Tower Defence on PC.
The Tower Defence genre is fairly stale. while there is undoubtedly plenty of fun to be had in defending a base by constructing towers along a given path to rain destruction down upon hapless invaders, there is very little difference from one Tower Defense game to the next. Hoping to provide that next important advancement to the genre is Defense Technica from KUNO Interactive, published by Devolver Digital. Can this title really bring something new?
Well, anyone who has played a Tower Defense title in the past will feel quite comfortable with the basics of Defense Technica. As is traditionally the case, the story that provides meaning to each wave of enemies is throwaway. It is set in the future and there is an alien species involved. I am sure that someone upset someone else, and now there is a fight for survival. As a narrative to pull the player in, there is nothing here. As a way of giving meaning to all of the destruction, it works as well as it needs to.
But we are not here to indulge in a deep and meaningful story, are we? It’s the construction of towers to defend a base from waves of enemies that matters. And here, there is nothing to complain about.
Enemies start moving along a given path in waves, heading towards a central base with a limited amount of “health”. Should they reach the base, the enemies will dwindle away that health until nothing remains and the level is lost. So players are able to construct a variety of different towers on predetermined slots along the path to wipe out the enemies and protect the base. Building these towers will take resources which are gained from destroying enemies. And so, a cycle of build and destroy carries on until the last wave for that given level, and then the player moves onto the next.
The resources dropped by the enemies have to be gathered by the player, so a constant scanning around the battlefield is required. The towers themselves come in a variety of different flavours, from the short range and powerful, to the long range and weak, from the general damage dealers, to the more specific enemy targeting towers, the range is pretty much standard by now, showing up in most other games of this genre in one form or another. As the game progresses, new towers are unlocked and available to purchase, and upgrading is also a possibility.
The variety of alien enemies is not especially imaginative. Again, they follow a formula that has been seen before. Small, weak, large, slow, fast, flying, well armoured – all of the varieties are present and correct.
It may seem thus far that Defense Technica has nothing new to offer, and stands as a relatively standard example of the Tower Defense genre. However, there are a couple of nice ideas that make the game stand out somewhat. There are weather effects that make changes to the overall way the defense is approached, and the ability to change the enemies path through the careful placement of towers, which allows the player to lengthen the path and have more time to wipe them out, is nice, but neither are particularly groundbreaking.
Perhaps the most game changing idea here is actually the relatively simple idea of forcing the player to collect the resources themselves before they disappear. Tower Defence games tend to involve the player placing towers and waiting, popping down a few more along the way. But in Defense Technica, things are much more tense and the player will find themselves zipping around the map, placing towers and collecting resources. Things even step up a level when multiple enemy paths start showing up, forcing the players’ attention to be even more spread out.
And Defense Technica offers quite the challenge too. The first few levels are expectedly simple, and then things take a sudden turn for the more complex and players will soon find themselves having to think quite strategically to proceed. Perform well in a given level and get rewarded with medals that can be used for upgrading towers. There are only a limited number of medals to be won, but the upgrades can be reset for each level, making forethought even more important.
Defense Technica is a solid, challenging Tower Defence game. While it doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre, it is perfectly entertaining for anyone who enjoys this type of game. It doesn’t stand out from the crowded genre, but Defense Technica is worth a punt for Tower Defence fans.