Tower defense games have a long and storied history, and form an important genre within the casual game ouevre. In them, you play through a series of maps in which a set path leads from a monster spawn point to your castle (or whatever). Your job is to construct defensive towers along the path at strategically advantageous points that can kill those monsters before they reach your castle. I’ve played my fair share, but I kind of felt I’d gotten what there was to get out of them.
After not visiting jayisgames.com for a time, however, I was delighted to discover the appearance of two games created by different people that renewed my delight with the TD genre.
The first uses a fantastic twist that I can’t believe no one has come up with before (in fact someone probably has, but I don’t know of it). In Villainous, you play an evil overlord who must customise waves of monsters to negotiate the towers that you would usually be the one constructing. Not just a perfect concept, but also very well executed.
The second doesn’t have a gimmick, but is rather just a perfect example of the genre. Kingdom Rush has the usual array of different towers that are better in certain situations and against certain monsters. There’s nothing in particular that sets it apart, other than its beautiful production values and the balance of the game. The animation is charming, and the monsters have great personality. Each tower is unique and has a well designed branching upgrade path. Your decisions about where to put these towers and how to upgrade them has a huge impact on your success, and minor tweaks in placement can mean the difference between success and failure for some of the maps. There’s also a parallel upgrading mechanism accessible between maps, where you can spend points you earn beating maps to make your units and spells better
If you haven’t played a TD game before, or if you haven’t played one in a while, do yourself a favour and check these babies out…