Crystal Towers 2 is an unlocking-focused platformer with puzzle elements, developed by David Newton, with graphics by J Freude. Players are tasked with restoring a looted temple by exploring a series of levels accessible through a central hub. As players accumulate spells and powers they are able to explore more of the hub, and more of the levels, which gives access to more upgrades, crafting recipes, crafting materials, health and magic upgrades, and more level and challenge unlocks.
While the game begins linearly, the order in which you progress through levels quickly expands once the first level completes, because each level has multiple challenge modes beyond the basic get-to-the-end-of-the-level goal to start, and one must simply accumulate challenge mode completions and keys to unlock new levels. If you're stuck on one level, you can try out new levels or their challenge modes, or try out old levels again with new powers you have accumulated.
Similar to the old Sonic the Hedgehog games, players can often complete a level in at least two different ways, usually a high and low road of sorts, where players with more skill and/or spell assistance can reach higher areas and find more secrets. Sometimes, though, lower areas hold secrets as well, and mastery of any level and accumulation of all the secrets often means checking out the multiple heights of a given level. There are some levels which break from the traditional left-to-right format and go vertically, and some challenge modes can alter your path through a level as well.
Challenge modes vary from level to level, often complementing the series of obstacles that level has. Challenge modes vary widely, and include tasks to hunt down certain types of monsters, avoid certain obstacles, collect a certain amount of crystals, do a task in a certain amount of time, increase a combo multiplier or score past a certain point, or an accomplishment set to a timer which may just be time, but can also be health or crystals, for example.
The story is not meant to be deep so it is not referred to here, but is comically self-referential and a bit surreal.
Character statistics include health and magical capacity, and the character's status screen keeps track of all the objects and spells you have collected over the course of play, lending to an overall percentage completion rating. The game has an optional online scorecard that lets you compare your results with other players throughout the world.