Monday, April 19, 2010
For me, there are no video games that are more addictive than those belonging to the tower defense genre. My obsession began when I heard (if memory serves... from the classic 1UP Yours podcast of days past) about a free flash game called Desktop Tower Defense, from which the genre gets its name. After spending a few minutes tinkering with the towers, I was hooked. Since then, I’ve played a dozen or more tower defense games with varying levels of quality, my most recent completion being FluffyLogic’s Savage Moon.
In Savage Moon you travel to the moons of various planetary systems to protect their mining operations from creatures called insectocytes, which appear to have been taken right out of Starship Troopers. Savage Moon is much like every other tower defense game that you may or may not have played in that you drop weapon towers onto the surface of the moon to take out the insectocytes before they get into your mining base and destroy it.
The first set of moons is fairly straightforward, but the difficulty quickly intensifies to frustrating levels, forcing you to derive some very specific strategies if you want to perfect each stage. Of course, it wouldn’t be a competent tower defense game if you didn’t find yourself shouting some very angry words at the television (I prefer punching the seat cushions of my couch).
By far the most unique aspect of Savage Moon is the ability to observe the action from the point-of-view of the towers themselves. Personally, I found the feature to be useless, due to the fact that I really had to pay attention to the battle as a whole in order to keep from being utterly decimated by giant alien bugs. Yet, I can’t blame the developers for wanting to offer you an up-close view of the battlefield. It’s one of the best looking tower defense games that I’ve ever played.
While it’s certainly not a genre-defining title, Savage Moon has much to offer to hardcore tower defense aficionados as well as genre newcomers. If you own a PS3 and have never played a tower defense game, you should probably download PixelJunk: Monsters, but if you’ve already played (and enjoyed) that, I highly recommend Savage Moon.
It’ll piss you off!