More tales from the Steam Winter Sale; this one about Tower Wars.
Tower Wars is a tower defense game, but with a twist! (gameshow voice) in that you are also responsible for buying, upgrading, and sending the unit waves against your opponent. The game has both single play and online modes, looks good for what it is, has a nice comical style, and so far has been relatively bug free. At the Steam sale price, especially for a 3-pack, it was an easy buy.
This is a “build a maze” type of tower defense game, rather than the “place towers in pre-set spots” style.
The different maps do play differently in terms of strategy, plus the game randomizes the location of your three gold mines (upgrade to get more money), which take up 9 hexes , so even the same map will change a bit game-to-game.
Tower variety is somewhat limited (8), but they cover all the basics. A nice twist is the lava tower, which takes up 9 hexes and has 6 ‘attack points’, making it very effective but also somewhat difficult to place.
Same goes for your unit options. You have 9 units, all with different stats and abilities. Along with three levels of upgrades per unit, you also have a general unit tree where you can upgrade health, armor, shields, etc.
The AI is solid. It knows how to build a maze, sends unit waves using some basic strategy, and overall will give you a good battle as you learn the ins and outs of the game.
Online 1v1 ranked play works well (10 games in). I’ve not noticed any lag, matches take between 10-20 minutes, and in those 10 games I’ve seen more than a few interesting strategies.
Three Player Co-Op has entertained us so far. It uses a unique map that gets semi-random parts destroyed as you go along, and is a pure “you build and fight off waves” style rather than having to balance building with sending units.
I can see a lot of potential fun in the 2v2 and 3v3 modes, but of the one 2v2 match we got, it took a 10 minute queue. No luck (in limited searching) for a 3v3 match. You can play vs random players, or invite friends off your Steam buddy list.
If you enjoy the tower defense genre, and especially if you have a small group to play with, Tower Wars is a solid buy. Feel free to friend me on Steam (Syncaine) if you pick it up, we could use a few more to play some 3v3 games.
This has been in my backlog for a while, I didn’t even realize it had a co-op mode (I can’t resist a good co-op game).
So much to play…
Building the waves against your opponent is an old mechanic, I believe it dates back to the beginnings of TD games as WC3 custom maps with the “Maul” series (Wintermaul TD, etc). In these games, spawning waves was also the mechanic that increased your passive income, buying an attacker would increase your gold gain at the start of subsequent rounds. Of course, your opponent would get a one time gold bonus by destroying the attackers.
I think this gameplay mechanic was already perfected by the many iterations of “Maul” TDs, does Tower Wars really bring anything new to the table?
Yea it plays somewhat like the old Maul TD games, although Tower Wars has duel currency; one is gold which is earned from your mines (so upgrading them is important) and the other it battle points, which you get from the units you spawn. The longer the unit is alive, the more BP he earns you.
Gold is used to buy and upgrade towers, and to send units.
BP is used for upgrading units.
Gold and BP are used to buy access to new units and upgrade mines.
That alone makes the strategy a bit different from maul (at least way back in WC3 when I played them).