Not your run-of-the-mill defense

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I’VE always found tower defense games a bit dull.

It was mostly just place this here, place that there, upgrade this, upgrade that, rinse and repeat until you clear all waves. Over the Top Tower Defense (OTTTD), however, is much more than that.

When you start off, you’re put in control of The Engineer. See, aside from micromanaging your towers as you repair and upgrade them you’re also trying to take care of your little heroes on the field. The engineer has abilities which allow him to boost the damage of one tower or completely repair one from a distance, as well as having his own gun to help wipe out the scum running along the lanes.

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Upgrading in this game isn’t limited to your tower, either. OTTTD also gives an RPG vibe off as your heroes level up and earn skill points, allowing you to either upgrade their skills or learn new ones. Money is also rewarded for each mission, allowing you to buy new gear for your hero to keep him strong enough to fight off the baddies.

You’ll also get more heroes available to you as you advance in the game. So far I’ve been given an Assault character, who seems to play the stereotypical DPS role. I’ve also gotten a Recon unit who wields a sniper rifle and can mark enemies for missile assaults a la Ghost from Starcraft. It’s a pretty sweet formula, breaking the monotony of simple tower management and giving the player more of an active role in the game. These units aren’t just for fun either.

You’ll need these heroes as the game is unforgiving in releasing enemies who strut down the road. This isn’t like Plants vs Zombies where you can just chill out while you plunk down your units. You’ll have swarms of fragile but fast moving enemies and slow but tanky opponents coming down different lanes at the same time, and each has their own resistances and weaknesses. If you’re not careful with your offensive tactics in the game, these guys will punish you by walking through your defenses and smacking your headquarters to kingdom come. Get it right, however, and it could be a walk in the park.

If there’s some kind of story to this game, I haven’t noticed it past the opening cinematic. All it really says is that soldiers are for hire due to peaceful times and someone’s made it a better place for them by summoning monsters for them to fight. Let’s not kid ourselves, though, not many people play tower defense games for the story.

For some over the top action and mayhem coupled with some refreshing variety on the tower defense genre, OTTTD delivers on its name and delivers well.

OTTTD is available on the App Store and Google Play for $2.99.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 06, 2014.

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