You either love tower defense games or you hate them. If you fall into the former category, you’ll enjoy placing your units; upgrading them with new powers and abilities; and constantly experimenting with the best placements to put a stop to the advancing hordes of zombies / soldiers / chickens / etc.
If you’re in the latter camp, you’ll likely tire of the repetitive gameplay of these kind of games, which – after your defenses have been placed – often boils down to you doing little more than watching attacks being repelled whilst tweaking things here and there in an effort to stay awake.
Mana Bomb Games recognise this and seeks to add a little more spice to this often bland path with Colony Defense. Here, the levels are set on three-dimensional, fully rotatable planets. These are criss-crossed with trenches and home to one or more bases you must defend. Alien forces land and march relentlessly along the paths, which you must line with cannons, guns and other weaponry in an attempt to stop them reaching their targets.
So far, so normal. However, the third dimension adds a considerable amount of challenge to this familiar scenario. Here, half the action is permanently obscured at any one time, meaning you must constantly spin the planet to find out what’s happening on its ‘dark side’. This can also see you fall into the trap of laying down impenetrable defenses on one part of the globe’s surface, only to leave the path wide open on another. Colony Defense keeps you on your toes throughout and this gameplay twist stops it from feeling stale.
Talking of which however, the game’s scenario is a little uninspiring, featuring cookie-cutter aliens & weapons, on planets that look a little too barren to be of much visual interest. Once the action starts however, you’ll have so much vying for your attention you’ll hardly notice.
As with most games of this genre, you earn credits for each enemy destroyed and can use these to upgrade your units: increasing their power, range of fire and overall effectiveness. In another interesting twist of convention, if you overuse one particular type of weapon, the invading forces will build up a resistance to it, meaning you often have to frantically switch tactics, sell units and make use of other tools in your arsenal in order to succeed.
As the levels progress, you gain access to a wider variety of stronger weapons, and in between levels you’ll have the ability to spend points to make all your units more powerful in some particular way. This adds to the lastability of the title, making you want to finish a level so you can increase your firepower and effectiveness against the next inevitable onslaught.
Colony Defense is a hard game, and you may find it frustratingly so at times. However, finally beating a tricky level after several failed attempts is very satisfying; and Mana Bomb Games are to be commended for taking the tired tower defense genre and literally putting a spin on it.
This game was provided for review by GamersGate