be a hit with gamers and critics. In 2014, Thorson ported TowerFall as TowerFall Ascension over to the PlayStation 4 and other systems. Essentially, Ascension is an upgraded version of TowerFall, and this time the music received a dedicated soundtrack release on Bandcamp.
What luck, because TowerFall Ascension delivers some of the most creative Western game music ever written. The game’s visual retro stylings and simple yet addictive gameplay would have suggested a chiptune soundtrack. On the other hand, Ascension’s fantasy trappings could have easily resulted in yet another late-romantic orchestral score. Holowka eschews both these options. What he comes up with instead is a head-spinning concoction that combines rock, orchestral and electronic elements with such virtuosity that the TowerFall Ascension soundtrack rivals the best works of Falcom, Gust and CAVE – or a classic fantasy-themed genre merger like Matt Uelmen’s Torchlight II.