Isle of Arrows tower defense game

Isle of Arrows is a stylish tile-drawing tower defense game

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From the creative director of Hitman GO

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I’m in the mood for good, clean tower defense, and Isle of Arrows — from Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO creative director Daniel Lutz — could easily be it. The game’s slick style got its foot in the door long enough for me to want to dig into its roguelike-meets-board-game format with randomized tile draws informing what can be built, and when.

Isle of Arrows is a think-on-your-feet game about building up a fortress one tile at a time, so you’ll want to pray to the RNG gods and strategize at least a few moves ahead.

According to Lutz, there are 50-plus tiles ranging from Towers to fend off invaders, Roads to snake them around your structures, Flags to extend the play space, Gardens to generate coins used to skip unruly tiles, and Taverns to boost adjacent archers.

Giving the draw-build-defend format a bit more spice, there are bonus cards for “resources, upgrades, and buffs,” as well as four guilds with “their own playstyle.”

Sometimes you just want a proper campaign

Also worth mentioning: Isle of Arrows has a Campaign, Gauntlet, and Daily Defense mode, so even if there is some of that “endless” roguelike appeal, it sounds like there will be clear goals to work toward and it can be more… finite, if you want it to be. I know I do.

Tiles in Isle of Arrows
More examples of tiles that can be drawn in Isle of Arrows, including an Ice Trap and Cannon Tower.

The pieces are all there for this to be a cool little twist on the tower defense genre, and I like the idea of having to switch my strategy up. Too often in these games, I find my favorite few towers and brute-force my way to victory with them and only them.

Isle of Arrows will be playable on Steam, iOS, and Android this summer.

While we wait, have you played any good tower defense titles worthy of a nod lately? I’m in such a rut! I’ve been meaning to revisit Immortal Defense, one of my all-timers.

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Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.