Published on July 8th, 2010 | by Cameron Woolsey
Indie Review: Towers
For tower defense fans, the Xbox 360 has been a pretty slim provider. Sure they have South Park Let’s Go Tower Defense Play! and Defense Grid to whet their appetites, but the list isn’t exactly inspiring. Luckily, up-and-coming English developer, LedgeWizard has heard your cries. Their title, aptly named Towers, is a simple tower defense game but don’t be fooled; it’s more impressive than what the name reveals.
Like all true tower defense games, Towers pits players against increasingly difficult waves of enemies while providing resources which can be managed to build powerful towers which, when applied strategically, are used to defend your home base against the charging horde. In Towers, players are given the control of a powerful wizard named Elweiss, who is given the duty of protecting 20 magical crystals from endless waves of enemies who are hell-bent on destroying them. I’ll be the first to admit that the story isn’t exactly Pulitzer worthy material, but we aren’t here for the plot, we are here to kill some monsters and protect gems. And that is what Elweiss does best.
Like most tower games, Towers gives players access to a resource pool which they can tap into in order to create defenses. The resources, called mana, will recharge slowly over time and will increase by a fixed amount per creature destroyed. Each tower can also be upgraded by spending mana. The upgrades come in two different forms for each tower. Offensive towers will allow you to increase damage dealt, range, or speed. There is also a non-offensive tower which can be placed to slow enemies down and can be upgraded to either increase the intensity that the enemies are slowed or increase the range. Keeping your towers upgraded is absolutely essential for victory as you will become assaulted by increasingly stronger or faster enemies over the course of the game’s 20 levels.
As I mentioned above, the goal for each map is to protect your crystal which floats gently at the end of the coarse. Placing defense towers will kill enemies that are trying to make a move on your crystal, but if one gets through, it will kill off one of the several wizards surrounding it. A regular enemy will sacrifice itself to attack one of your wizards. Allowing one or two through your net might not be so bad, but don’t let the leak last. You only have so many chances to make it through. A boss enemy, which is a larger enemy usually wearing a crown, eats wizards for breakfast. They are slow moving but let one through, and it will move from wizard to wizard, devouring each one until the fight is lost. Keeping your wizards alive serves a dual purpose; Towers features ten different endings that depend on how many wizards you are able to save. Which is a feat that I have found rather difficult.
Tower defense fans know that most of these games are pretty difficult and this one does not change that fact. Towers is hard. I just need to it be known. The first several levels are not a huge challenge but, before you know it, the tables start to turn and you can find yourself losing a battle within just the first few moves. This is truly a game of trial and error. Playing a map for about fifteen times trying to find the right placement for the right towers can feel somewhat aggravating for novices. But experienced towers players know that with some patience and good planning, victory becomes all the more sweeter after the challenge.
Overall, I was happy to discover that Towers is actually a pretty good game for the cheap price. Sure it’s hard, but that isn’t a knock on the overall game itself; it’s supposed to be challenging. The graphics are simple but bright and colorful and the soundtrack is well done and catchy and fits well with the game. For only 80 MS Points ($1), Towers is a smart purchase for tower defense fans and for those who are interested in towers games but don’t want to shell out a lot of money for the other choices.