Brief Write of a Brief Flight – Tower Wars

I won’t go as far as to say I’m an aficionado on Tower Defense games, but I certainly have some experience with them, not to mention a great deal of enthusiasm. Tower Defense is a genre of game that I’ve really come to embrace in the last 5 years or so. And there have been a lot released in that time period, all of them generally sticking to some of the key concepts such as there being certain tower types that appear across all games, upgradable towers, grid patterns, different enemies running the gauntlet, etc.

Some TD games have something unique or a gimmick that separates themselves from the others. Sanctum added a first-person element. Some just present all the norms but in a new or enjoyable way. Unfortunately, the things which make Tower Wars unique in its presentation and gameplay were not things that I enjoyed, mainly because the unique features added complexity to a style of game that doesn’t need to be complex. It took my a while to figure out how to play the tutorial which barely separates itself from the single player, which isn’t the focus of the game since it’s meant to be mostly online multiplayer, not something I really want from my TD.

And with that in mind, Tower Wars has you playing the role of the aggressor and defender simultaneously. As you create towers throughout the hexagonal spaces that’s in your lands, you also spawn your army from a barracks which travels to their lands. I liked this idea, but then felt that the developers had tried to include too much in the game. With a dozen different towers and units to use, you have upgrades for each individual tower, upgrade trees for your units and towers, upgrade trees for your barracks and castle, two resources to use for towers, units and upgrades; several different mines to gain resources which can each be upgraded individually… ok so there’s too much to upgrade and your control HUD looks like this:

All I want to do is press the big red button...
All I want to do is press the big red button…

It took me a long time to work out how to deploy units, or at least why they weren’t deploying when I pressed launch (something about misaligned resources I think). The main problem for me was that the game wasn’t engaging enough to keep me playing. Maybe a single-player campaign would have been enough to keep me playing. While game might be complex, the learning curve is still decent, just finicky.

Aesthetically the game was OK, Steampunk being something that can never get old, but generally not enough to make a game great. This all being said, I never tried the multiplayer which is the game’s focus… so maybe I missed the fun part.

Tower Wars is currently available on their website, Steam for $7.99, Gamer’s Gate for $7.95, Greenman Gaming for $9.99 and GameStop.

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Cover Image: http://etoli.deviantart.com/art/TOWER-WARS-Mr-Moopsy-313823526
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