Aug 24, 2012

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Tower Wars Review

Tower Wars Review

Tower defense games have come a long way in just the past few years. Elements such as creating your own path and RPG-like talent trees have added incredible depth to the genre. Tower Wars takes these elements and adds multiplayer to it. Unlike most tower defense games it puts the emphasis on competitive multiplayer and while this might hurt its replayability, it does offer a unique tower defense experience.

Tower Wars is a competitive online form of the tower defense game genre. If you are unfamiliar with that type of game, it is  simply to defend your castle  from waves of rushing enemies. In Tower Wars, not only do you have to defend your castle, you must destroy your opponents fortress. You start off with a small amount of gold to make purchases, 3 gold mines, and 1 unit type.  Gold slowly fills your inventory from the gold mines. You can click the gold mine to buy more workers, doing this you’ll be rolling in gold in no time.  The ground is divided into hexagons that determine where you can place your defenses.  There is also a dotted line that flows from the opponents armory to your castle, showing the exact path their troops will take to get to your castle. When you click the ground a menu appears showing the different types of towers ranging from a turret to a massive tower that spews lava. Much like many of the newer tower defense games, Tower Wars allows you to strategically place your defense towers on the map. This allows you to shift the enemies path and send the enemy through twisting mazes before they can reach your base.

The units (your army) available to send to the opponents base are displayed on action bar. There’s a good amount of units to choose from including the standard troops, speedy units, units that buff surrounding units (such as healers) and many others leading up to a boss type unit. You can specify how many of each unit type you want to send at one time; each unit costs a certain amount to send. Once you choose who your sending, you click launch, which will spend the gold and send the units on their way to the opponents castle. This is all happening in real time, forcing players to think on their feet, and making decisions that could quickly win or lose them the game.

Tower Wars also has a great upgrade tree system. There are separate upgrade trees for towers, unit types, and unit abilities. The only way to upgrade is to spend battle points. Battle points are gained for every 2 seconds a unit is alive. There’s some strategy involved with upgrading as well,  since you’ll be upgrading towers, mines and your units during the match. All of these features together make for a much more intense experience then the average tower defense. If all of this seems a bit too complicated there is a tutorial system, though the character who teaches the game is very hard to listen to, sounding like a mash up between Barney and Jack Sparrow.

Graphically, this game stands strong. It isn’t anything to get excited about, it is simple and quirky which fits the game very well. I did notice screen tearing with all the settings on high, but with a game like this, it can be enjoyed on the lowest graphics. The game’s soundtrack on the other hand did not win me over. I found myself turning the music off in the settings within five minuets of playing. It was overly silly and quite loud, making the game feel like a Nickelodeon cartoon. The voice over on the other hand wasn’t as bothersome. The voice of each unit type are comedic, which I find to be refreshing compared to most tower defense games.

In terms of modes, Tower Defense doesn’t have much to offer; it has 2 modes. There’s the standard Tower War mode as I previously described, and the classic Tower Defense. Unfortunately the Tower War mode is multiplayer only, so if you wanted to get some practice in, you’re out of luck. The single player tower defense is fun and challenging but once you have finished the four provided maps, the fun wears off and its back to multiplayer. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the single player. Instead of worrying about destroying another persons castle, your only goal is to protect yours as long as possible. You don’t have the option of sending troops, just deciding where to place towers and how to upgrade them, but like I said, once you have completed all of the maps provided, it starts to feel like a standard tower defense game. In multiplayer, there are ranked and unranked 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 matches. Tower Wars really shines when you’re in the middle of a full 3v3 match. Games can last up to an hour and you may find yourself tearing your hair out by the end of it. My biggest problem with the game was waiting. The game has terribly long loading screens and very long multiplayer que’s which can get really frustrating since that’s the best part of the game.

Tower Wars isn’t exactly a new idea, but brings a lot to the table. With its fast paced multiplayer and classic single player, there is a lot to be enjoyed here. Though it has annoying music, a shallow single player mode, and a not so helpful tutorial, this game will keep me coming back with its very addictive and competitive multiplayer. Summer of 2012 has had a great line up of arcade hits and Tower Wars is no exception/ SuperVillain Studios has added a great game to the Steam collection.

Tower Wars
Platform: PC
Genre: Strategy, Tower Defense
Release Date: 8/14/2012
Developer: SuperVillain Studios
Publisher: SuperVillain Studios
ESRB Rating: NR
MSRP: $9.99