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Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures boasts a sweet new recipe

In our Cooke Run: Tower of Adventures preview, we got a taste of DevSisters' sweet new adventure game, and joined GingerBrave on another adventure.

Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures screenshot showing GingerBrave falling in a blue vortex with gummy bears and coins around him

This cookie’s kingdom is expanding again, as Devsisters has given us all a bite-sized Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures preview so we can try out this delicious new recipe before it’s even out of the oven. With the massive success of the original Cookie Run: Kingdom game, I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to get a taste and report back to you to tell you whether it’s as sweet as it looks.

Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures brings back many of our favorite, sugary friends, with an all-new story to explore. You once again step into the little biscuit feet of GingerBrave as he meets a sweet little sugar star. The sugar star informs you that the seal on the oven in Pancake Tower has broken – which is very bad news for all the cookies below.

According to the prophecy in an old book, we have to find the brave cookie with a shining heart to save the day – of course, it takes a while (and a couple of nudges from the sugar star) for our sweet cookie protagonist to work out that he, GingerBrave himself, is in fact the prophesied ‘brave cookie.’ Well, the name kind of gave it away, right?

From here, you must embark on a new adventure through the levels of the tower aboard a cute train, meeting a bunch of fun friends along the way. This includes the brand new Cookie Run character, Twisted Donut Cookie. He’s the engineer of the train, and, in combat, he’s a ranged fighter who sets up turrets with his special attack and ultimate.

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That brings us to how combat works in Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures – and it’s quite different from Cookie Run: Kingdom. Tower does have the same type of core progression structure as Kingdom, in which you progress through levels that have a set amount of stages, but instead of your team of cookies automatically running and attacking through the stages, you take a lot more control.

You can also only take a maximum of two cookies into each stage, which you can switch between on the fly. You control the active cookie as you run through the stages dodging obstacles, perform simple platforming sections (which usually revolve around crumbling or moving platforms, lasers that you need to dodge, etc), and take down any enemies that stand in your way.

Additionally, each level has a certain number of collectibles in the form of jelly bears and the occasional chest, and there are goals for each level that pose a range of challenges, including completing the stage within a time limit, avoiding falling off platforms or getting hit by lasers, etc. This adds a nice extra challenge to the game and sometimes means you need to repeat a level to get the maximum amount of rewards.

Combat is also a lot more involved – instead of only controlling one skill for each cookie, you control their dash, normal attack, special attack, and ultimate. Additionally, when your second character has been off-field for a certain amount of time, they charge up a special attack that instantly triggers when you switch back to them.

Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures screenshot showing Rye Cookie running across a bridge

This turns Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures into more of an adventure game with platforming and beat-em-up elements, setting it apart from its free-runner, AFK-style predecessor. I personally enjoy this gameplay far more, as it’s a lot more involved and more challenging – and, while you definitely need to level your cookies up in order to stand a chance, it also relies on your ability to dodge and time your attacks more than it does simply having the strongest team.

Speaking of teams, Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures is, of course, a gacha game, and you need to pull on the banner to get more cookies. There’s no pull history or clear signifier of banner rates, so I can’t provide you with that information, but generally, I seem to get two or three common cookies and a couple of common or rare artifacts per ten-pull, with the occasional rare or epic cookie/artifact thrown in.

Throughout my time with the preview, I managed to snag two copies of Rye Cookie, along with several copies of Twisted Donut Cookie, GingerBrave, Angel Cookie, and Cherry Cookie. While other familiar cookies appear in the story, I haven’t seen them in-game yet, so I presume the preview has a very limited pool of cookies that will expand come the full release.

When you do get a cookie, there are quite a few ways to make them stronger. Of course, you can level them up using materials that you either earn as you progress or purchase in exchange for jelly bears.

Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures screenshot showing Rye Cookie's equipment page

You can also equip them with a weapon, hat, shirt, and pants – these don’t change the appearance of your cookie, but they do increase their stats. Once again, you can level these up by using earnable equipment EXP materials, but you can also enhance them if you have more than one copy of the same piece of equipment. Equipment is generally a quest reward – either directly from completing levels and raids or by hitting certain adventure milestones.

Next up are the artifacts. These are your main pieces of equipment, offering a pretty hefty boost to specific stats, as well as a specific bonus, skill-related buff. As mentioned above, the main way of getting artifacts is through the gacha banner, and they come in all the same rarities as the cookies – common, rare, epic, etc.

The main way to level up your artifacts is through enhancement which, like equipment, requires you to consume another copy of the same artifact. This makes leveling up the epic artifacts a little more tricky, but it does offer some great boosts when you finally snag them.

The final way to level up your cookie at the moment is through enhancement. Yes, enhancement again. But in this case – you guessed it – it relies on you pulling more than one copy of the cookie. You need 20 cookie shards to enhance each cookie once, and there are a total of five enhancement levels (noted by stars).

Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures screenshot showing Cherry Cookie's ultimate ability unlocked on promotion

Common and rare cookies only give you two shards every time you pull a duplicate – so that means after you pull them for the first time, you need to pull another ten copies before you get to one star. And believe me, you want to get your cookie to at least one star, as, while each enhancement level does unlock a bonus buff, the first star unlocks your cookie’s ultimate. That means if you don’t get a certain amount of duplicates, you can’t even use all of the cookie’s active skills.

I was initially nervous as to what this would mean for epic cookies – would I need to pull ten copies of Rye Cookie to unlock her ultimate? That would take forever! Luckily, pulling a duplicate of an epic cookie gives you 20 shards right away, so you only need to pull one. Still, I can’t imagine the uproar in the community if every character on the Genshin Impact banner required one to ten constellations for you to unlock their elemental burst. Though I suppose the banner rates in Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures appear to allow you to get cookies quicker (at least in the preview), so that takes a bit of the sting away.

Like its predecessor and many of the best mobile games, Cookie Run Tower of Adventures has energy restrictions for all forms of gameplay. Each stage requires two to three hearts, and you can hold a maximum of 30 hearts at a time. Hearts restore over time, or you can collect/purchase extra hearts throughout the game.

So far I haven’t found myself running out of hearts, but I’m sure that they won’t be as readily supplied, and you’ll likely be able to buy more with real money when the premium shop goes live. Of course, the premium shop was absent during the preview, so I can’t comment on that fully at the moment. I am, however, a bit concerned about how monetization in the full game is going to play out, especially considering the enhancement system. If it’s too aggressive it may put some players (and parents of younger players) off, but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures screenshot showing Shamonkey on his throne

There’s also a raid mode that requires raid tickets to compete, and you can hold a maximum of five raid tickets at a time. Raids are tougher combat challenges that are available in a range of difficulties and appear to have a rotating set of bosses for you to take on. In the preview, we’re up against a shaman monkey called… Shamonkey. Beautiful.

Raids are intended for up to four players, and you need to choose a cookie with a certain power level to compete (this adds up your cookie’s base stats, along with the stats of all their equipment). During the preview, I was only able to play one raid with another person, but I managed to take on the content solo a few times to test out the gameplay mode. The Shamonkey has some pretty cool moves and mechanics to tackle, and it’s a fun way to test your strength and enjoy a bit of variety from the main story content.

The preview is only available on PC, but the UI is very clearly mobile-oriented, and it looks very clean and easy to control. The artstyle maintains that bright, colorful Cookie Run charm, and the characters, including the enemies, are just as sweet as ever. Naturally, it runs very smoothly on PC, and I imagine it’ll run just as smoothly on mobile as the simple, stylized visuals and small levels are far from graphically taxing.

Overall, the Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures preview certainly has me excited for the full game. It manages to maintain the vibrant, recognizable Cookie Run aesthetic and brings back plenty of our beloved friends from the series, while also offering a fresh, new way of playing. The story is fun and fits perfectly into DevSisters’ delicious world, and I look forward to exploring more of Pancake Tower.

If you want to try Cookie Run: Tower of Adventures, check out the game on Google Play. Or, for more sweet stuff, head over to our Cookie Run: Kingdom codes and Cookie Run: Kingdom tier list, or our top picks for the best Candy Crush games.