"Probably the best tower defence game there is," we summed up in our Defense Grid 2 review. "Nothing more, nothing less."
Praise doesn't get much higher than that, but the price can't get much lower, since you can currently save 70% on Steam as part of the SteamOS sale. Credit to jaystan who heroically rounded it up yesterday!
Tower Defence is dead. Tower Defence hybrids are where it's at, and Deathtrap is one of the best I've ever played.
Neocore's latest project ought to do the business considering that the brilliant The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II was basically a prototype. "Even the optional tower defence sections are good enough to be a standalone game in their own right," I wrote, and now that game has graduated from Early Access into version 1.0.
Half Diablo-style dungeon crawler, half hardcore tower defender and all glorioisly gory gothic ham, Deathtrap really is an exceptional genre hybrid. And yet I can't help wanting more -- not from it, but of it.
Deathtrap is already built on isometric action RPG pedigree, seeing as it shares an engine and even a fair few assets with the Van Helsing series, so the raw mechanics of slaughtering Hungarian folk beasties are polished, nuanced and deeply satisfying. Only this time, you're desperately trying to stop waves of enemies from breaching your painstakingly-constructed defences rather than looking for a boss or exit.Click here to read more...
Ugh, freaking meatbags!! I hate humans with every byte of my processing power. They're so unreliable and lazy, too useless to even survive a paltry robotic apocalypse by themselves. What a waste of perfectly good carbon. I'd shred the lot of them with my defence drones if only my boss' wife didn't think they were adorable.
But with a little genetic tampering... some laser vision here, extra arms there and a brain slug for good measure... perhaps they could be useful after all. Better. Stronger. More durable and obedient. Or at least live long enough to help me keep my job.
Such is the premise of Freaking Meatbags, a surprising fusion of real-time strategy, tower defence, twinstick shooting and gene splicing that has officially graduated from Early Access this week. Having played it extensively throughout the alpha funding phase, then getting access to the launch build several days in advance via the beta branch, I'm happy to report that it's exactly the kind of game we love to see go through Early Access. A strong, relatively simple yet innovative idea that works well and delivers on its realistic plan.
The plan, in this case, being to strip-mine a solar system. Players assume the role of Chip, a workaday robot employee of a massive mechanical conglomerate, tasked with scraping all the materials off of a number of worlds for his/its demanding boss. Unfortunately hordes of feral robots do their best to make that as difficult as possible. With Chip's job, relationship and life on the line, you'll need to use both strategy, quick reflexes and the local wildlife's genetic code to pull it off.Click here to read more...
Deathtrap has now officially launched on Steam after several months in Early Access.
This impressive fusion of Diablo-style dungeon crawling with hectic tower defence strategy and persistent roleplaying is coming together nicely, and I'm loving it so far. Satisfying combat and an infinite wealth of user-created dungeons should let this run and run, despite a little bit of tidying up needed. Read our Deathtrap Early Access preview for all the details ahead of our full review.
If you're looking for a cheap deal, Deathtrap can be yours for only £11.47 at GamersGate using voucher code 10AN-PREV-FEB2015. This will save you £2.02 versus the already-discounted Steam price. Click here to buy! >>
Freaking Meatbags has officially launched today after several months in Steam Early Access. This crazy RTS-meets-shooter-meets-tower-defence game lets you genetically alter your lazy human workers, splicing in extra arms, weapons or other useful traits to keep them alive and keep you in a job.
Our full review will be going live tomorrow (since the final build was made available to me via the beta branch), but until then, you can read our Freaking Meatbags preview for the low-down.
Better yet, you can then proceed to buy it for £5.09 on GamersGate using their latest voucher code, saving £2.90 versus the Steam RRP. Even Green Man Gaming are £1.39 dearer, and that's with their 20% off code!
"The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing 2 punches well above its weight and ends up as a markedly superior game. Seriously, even the optional tower defence sections are good enough to be a standalone game in their own right."
I'm not trying to take credit for Deathtrap -- even I'm not that egotistical -- but I certainly called it in our Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II review. NeoCore are already masters at creating rock-solid action RPG gameplay with compelling progression and great combat, so having discovered a knack for tower defence too, they decided to build a brand new game mixing all three elements together.
The result is half Diablo-style dungeon crawler, half tower defender and all delightfully OTT gothic horror romp. With multiple classes, tricky mazes, hordes of enemies, addictive levelling, versatile upgrades, co-op, infinite user-generated content and more besides, Deathtrap expertly blends the strategy of tower defence with the insanely hectic combat of Diablo. It's an example of a tower defence RPG hybrid that actually tries to break the mold, and rise above the pack in an otherwise crowded sub-genre.
And because it's built on the dependable Van Helsing foundation, it's also an example of an Early Access game that actually works!Click here to read more...
One of the finest tower defence games out there, especially at this low price, PixelJunk Monsters is a cracking little game, and now you can buy it for the price of a pack of Skittles.
Platform: PC (reviewed) | Xbox One version TBA
Developer: Amplitude Studios
Don't call it a Roguelike. Dungeon Of The Endless may feature permadeath and dungeon crawling, but one word can't do justice to this extraordinary genre-defying beast. To take a stab at pigeonholing it, I suppose that 'Real-Time Turn-Based Strategic 4X Tower Defence Roguelike RPG hybrid' is probably the closest I can get.
So the first thing you need to know is that Dungeon Of The Endless uses traditional Roguelike genre staples as a launchpad for a totally fresh and unique Sci-Fi experience that continually switches up the pace and challenge in exciting new ways.
The second and most important thing you need to know, however, is that it's absolutely bloody fantastic. Dungeon Of The Endless was already impressive when Ampltude Studios released the alpha last year, and has only grown stronger due to user feedback and honest painstaking hard work. I'm having trouble finding anything remotely wrong with it, but explaining how all of its crazy genre-blending systems interlock will take some doing.Click here to read more...
Do you like tower defence games? If the answer is no, then I really don't know what the hell you're doing here. Go away. Shoo! This game is not for you.
If, however, you do like tower defence games, then you should really stick around, because Defense Grid is back, and it's probably the best tower defence game money can buy.
You will have to buy it, it's not an unbalanced free-to-play, lucky dip of a title, where you never know if everything's actually going to come together and work in a fashion that might prove fun. No, Defense Grid 2 will cost you. In fact, it'll cost you £18.49, and that's quite a lot for a tower defence game in my book.
The thing is, though, Defense Grid 2 is really rather good.
Like a good single malt, Defense Grid 2 is distilled excellence. It's not overly ambitious, it doesn't have lofty goals of flights of fancy, it simply wants to be the best tower defense game there is. And it does pretty damn well aiming for that goal.Click here to read more...
Platform: Steam Early Access (£7.99)
Developer: Wild Factor
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Humans are pretty great, right? Top of the food chain, master of all we survey. We reckon that we're the pinnacle of evolution, but I think I can do better.
Laser eyes would be a start, as would better productivity, improved strength and perhaps rocket launchers instead of arms. At least, that's the plan and premise of Freaking Meatbags, which tasks us as a robot janitor tasked with stripmining a solar system while keeping the squishy human settlers alive. Because our boss' wife thinks they're cute.
Those poor meatbags don't stand a chance against the hordes of wild robots that roam and pillage throughout the hostile planets, but might make for a loyal free workforce... after a little nightmarish DNA slicing and brain slug implantation for good measure.
Freaking Meatbags initially resembles a fast-paced and hectic fusion of RTS and tower defence gameplay. You'll start out on a relatively compact map with the bare-bones of a base and a handful of nearby humans, who're typically rather lazy yet curious and pleased to see you, following commands to the best of their limited abilities. Silly meatbags. You'll quickly put them to work mining resources -- both building materials and gold required to purchase persistent upgrades -- then erect some defences against an oncoming robotic onslaught.Click here to read more...
Platform: PC (reviewed, £6.99) | iPad version in development
Developer: Lightmare Studio
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Aliens are out to steal our cows and it's up to us to defend them. With towers.
Beyond its B-Movie premise, Beware Planet Earth! initially appears to be a friendly if incredibly generic tower defence title. As adorable martians trundle along their preset paths with bovine abduction on their minds, we'll place a small selection of static turrets to halt their advance. Some deal direct damage. Others slow or debilitate the hordes. Our war economy is fuelled by currency dispensing machines that create a cog every few seconds, which we have to click to redeem -- thus adding a hectic resource collection minigame to the proceedings -- but otherwise it definitely feels like a retread of very old ground.
Stick with it, though, and Beware Planet Earth! might just surprise you.Click here to read more...
As the sequel to one of our favourite indie games of the last few years, Defender's Quest II has already got us rather excited... and headhunted some seriously big guns. Having secured the services of Rust: An Elysian Tail's Dean Dodrill to animate the upcoming tower defence/RPG hybrid, Level Up Labs have now announced that their main theme will be scored by none other than the inestimable Nobuo Uematsu.Click here to read more...
Another little video from the recent Focus Home Interactive showcase, Space Run is a kind of inverse tower defence title that sees you running logistics missions across the galaxy and fending off pesky raiders, wayward asteroids, and marauding looters.
It's like Defense Grid crossed with DHL.
Each mission will see you given a ship made out of hexagonal parts that can be used to house cargo, thrusters, weapons and more. It's up to you, the player, to work out how to be outfit your craft along the way, managing the defence of your ship, making repairs where necessary, and manufacturing and aligning weapon modules to eliminate oncoming threats.
You can check out the game's official site here: http://www.passtechgames.com/space-run.html
Apologies again for the background noise. The new mic finally arrived just before the weekend and is glorious, so expect future vids to be rather more refined in terms of audio.
Sanctum 2 is one of my favourite games of 2013: a successful hybrid between tower defence and hectic FPS action. It works brilliantly, and you don't have to take my word for it, since the entire game is free to play on Steam this weekend! If you like it, you can pay a paltry £1.79 -- the cheapest price we've ever seen -- to buy it, or £2.84 for the complete edition.
Sanctum 2 is one of my favourite games of 2013: an FPS/tower defence hybrid that worked near-perfectly. Its four DLC packs added loads more maps and environments, which are available in an £8.99 season pass on top of buying the base game.
OR you could buy the whole lot for £4.75 from GamersGate. Savings ahoy!
If there are four of you, you can fudge an slightly cheaper deal by buying GamersGate's £9.00 four pack, then individually picking up the season pass. It works out at £4.50 each - though it's a 25p saving for extra hassle.
Sanctum 2 is one of my favourite games of this year. Blending tower defence and FPS action for up to four simultaneous players, it offers both strategy and moment-to-moment action. GamersGate's £3.00 price is a bit of a bargain, frankly, a cheap saving that even undercuts The Humble Store's recent deal.
Defender's Quest was crowned as our Indie Game Of 2012, a masterful fusion of compelling RPG mechanics and tower defence gameplay. A sequel is in the works, but interestingly, it may reach more platforms than just PC this time around - including Nintendo's handheld.Click here to read more...
We've seen Sanctum 2 hit some sub-£5 levels over the last couple of months, but if you have a bit of a whip-round, you and three friends can grab a copy for £2.40. You'll get Steam codes.
I can personally vouch for this RPG/tower defence hybrid - it's nostalgic fun.