Archive for May, 2010

The Ultimate Guide to Tower Defense Games

starcraft01

Tower Defense games have come a long way since their humble beginnings as a spin-offs of classic strategy games. They first become widely popular through games like Starcraft and Warcraft III, which had customizable maps that players used to build Tower Defense like scenarios.

Since, Tower Defense has grown into its own full-fledged genre— finding a home on consoles, PCs and of course, Flash-based browser games. The latter is really were the genre thrives, in part due to its straightforward game mechanics (build towers that shoot stuff), which lends itself nicely to Flash development. Flash itself has seen major advancements in the past few years, but the real success of Flash-based TD games probably comes from the fact that they are just so darn fun to play.

Tower Defense games generally follow this premise: players are tasked with stopping enemy forces from encroaching into their territory, and to do so they are given towers to shoot them with. Pretty simple.

There are many of variations on this formula, but in most cases, the main challenge is trying to manage the positioning of your units, as players are usually given a limited amount of resources to place defenses. Resources are earned by defeating enemies, and then used to either buy more upgrades, reinforce existing defenses, or save up for bigger and better towers.

Now, there are a lot of options when choosing what TD game to start with, so we’re going to give you some suggestions. Whether you are looking for a deep strategy experience, great graphics or just some quick time wasters, you’re sure to find something good to play in the list below.

Graphics

Flash based games haven’t been known for groundbreaking graphics. However, as the platform has evolved, developers have found interesting ways to maximize their limited graphical power in unique ways. Below are some our favorites.

 

Desktop Tower Defense

 

desktoptd400

This game has the best looking background of them all, consisting of what looks like a real life hardwood desktop complete with loose change and pens scattered about. All the towers in this game are hand-drawn, looking like little scraps of paper and adding to the desktop theme.

 

Vector TD

vectortd400

This is by far my favorite TD game, graphics wise, but younger players may not appreciate the retro aesthetic. If you’ve been gaming since back when “Flash” was nothing more than a dirty trick pulled off by old men in trenchcoats, you may just fall in love with this eighties Tron send-off.

 

Whiteboard Tower Defense

 

whiteboardtd

 

While most TD games go for that green grass, brown dirt look, Whiteboard Tower Defense changes things up by going for the, well, whiteboard look. The graphics look like they were drawn with magic markers, with smooth character animations and slick, original looking towers.

Gameplay

Though most TD fans will say that nothing Flash-based even comes close to the TD maps found in Starcraft and Warcraft III (hint: they’re kinda right), there are still some surprisingly deep experiences out there.

 

Onslaught

onslaught500

 

This game is a very bare bones experience, and may feature simple graphics and mediocore sound, but what it lacks in fidelity it makes up for in battle. Players can choose how they want to upgrade their towers ( Fire Rate, Damage, Range) and can even achieve super attacks by placing compatible towers near each other.

 

Flashcraft Tower Defense

 

flashcrafttd400

This game is as close as your going to get to playing a classic TD experience on your browser. As the title suggests, the game takes heavy inspiration from the genre’s forbearers, Warcraft and Starcraft. It is no where near as good, but it is still deeper than most of its Flash-based brethren.

 

Bloons Tower Defense 4

 

bloonstd4500

 

The Bloons TD games have all been great, and the newest is no exception. Bloons TD 4 lets players use an arsenal of bombs, cannons and fighter planes to ward off seemingly endless waves of balloons. The game is big too, with several maps and three difficulty settings.

 

Original

With so many Tower Defense games out there on the internet, there are a lot of options to sift through. While many are generic games that merely follow the Tower Defense formula ad nauseum, there are some games that change up the genre.

Defender: Hold the Holy Pig

defenderholdtheholypig400 
Defender: Hold the Holy Pig adds an elemental feature to battle that really freshens up the gameplay. There are a variety of enemy types, and each can be taken out by certain types of towers. Players must position water, fire, earth and wind towers to thwart the elemental invasion, and those who don’t keep an eye on their enemy type may quickly turn belly up.

Protector

protector400

Most Tower Defense games use towers, but Protected proves you can build a satisfying TD game without any brick and mortar. Protector changes things up by having players controls wizards and knights, casting spells and swinging swords to root out the baddies. It has an RPG vibe as well, as your warriors grow stronger and eventually earn new skills.

 

GemCraft Zero: Gem of Eternity

 

gemcraftchapterzero400

Not all towers are created equal. In GemCraft Zero you actually have the ability to construct unique towers by combining a variety of gems, each which imbue the tower with certain attributes. The currency you use to make gems and towers is also your life, making this TD particularly challenging.

 

Quickies

At the office (or school!) and only have a tiny bit of time to play? Check out these fun titles that pack all the TD fun into a tight packages that are easy to jump into and play.

Defend Your Honor

defendyourhonor400 

Have you ever wanted to play as an elf trying to defeat a Walrus King so he can get his own apartment game? Well now you can! This short but sweet game is perfect for quick sessions. It has a quirky attitude, simple gameplay and an oddball premise the requires little thinking—just clicking!

When Penguins Attack

whenpunguinsattack400

There isn’t anything particularly astonishing about this game, but its a simple TD title that is easy to pick up and play. I love the animations used on the penguin soldiers too, and nothing beats seeing a penguin flying around in a B-52 Bomber.

Defend Your Castle

defendyourcastle400

If you only have a minute or two to squeeze in some mindless TD gaming, Defend Your Castle will do the trick. You may not get to upgrading your castle towers much, but you will get to fling your attackers around with your mouse. This is far from classic TD gameplay, but hey, its all in the name defense! Tower Defense!

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Toughest Tower Defense challenges

If you’re a Tower Defense newbie, this post isn’t for you. We’ve put together the toughest challenges and maps in the world of Tower Defense for your masochistic pleasure.

Warning: may cause sleepless nights.

Vector TD 2

Vector TD 2

To kick things off we start with Vector TD 2, a rock-paper-scissor type TD game where interest plays a key role. The starting waves are easy to survive but if you want to do well in later waves you must save up as much as possible early on to maximize your interest.

Challenge: “The Ladder” – this map is extremely hard and unforgiving. Expect to fail repeatedly a few dozen times before you even come close to finishing it.

Pro tip: it’s ok to lose a few lives early on in order to maximize your interest level.

Desktop TD

desktop100400

Most of you probably know the classic Desktop TD, the game that pretty much started the Tower Defense trend in the world of flash games. It’s still brilliant today and contains one of the toughest challenges out there.

Challenge: “The 100” – as the name suggests, it’s a mode with 100 waves. The challenging part here is that starting wave 60 or so you have to start juggling, and since waves come in on a timer you don’t get to stop juggling until the end of the game. To make things worse, you have to deal with insane Air levels that don’t care to be juggled.

Pro tip: When you get to wave 70 or so, pause the game and take a break.

Bloons TD 4

bloons td4

One of the most popular TD games of all time. While previous games in the series capped out at a medium difficulty level the forth installment has some freakishly hard modes.

Challenge: Expert track on Hard. All the know-how and tricks you’ve learned in previous tracks are useless here. Time to start over and think of new tactics to deal with this ridiculously pointy track.

Pro tip: Our screenshot should get you started in the right direction

Onslaught 2

ons2

Our personal favorite Tower Defense of all times. Mostly because you get to shoot hamburgers with lasers, but also because of its amazing depth. You can create many different “super towers” by combining regular maxed out towers which are all useful for different situations. It’s also the only TD game we know of where you can actually gain an advantage by ZOOMING in.

Challenge: Hard mode on Lyne map. Yup, the enemies don’t feel like circling around on this map and they are just heading straight to your base. There are actually harder challenges in this game (there’s a challenge mode, try Smollocks on the classic map), but the learning curve is already so high to beat something like Lyne on Hard that we decided to spare your sanity.

Pro tip: Lasorz.

Bubble Tanks TD

BT TD

One of the best TD games to come out of late. Building on the popular Bubble Tanks franchise, Bubble Tanks TD does not disappoint. There are a lot of hard maps in the campaign but one certainly stands out.

Challenge: “Cut Through”. Place, sell, place, sell, place, sell. Sounds like fun? It’s not. We will say this though, when we finally managed to beat this map, the neighboring office came complaining about the noise of our loud cheers.

Pro tip: there isn’t one really. Here’s a noob tip: use hotkeys (S – sell, T – place tower)

Thursday, May 6th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments