Tower defence may be an incredibly popular subgenre, but it's all too easy for to fall into over-familiar and derivative cliches that keep them from making much of a splash. Thankfully Revenge of The Titans, from Indie developer Puppy Games, is preparing to reinvigorate the formula by providing a stylish hybrid between tower defence and real time strategy.
The principle starts simply enough. Your base needs to be protected from the ravening titans that arrive in linear waves... and players will do so by deploying- say it with me- defensive towers. These powerful turrets deal major damage to enemies within their range, but they need to be manually reloaded by clicking on them after they expend their ammunition. Not only that, but the Titans aren't restricted to the obvious roads and pathways and will merrily take a detour to munch on a poorly-placed structure, meaning that overlapping fields of fire have never been more important.
However, this is where things take an interesting turn. Whilst killing the Titans will ensure a slow trickle of credits into your coffers, a wide range of base structures are also available to build. The most basic of these is the refinery, which harvests nearby crystals and converts them into credits. Constructing and fortifying your base is a nostalgia-packed reminder of 'turtling up' in Command & Conquer, with commanders needing to sacrifice defensive fortifications in the short term to construct a working infrastructure that will pay dividends down the line. However, constantly flitting around the map to manually empty refineries, reload turrets and click on a selection of storable powerups makes the experience a lot more manic.
Your credit fund persists between levels and can be spent in an accessible yet incredibly comprehensive Research & Development menu. New turrets, structures and sweeping upgrades to reload speeds and tech trees can be purchased after each engagement, and you'll soon boast an impressive array of new gear to play around with. It's an addictive mechanic that rewards players for efficiently clearing levels. A huge selection of personal achievements and medals will also bulk up the replay value, as well as providing gamers with yet another reason to obsess over netting the best scores possible.
Despite all of these enjoyable innovations, the very first thing you'll notice are the visuals. Revenge of the Titans boasts an attractive nu-retro flavour that features faux 8 Bit sprites and eyecatching colours. The titans resemble classic gaming silhouettes with a new sinister twist, and both the units and turrets feature bold outlines that make them instantly recognisable on the battlefield. Puppy Games have secured a serious retro pedigree with the likes of Ultratron and Titan Attacks- and their expertise is plain to see. It's bursting with personality and more than a little humour, which elevates the experience even further.
By combining simple yet effective mechanics from both tower defence and RTS games, Revenge of the Titans is shaping up to be an essential purchase for strategy fans and casual gamers alike. Why not check out the demo over at Puppy Games?