Landslide victories are neither rare nor common when I play competitive games against random people. They do happen more often though when I get the chance to play with a friend in some sort of co-op environment. Playing Tower Wars with resident-strategy guru Tony, we had two landslide victories back-to-back.
Tower Wars is an offensive tower defense game. By that, I mean you have to juggle sending troops to your opponents castle while defending your own. Gameplay takes place on a hex-style grid in a few different settings. As you place towers, your opponents line-of-attack changes so a lot of your strategy comes from drawing out that line in the longest path possible. It’s one of the many layers of strategy in Tower Wars.
While you are juggling placing towers in a wiggly path, you have to share your gold on sending troops. In the beginning, sending troops is necessary to build “BP”(Battle Points) which you will quickly need to start upgrading things. Buying new unit types, upgrading your castle and mines (how you collect money) and upgrading your units in general all take BP. The further your wave of troops makes it, the more BP you will earn. You also have a buffer to watch, as you can only launch waves of troops so often. So there is a constant fight for attention; keeping your things upgraded, making sure your defenses are strong and trying to push further into enemy territory.
Upgrades can be a little overwhelming your first few games. You can upgrade unit types individually, your towers, your castle, the mines and units in general. All of the above take both gold and BP usually, which is why BP is so important at an early stage. These multiple upgrade decisions are part of the joy of the game.
Choices for gameplay are either traditional tower defense (where you play alone and defend your castle against the computer) or versus mode, which is the bulk of the game. The game is designed to be competitive, so I felt little reason to go back and play the single-player offering after dabbling it in a bit. That said, the high quality of the tutorial makes me sad that the developer, SuperVillian Studios, didn’t expand into a story mode. The comical, charming tutorial had me chuckling (out loud, mind you) as I learned the ins-and-outs of the game.
Versus mode is divided into three categories; 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3. As of the last time I played (this past weekend), there was no voice chat option that I could find. Playing with a friend against a random team is a lot of fun, but we had the advantage of using Skype to voice chat. There is text chat, but once things get hot and heavy, you just don’t have time to pull up the text box and send a message. There is matchmaking if you are hard up for a co-op partner, but voiceless pairings with a random player are a tad disappointing. It’s much better with a friend.
The versus mode with a friend plays like a dream. You both share the same castle and mines, but everything else is seperate. For example, when I was upgrading general units in my barracks, they wouldn’t upgrade for my partner. Towers gain gold when the owning player kills units, so that if I didn’t build any towers, I didn’t get any gold.. We split our focus right down the middle, and the perfect balance payed off with a victory every time. One of our longer, more stressful matches was still a landslide victory but the end became a “I’m launching my wave of troops……..now!” and trying to mix up a good set of troops still made it a fun, challenging experience.
Outside of the lack of voice chat with random pairings, I had issues getting the Trojan Horse troop to function correctly. It’s a noted problem, though, as the developer has stated they are working to fix the issue in their forum.
In a genre that has been done over and again in the past few years, the tower defense genre needed a solid entry to keep the genre from becoming stale and overused. Tower Wars, despite a few flaws, is easily worth $9.99 USD for tower defense fans looking for some fun competition. However, if you are wanting a solo, non-competitive experience, this may not be for you.
- Lots of things to juggle.
- A blast with a friend or friends. Sorting out your plan and working together in the midst of chaos makes victory that much more rewarding.
- The tutorial is oozing with charm.
- No voice chat in-game. We had to resort to Skype.
- No campaign. This is mostly a con because of how colorful the characters were in the tutorial.