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Tower Defense

Toy Soldiers photo
Toy Soldiers

Cobra Commander and Assassin's Creed, together at last


They're both in Toy Soldiers: War Chest
Jul 09
// Jordan Devore
After showing He-Man and G.I. Joe in Toy Soldiers: War Chest, Ubisoft noted that it would announce two more licensed armies for Signal Studio's latest tower defense/action game. We dreamed big, as you do. That was a mistake. ...

Review: Cosmochoria

Jun 25 // Patrick Hancock
Cosmochoria (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Nate SchmoldPublisher: 30/30Released: April 27, 2015MSRP: $9.99  When Cosmochoria begins, the player is plopped into an unknown point in space with a few seeds and a gun. From there, they are tasked with restoring planets using seeds to bring some color and harmony back to the universe. Along the way, the player uncovers secrets about the history of the universe and destroys some evil beasts that come to ruin the party. The backstory isn't exactly rich with details or particularly interesting, but it does help build the universe. The game is a bit of a mix between a tower defense and a twin-stick shooter. It's a very unique combination, and honestly I'm not sure that description does it much justice. As the player flies around to different planets, they must plant seeds to restore the planet back to life. The bigger the planet, the more seeds needed. A player must first tend to the seed to plant it, which makes them immobile for a short time. Then, it takes some time for the seed to fully bloom. Once a seed blooms, it drops more seeds for exponential seed gains (players will never run out of seeds). After enough seeds have bloomed on a planet, it becomes restored! This does two things: the planet now has a "health pool" that it can transfer to the player to heal them up, and it brings the game one step closer to the next boss fight. The latter is not explicitly stated, but from my experience is true. Naturally, enemies come to chop off the player's green thumb. Luckily, the player can use a resource called Bricks to create towers and defend the planets. In addition, there's always the trusty gun to ward off foes. Ammo is unlimited, but Bricks are not. Bricks are occasionally dropped by enemies and are far scarcer resource than seeds. Towers are the standard fare of rapid-fire, fireballs, shields, and close-ranged.  [embed]293752:59233:0[/embed] While playing, I heavily favored gunplay over towers, especially once I unlocked the shotgun. When I was building towers, it was generally because I felt guilty for having so many Bricks saved up or because I expected a boss fight to break out. The bosses are quite the mixed bag. A handful of them act in very similar ways, but the game does change them up often enough to keep the players on their toes. Towards the mid-point of the game, I had no idea what to expect from any upcoming boss fight. In some cases towers were quite useful, whereas in others they were borderline useless. The final boss fight, while fittingly grand in scale, can be confusing because it forces the player to use a weapon they may have never tried before. For anyone stuck like I was: your weapon during the final boss fight can be charged, so charge it. The common enemies have interesting behaviors, but there are not enough different types. Towards the latter half, everything starts to feel like it's on auto-pilot. Plant seeds, kill the same enemies, move on. It got to the point where I could predict what was going to happen and when. Enemy spawning felt way too formulaic instead of being organic.  Cosmochoria is not meant to be completed in a single life, but it isn't what would be considered a "rogulike," "roguelite," or even a "rogue-lighter-that-lite." Killing foes rewards red crystals, which can be used in between playthroughs to purchase upgrades. Things like life, speed, starting seeds, and new weapons can all be purchased and have various prices. While it is probably technically possible to complete the game with the starting stats and equipment, it's very unlikely. Plus, it would be a slow and painful process. The increase in efficiency after getting a new weapon is huge and dramatically improves the experience. The early-goings can get a bit dull, since even a skilled player has to take their time killing enemies and bosses at the slow pace the starting weapon achieves. My second run lasted for a couple of hours, but I didn't make tremendous progress. New characters can also be unlocked, but not through spending crystals. They need to be found, usually through completing mini-objectives, during the game. They do have slight differences. For example, the ninja character becomes intangible while planting seeds. This is an incredibly neat mechanic, though enemies still know where the player is and will often just hover above and hurt them as soon as they become tangible again. Regardless, it still has its uses and is better than the starting character (but not as naked). In addition to upgrades, players can find artifacts to modify the way the game is played. The modifiers vary wildly in what they do and are completely optional. Some make the game harder, like only refilling jetpack fuel with kills, while others do the opposite, like removing certain types of enemies completely. It's a great way to spice up the core gameplay with mini-objectives of finding artifacts and to customize Cosmochoria to the player's liking.  The game saves the player's progress after each boss fight, though towers and location of planets do not stay between lives. The amount of planets restored is saved, but they are in different locations and different sizes. In addition, all planted towers are removed between lives, which further discouraged me from planting them in the first place.  The art and music are both wonderful, making the time spent in Cosmochoria memorable. The art is downright adorable in every way. Colors pop, which has a huge impact when restoring planets. Players can really see their progress in that regard. What once was a drab and lifeless husk of a planet becomes a bountiful and beautiful one,giving the player a real sense of accomplishment. Cosmochoria is a great way to explore space, but falls short in some aspects of its design. The core mechanics are great, but the latter half feels too repetitive, and there's not much real incentive to replay the game, despite there being many new things to uncover. It is certainly worth the time invested into it, though it may not have players screaming for more. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Cosmochoria review photo
In space, no one can hear you plant
When I first played Cosmochoria at PAX, I had to be pulled away from the demo station because of an appointment. The game's blend of calming gardening mixed with tower defense and space spelunking really jived with me. A...

Toy Soldiers: War Chest photo
Toy Soldiers: War Chest

It's He-Man vs. G.I. Joe in the new Toy Soldiers


Holy shit!
Jun 10
// Jordan Devore
Lot of smaller but still rather cool announcements this week ahead of E3. Toy Soldiers: War Chest is fleshing out its roster of original toy armies with the likes of He-Man and G.I. Joe. This series, if you've never played, ...
Orcs Must Die! board game photo
Orcs Must Die! board game

Orcs Must Die! takes tower defense to the tabletop arena


Even plastic figurines of Orcs Must Die!
Apr 13
// Darren Nakamura
Orcs Must Die! has truly made it. After a few entries in the main series, the scrappy little tower defense from Robot Entertainment now has a board game in the works, designed by Petersen Games. Orc Must Die! The Boardgame c...

Defend your dungeon photo
Defend your dungeon

Stop home invaders with traps and towers in Dungeon Warfare


It's doing the Steam Greenlight thing now
Feb 03
// Jordan Devore
These past couple weeks, the time I would normally spend reading right before bed has gone toward Kingdom Rush and its sequels. Those stars are throwing off my sleep schedule in a major way, and I can't deny it any longer: I...

Dungeon Defenders II is shaping up nicely on both PS4 and PC

Jan 28 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]286809:57064:0[/embed] At PAX South I had the chance to check out the four player cooperative role-playing tower defense title. Okay, it might not fit nicely into a traditional genre, but it ends up making sense when you play it. Even for complete newcomers to the series, it works -- it just takes a bit longer than expected. Playing on the one PlayStation 4 build at the kiosk, the developers walked me through an introductory five-wave map of Dungeon Defenders II that proved to be challenging yet manageable. Eschewing the role of squire, wizard, and monk, I opted to play as a huntress, as I figured her bow would (hopefully) make for some interesting cross-map headshots. After setting down a smattering of traps to guard each lane, I initiated the action. Baddie after baddie swarmed the core I was assigned to protect. Damn. It took some brute force, but I eventually whittled their numbers done to nothing. Turns out that the pre-combat planning may be just as (or more) important than the actual fighting. Throughout the remaining four rounds, I set increasingly elaborate traps, combined them with my weapon's elemental buff, and made better use of the environment. It sort of clicked, and I got to imagining what playing as a full team might be like -- everyone wreaking havoc, causing even more bright swathes of color to fly across the already radiant screen. That was all before I got into the RPG elements of Dungeon Defenders II. I saw a fair amount of loot and currency dropped, but didn't have much of a chance to grasp how they could be set in motion to ensure constant progression. But, assuming it's as personal as customization in RPGs tends to be, it's easy to see how it'd be especially easy to get attached to the advancement of a particular character. Where Dungeon Defenders II's uncertainty lies is within the finer tuning of the PS4 adaption. While the action handled nicely enough, the button combinations for certain moves and trap placement felt cumbersome at times. Also, the menus sported a mouse cursor controlled by the analog stick (a feature which will presumably be swapped out for something more traditional and fluid). All that made a bit more sense when Trendy told me where its priorities were with Dungeon Defenders II. This one, unlike its predecessor, was build with mouse and keyboard in mind. Porting that all over to a controller scheme is a challenge that the developers accepted as a trade-off for making sure the PC version is ideal. While not many have tried their hand at the PS4, plenty have played it already on PC. At the Dungeon Defenders booth, an excited frenzy broke out as a team of players made it to wave five on nightmare mode. Everyone tending to the kiosk was beside themselves as this was the furthest anyone at the show had made it. I wondered if that were something truly special. I inquired as to whether the Early Access players had made it that far. Yeah, they had. Of course they had. In fact, they were doing things that were surprising the developers. After a very rudimentary go at Dungeon Defenders II, I can't help but think that if it's those players that are helping shape the game, it's probably in pretty good hands.
Dungeon Defenders II photo
The PC version's ahead by a light-year, though
Trendy Entertainment has already bestowed Dungeon Defenders II upon its most invested fans. In fact, they've had it for more than a month now. "Invested" is the only way to describe those people -- both financially and m...

PlayStation Plus photo
PlayStation Plus

Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut free with PS Plus in December


Injustice on PS4 and Hitman HD Trilogy on PS3, too
Nov 26
// Jordan Devore
A whole new audience is about to experience the delightful oddities of Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut (PS3) once it joins PlayStation Plus. They don't know what they're in for, Zach. Hitman HD Trilogy (PS3), which inc...
Defender's Quest photo
Defender's Quest

Defender's Quest HD coming as free update


Great game!
Nov 05
// Jordan Devore
Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten is one my favorite tower defense games, right up there with Immortal Defense, but I haven't gone back to play it again. That'll have to change soon -- there's an HD re-release with ne...
Dungeon of the Endless photo
Dungeon of the Endless

Dungeon of the Endless leaves Early Access


Let the tears of joy flow
Oct 27
// Rob Morrow
French independent studio Amplitude's Dungeon of the Endless is leaving Steam Early Access today. Staying true to its roguelike nature, if you picked the game up during the Early Access phase, your progress will be wiped and...

Fortified is a fun 1950s sci-fi take on base defense

Sep 05 // Jordan Devore
[embed]280750:55574:0[/embed]
Fortified photo
Hands-on with an early build
Leading up to PAX Prime, Clapfoot released a trailer for its base defense shooter Fortified. It caught my eye for a few reasons, notably the '50s sci-fi movie theme and its general resemblance to Double Fine's Iron Brigade (f...

Toy Soldiers photo
Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers: War Chest is my kind of tower defense


I keep forgetting this isn't an Xbox exclusive
Aug 25
// Jordan Devore
The Toy Soldiers games were a blast on Xbox Live Arcade and I'm expecting more good things from Toy Soldiers: War Chest, coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One early next year. My favorite tower defense titles are the ones that let...
Defense Grid 2 photo
Defense Grid 2

Get your tower defense on this September with Defense Grid 2


Mah towers are restless
Aug 18
// Brittany Vincent
505 Games and Hidden Path Entertainment have announced that the sequel to the 2008 tower defense hit Defense Grid: The Awakening will launch on September 23. Hidden Path Entertainment hosted demos of Defense Grid 2 during gam...
Toy Soldiers photo
Toy Soldiers

Oh hell yes: There's a new Toy Soldiers for PC, PS4, and Xbox One


Toy Soldiers: War Chest
Aug 11
// Jordan Devore
Signal Studios' Toy Soldiers games -- particularly the second, which let you run around and blow up tanks as a Rambo-esque action figure -- were loads of fun. Think tower defense, but with living toys, and you can take activ...
Sly photo
Sly

Over The Top Tower Defense coming to PC, Mac


Stallowned
Aug 06
// Steven Hansen
It seems odd enough to do a sequel to Over the Top, the 1987 film starring truck driver/competitive arm wrestler Sly Stallone trying to win a life for him and his son. It's even weirder that it would take the form of a tower...
Dungeon Defenders photo
Dungeon Defenders

Dungeon Defenders Eternity is out, is sort of like a GOTY edition


Bundles all previous content
Jul 23
// Chris Carter
If Dungeon Defenders is your thing, or you always wanted to dive in but never found the time (it's been on sale for like, $1 constantly on Steam), you have the option of checking out Dungeon Defenders Eternity -- a ...
Aegis Defender photo
Aegis Defender

Aegis Defender is a sweet looking 16-bit tower defense platformer


A Kickstarter is happening to fund this PC and Mac title
Jul 22
// Alasdair Duncan
A lot of the time, all it takes to make an interesting game is to tweak an existing formula or to just mesh two separate mechanics and concepts together. Case in point, Aegis Defenders, a lovely looking homage to the 16-bit ...
Freaking Meatbags photo
Freaking Meatbags

Freaking Meatbags is tower defense with a unique style


All hail our new robot shift managers
Jun 30
// Josh Tolentino
"Meatbags." There are few more apt terms to represent the views of a theoretical intelligent robot than the word Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic's HK-47 used to refer to people. Considering its timelessness it's actual...

We've got 10,000 codes for the Defense Grid 2 beta! (UPDATE)

Jun 18 // Mr Andy Dixon
[embed]273253:53401:0[/embed]
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1,000 reserved just for our Huge members!
Update 2: Codes all gone! If you're a Huge member and didn't get yours, email me and I'll send you one. Everyone else, better luck next time! Update: Damn, those codes went FAST! Luckily, we've just received another batch of ...

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Fight back against filthy human invaders in Anomaly Defenders


You play as the aliens this time
May 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Anomaly Defenders is now available through Steam and Games Republic for $9.99. This time the tower defense/offense/whatever sees you playing as the aliens, defending their homeworld from humans looking for revenge. This also...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

This week's PS Plus freebie is PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD


Clear some space on your PS Vita
Apr 21
// Jordan Devore
Tomorrow is PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD day for PlayStation Plus members. They're getting the game for free on PS Vita once the PlayStation Store update rolls out. This is a tower defense game -- among the best, if you as...
Defense Grid 2 hands-on photo
Defense Grid 2 hands-on

Defense Grid 2 will welcome user-created content


And it's not hats!
Apr 17
// Patrick Hancock
Hidden Path Entertainment sure does know how to make some good videogames. Defense Grid and its expansion are a blast for any tower defense fan, but they've also done Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Age of Empires I...
Anomaly photo
Anomaly

Anomaly trilogy to close with Anomaly Defenders


Third game features alien perspective
Apr 03
// Conrad Zimmerman
I loved the first two Anomaly games for how they turned traditional tower defense mechanics on their head to make something fun and different. I'm not so sure about the announcement of the series' final installment, rev...
Defender's Quest photo
Defender's Quest

Composer Nobuo Uematsu joins Defender's Quest II


That's even cooler than the turtle-tank
Apr 02
// Jordan Devore
There's really nothing more that needs to be said about Defender's Quest II: Mist of Ruin for me to be interested in it -- that's how much I liked the last game, which remains one of my favorite tower-defense titles. Today's ...
Dungeon Defenders 2 photo
These dungeons aren't gonna defend themselves
For those of you who missed it, despite it being on almost every platform imaginable, Dungeon Defenders is masterful mixture of co-op, RPG, lootfest, tower defense action. Seriously, you can play it on your phone or it's fre...

 photo

CastleStorm heading to mobile devices


For iOS and Android
Feb 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
CastleStorm came out for Xbox Live Arcade, PC, and PlayStation Network last year and we overall liked the game. Well now it's coming out for iOS and Google Play devices as CastleStorm - Free to Siege. The mobile version, as y...
Legendary Wars photo
Legendary Wars

Legendary Wars marches on to Android


It's about time!
Feb 15
// Wesley Ruscher
It's been three years, but one of my favorite mobile strategy titles, Legendary Wars, has finally come to Android, via the Google Play Store. In this RTS-RPG hybrid you directly control an ever growing army of knights, wizar...
Plants vs. Zombies photo
Plants vs. Zombies

Here's 30 more seconds of PvZ: Garden Warfare


Dolphins
Jan 21
// Harry Monogenis
PopCap's released a new video for its upcoming third-person shooter take on the much loved tower-defense franchise, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. It's short, and really only exists to let everyone know that they can no...
Block Blocks photo
Block Blocks

Block Blocks is fun to say, perhaps fun to play


Minimalistic tower defense-esque puzzling
Nov 22
// Darren Nakamura
From its description as a "tower defense-inspired puzzle game," Block Blocks doesn't sound amazing, but in motion it looks like it could be quite hectic, and it almost has an early Bit.Trip aesthetic to it. The gameplay is e...
Indie photo
Indie

Defender's Quest II looks prettier and has a turtle-tank


And that's all I need to know
Oct 29
// Jordan Devore
I'm unsure how many of you played Defender's Quest. Yes, it wasn't pretty to look at -- but it was a rather excellent tower-defense title, one that featured rock-solid mechanics and a commendable attempt at telling an engagin...
CastleStorm PS3/Vita photo
CastleStorm PS3/Vita

Angry beards: CastleStorm coming to PS3, Vita


XBLA tower defense hybrid jumping ship
Oct 18
// Steven Hansen
Vikings versus knights. That's the conceit of Zen Studios' CastleStorm, which our own Ian Bonds enjoyed well enough when it original launched on XBLA. It's a much more in-depth Angry Birds of sorts, with real-time strategy a...

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