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First impressions: Tower of Fantasy – is it a ‘Genshin killer’?

We had to pull ourselves away from the game just to write this.
tower of fantasy characters
Credit: Hotta Games

After what seems like five years of waiting, the highly-anticipated Tower of Fantasy has finally released.

This open-world game offers players the chance to explore a vast sci-fi world with stunning visuals and solid fighting mechanics. But does it have the legs to compete with Genshin Impact?

Well, first of all, I’m not sure it has to. Even though the similarities are vast, Tower of Fantasy (ToF) leans into one aspect of gaming that HoYoverse has been hesitant to explore – multiplayer.

Unlike Genshin Impact which for intents and purposes is a single-player game with a dash of social elements, Tower of Fantasy has no qualms about calling itself a multiplayer game.

This is made evident by the fact there are social hubs and you will occasionally see other players just running around in the world. It’s a breath of fresh air from sometimes lonely exploration in Genshin.

But, is Tower of Fantasy any good? Let’s find out.

Fighting, movement, and exploration in Tower of Fantasy

tower of fantasy mmo world
Credit: Hotta Studios

With a game like this, how you interact with the world is going to be one of the first things to look at. Exploration should feel fluid, fighting should feel crisp, and controls should be easy-to-learn but hard to master.

Tower of Fantasy almost nails this. While movement could be smoother, the overall exploration experience feels good. Double jumping and dashing around is fun, and using your jetpack is satisfying.

Fighting in the world gives you the chance to check out a bunch of flashy animations but attacks don’t feel like they have much ‘weight’ behind them. I wish impacts felt a little stronger, but it is a minor gripe.

Exploring the world has been great fun so far, and I’ve enjoyed searching every nook and cranny for chests to open. As an added bonus, these chests can contain items for new pulls in the gacha.

That actually brings us to our next point… how Tower of Fantasy makes money.

Monetization in Tower of Fantasy

tower of fantasy pull system for weapons
Credit: MobileBytesGG

Now, we can’t talk about a gacha game without bringing up monetization.

In Tower of Fantasy, from what we’ve seen so far, monetization efforts revolve around pulls for new weapons. Unlike Genshin, which requires players to collect a team of four, ToF has players pulling for weapons.

Players can equip two melee weapons and a bow, and switch between them pretty freely. Certain weapons do include ‘skins’ of sort, which change your character’s appearance.

Speaking of that…

Customization in ToF

One of our favorite parts about the game so far is the character customization options.

In Tower of Fantasy, you can choose between a man and a woman, but that’s just the beginning. Different hairstyles (both front and back), clothes, and colors allow you to craft the character into exactly who you want.

We knew that there was customization going in, but were much more impressed with it than we expected to be.

Is Tower of Fantasy better than Genshin Impact?

genshin impact characters including lumine, ventire, shogun, and more
Credit: HoYoverse

We hate making this comparison, as games should be judged on their own merit. That said, this question comes up a lot and for good reason.

The two games share very similar styles, gameplay loops, and exploration models.

So far, we’d have to say Genshin has an overall more polished feel, but we’d be hard pressed to call it “better.” Especially with ToF being brand new. It still has time to add that polish.

The sci-fi elements of ToF appeal to us a bit more than the overall fantasy themes of Genshin, but that is completely personal.

Should you download Tower of Fantasy?

Tower of Fantasy’s file size comes in around 22GB on PC. The size is a bit smaller on mobile. Still, that’s a lot of space to dedicate to a game. So, should you?

We say ‘yes.’ If you have been looking for a new mobile game to play and love titles like Genshin Impact and Breath of the Wild, there is a lot of potential here.

Of course, time will tell if the developers can maintain that, but we have high hopes. If there is one element that concerns us about the future of the game, it’s its multiplayer angle.

While we’ve enjoyed the heck out of it so far, FTP multiplayer games have a habit of introducing pay-to-win elements. Hopefully, Tower of Fantasy avoids that.

Tower of Fantasy is available for Android, iOS, and PC.


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