Defense Grid – Tower Defense Bliss

I never thought that I would embrace tower defense games. I didn’t quite get the genre when it first came about but it did intrigue me enough to pick up a copy of Defense Grid during a Steam sale about 2 years ago. It was US$2.99 at that point – a real steal. I had unknowingly picked up a really well balanced and thought out iteration of the tower defense genre. This will be a quick overview of an old game created by an independent developer. I’m sharing this because I’ve been plugging away at this during my spare time. It’s a great game for 10-20mins a burst.

Polish

You have the usual assortment of towers that cover every possible situation. You get the same resource management decisions. Also provided are a wide assortment of alien invaders out to steal the power cores powering its namesake. But there’s where the similarities behind the genre ends.

Maps. The maps are really well crafted, each looking very different from another giving multiple variations in possible strategies. The tile sets changes every few levels keeping the design fresh. Simply put this is a strategy gamer’s dream. There are so many ways to take the fight but only few optimal strategies to land you on top.

Interest Rate. Resources earn interest over time based on the amount of cores you have within its nest. This makes the timing of tower placement and the selling spree at the end a strategic move. This mechanism was well thought out and definitely appeals to the min max gaming crowd. Achieving very high scores is only possible when this is played right. Execution is key.

 

Maze-like levels give plenty of combinations

Maze-like levels give plenty of combinations

Plenty to Do

I blew through the game pretty quick on my first play through. At that point there were only 1 or 2 modes available. But since my return to the game 1.5 years later, a lot more has been added in. Each level can now be experienced with a whole myriad of modes introducing players to different play styles. Take all the good stuff I said above and multiply that. Some modes are community driven which is always a good thing for games. What keeps you plugging is the need to get the top band for each mode and level. Achievements, achievements, achievements.

Plenty of modes and gold medals to grab

Plenty of modes and gold medals to grab

A Fine Indie Game

This game has bang for buck written all over it even without the sale price. It’s great for mini breaks and also caters if you have an hour or two to kill. Well designed and polished, an example of a great indie production.



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