Developer: Amplitude Studios
Dungeon Of The Endless is incredibly tough. It's unpredictable. Beautiful. And breathes new life into the roguelike and tower defence genres, even though it's still only in alpha.
Amplitude Studios aren't known for sitting on their laurels. Having supported their superb 4X title Endless Space with masses of free and weighty paid DLC (the card-based ship combat is awesome, end of), they launched into a new venture that provides a intimate new perspective on the hard sci-fi universe. Arriving just before Christmas as an early access title, Dungeon of the Endless is already shaping up to be something rather special.
So what is it? On a basic level, Dungeon Of The Endless - which I'm not going to abbreviate to DotE to avoid any confusion - strands players on a mysterious planet, controlling survivors of a crashed prison ship. We have to lead our troops through randomly-generated dungeons in a blend of RTS and exploration gameplay, all while securing resources and territory to defend with turrets and fortifications. It's an unpredictable balance of offence, exploration, defence, Roguelike and strategy that constantly hits you where you least expect it... followed by a mad dash at the end of each level as hellacious enemy legions close in for the kill.
Just in case that wasn't enough, it also happens to look utterly ravishing.Click here to read more...
Following our announcement last week, which was jumping the gun somewhat, Defender's Quest 2: Mists Of Ruin has now fully broken cover and is available to pre-order by way of an official website. The sequel to our 2012 Indie GOTY is slated for next year on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam and GOG, boasting a new setting and the sensational Dean Dodrill in the animation department. We've got all the details and a new trailer below.
Most importantly, though, we also now know that the epic turtle tank is called Bitey. We love Bitey. That said, he's not technically a turtle.Click here to read more...
We've been waiting for official word on Defender's Quest 2 ever since the original RPG/tower defence hybrid became our 2012 indie GOTY. And, you know, we broke the story a while back regarding a potential 3DS version. Level Up Labs have now confirmed that the sequel is called Mists Of Ruin, and will be developed with help from Dean Dodrill, who created the superb Dust: An Elysian Tail last year.
Also, peep that turtle tank. Details below, courtesy of the latest update from Level Up Labs.Click here to read more...
Sanctum 2, the exceptional tower defence/FPS hybrid from Coffee Stain Studios, is finally available on the European Xbox Live marketplace following a mysterious delay. We awarded the PC version 9/10 in our full Sanctum 2 review (no, I don't know why it isn't in our GOTM roundup either), stating that "cerebral tower defence meets visceral FPS action in this exceptional genre hybrid."
We haven't tested the XBLA outing yet, so be aware that it may not include all the PC version updates that increase tower limits and improve balance. Also, expect a slightly inferior visual experience (though it works well on a controller, no worries).
GamersGate are currently running an Orcs Must Die! weekend promotion, cutting the entire franchise down to size. You can save a quid on the excellent sequel (more details in our 9/10 review), but there are also some other options and bigger savings available.
The complete edition contains two booster DLC packs with new levels, enemies and items, and retails for only an extra £1.50 - saving you more than a tenner compared to Steam.
Oil Rush is a frantic and good-looking naval strategy/tower defence hybrid. It's a novel and engaging experience that was great value for £12.99, but was let down by some patchy netcode, poor optimisation and a weak storyline. If you've been keeping an eye on it, £3.99 is surely cheap enough to get you off the fence.
Click here to read more...
The GOLD Edition of Defender's Quest has released today, in the form of a free update for existing owners and a massive new incentive to get involved with one of 2012's best games if you haven't already. This brand new version of the sensational 9/10 RPG hybrid contains redesigned art, a New Game + mode and new challenges. More details below.
Double Fine's mech shooter/tower defence hybrid Iron Brigade will be available on Steam from August 13th, including the Rise Of The Martian Bear expansion as a free bonus. We rather liked it on XBLA, and here's hoping that a Steam release will help create a lasting multiplayer base.
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
We rated Orcs Must Die! when it released last year, even nominating Robot Entertainment's downloadable hybrid as one of the Best Strategy Games Of 2011. The tower defence genre received a healthy dose of moment-to-moment action that complimented rock-solid strategic play (with ex-Ensemble veterans involved, this was a foregone conclusion), resulting in a deceptively accessible thief of time. We were provided with an arsenal of traps, a trusty crossbow and a legion of orcs to point them at... and followed the clear instructions on the tin. Killzones were created. Carnage ensued. Orcs died, because they must.
But we wanted more.
Outside the twenty levels, we had little to keep us coming back, and we craved co-op so badly we started imagining phantom companions sitting next to us on the couch. A mere nine months later, and Robot Entertainment has returned with a numerical sequel - in name, at least. In practice, Orcs Must Die! 2 feels like the game they wanted to make in 2011: a definitive, infinitely deeper and multiplayer-supported edition that refines their big idea into the real deal.
Click here to read more...
Developer: Most Wanted Entertainment
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Tower defence hybrids are all the rage at the moment, with developers queueing up to give their own spin on the classic 'build towers, wait for victory' formula. However, Defenders Of Ardania piqued our interest last year due to its unique selling point: the ability to deploy your own troops to assault the enemy as well as consolidating your position. After releasing a slightly streamlined iPad version at the tail end of 2011, Most Wanted Entertainment has brought their wares to PC and Xbox Live Arcade where leagues of grizzled strategy veterans wait to deliver their final judgement. With so many tower defence hybrids on the market, can Defenders Of Ardania make a big enough splash to be worth a purchase?
Defenders Of Ardania takes place in the Majesty universe, which provides a comfortably generic fantasy backdrop to the action. With three races at your disposal, you'll deploy towers onto isometric levels in the time-honoured way; choosing from a selection of 24 fortifications (eight per faction) that all boast different ranges, attack speeds and damage outputs. Most maps provide multiple different routes from which waves of enemy troops can reach your base, meaning that you'll need to scurry to block off potential avenues of attack while pushing forward to secure high ground and some limited extra resources. It's functional, familiar stuff; barely indistinguishable from the pack when you realise that all three factions provide very much the same gameplay experience.
Luckily, defence is only half of the story.Click here to read more...
Dungeon Defenders, the outstanding tower defence/RPG hybrid from Trendy Entertainment, will be free to play this weekend on Steam. Festivities kick off this afternoon at 17:00 GMT, and you can start pre-loading now. If you've yet to experience it, I'd suggest checking out our 9/10 Dungeon Defenders Review.
The base game and expansions will also be 50% off this weekend. We'll update when Steam make it official.
Developer: Futuremark Games Studio
Unlike many of my fellow critics, I don't roll my eyes, reach for strong spirits or rend my garments in twain every time I hear that a new tower defence game is headed to the digital marketplace. Quite the opposite, in fact, since the genre has enjoyed a radiation and renaissance over the last year thanks to quality hybrid titles like Revenge Of The Titans, Dungeon Defenders, Orcs Must Die! and Defender's Quest. Tower defence certainly has more to give and legions of new followers to attract when married with exciting new gameplay elements, but Unstoppable Gorg is definitely one for the fans: an old-school build'em up that packs enough unique charm and dynamic features to stop the familiar mechanics from overstaying their welcome.
What's more, it's also one of the most impeccably-realised B Movie homages we've ever seen.
Click here to read more...
Developer: Level Up Labs
Sleep is for the weak. Work is for chumps. Personal relationships are fleeting.
And we now have a superior replacement for all three courtesy of Defender's Quest from Level Up Labs. Despite being a unassumingly small project from a tiny team, this ripping indie yarn is easily one of the most ruthlessly addictive games I've ever played... and does to the tower defence genre what Puzzle Quest did to Bejeweled. Which is to say that the accessible core experience has been augmented and improved by a meaty storyline, relateable characters and satisfyingly nuanced persistent RPG mechanics.
This is undoubtedly impressive in its own right, but Defender's Quest ultimately succeeds because the raw tower defence gameplay is some of the best you'll find anywhere. Pay attention, folks, because this deceptively deep hybrid deserves to take 2012 by storm.
Click here to read more...
Defender's Quest, the indie RPG/tower defence hybrid from Level Up Labs, is now out on PC, Linux and Mac... and it's looking very impressive indeed if you're a fan of either genre. Traditional tower defence mechanics go hand in hand with storytelling and persistent character development, complete with items to equip and skill trees to pore over.
Level Up Labs have provided us with a voucher code so you, dear reader, can save a dollar on the $6.99 asking price. Pop DEALSPWN into the voucher code box (which can be found after you've entered billing address details but before you confirm payment) and the price will be magically updated. Every little helps!
You can also download the demo to try before you buy - and import your save files into the full game if you dig it. We're working on our full review as you read this sentence, and we've got more details below.Click here to read more...
Futuremark Games Studio has released some new screenshots and trailer for Unstoppable Gorg: their unrepentantly retro tower defence title slated for XBLA, PC and iPad early next year. The ability to move tower positions by changing their orbits promises to add a new tactical dimenstion to the genre, and fans of fifties B-Movies should reserve themselves a space at the drive-in.
Unstoppable Gorg is a lovingly crafted homage to vintage sci-fi films from the 1950s, including flying saucers, rubbery aliens and more dodgy effects than you can shake a Styrofoam prop at. The game's story scenes were shot on film using models, miniatures and live action actors and then edited together with genuine archive footage to hopefully create a classic sci-fi experience. Assets after the break.Click here to read more...
Paradox Interactive has loosed a marauding horde of screenshots and a trailer against our gates, which they've finally breached and made their way onto our servers. Joking aside, Defenders Of Ardania promises to switch up the tower defence genre with RTS elements when it releases this December, and we've got the full scoop in our hands-on preview.Click here for the new assets!
In advance of Dungeon Defenders' October 19th launch on Xbox 360 and PC, developer Trendy Entertainment has released a new diary detailing how the tactical tower defence elements will work. Players will use the Build Phase to analyse the maps, construct a web of defences and plan a defensive strategy to defeat the hordes of incoming enemies. It's shaping up to be a refreshing mix of RPG, action and strategy, and we have the new video below.Click here to view the Dungeon Defenders Developer Diary!
Reverb Publishing and Trendy Entertainment have confirmed that Dungeon Defenders, the action RPG-meets-tower-defence title that has received glowing praise from early reviews, will be releasing for PC and XBLA on October 19th. Players will choose from four different classes and meet a horde of marauding enemies head-on in a mix of real time strategy and hack and slash gameplay, with support for up to four cooperative heroes both online and in split-screen. More details and a trailer after the break.Click here to read more...