AU Diary: Anyone For Tower Defence?

AU Diary: Anyone For Tower Defence?

plants-vs-zombiesConfession time: I’ve never played a tower defence game.

Not sure how I’ve missed the boat on this strategy variant. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have an iPhone – seemingly home to millions of tower defence games. Or perhaps it’s because I associate it with real-time strategy, which has never been my preferred type of game.

But with Popcap’s Plants Vs Zombies currently receiving rave reviews, I’m tempted to give the genre a chance.

Is Plants Vs Zombies a good place to start? Or should I try something a little more traditional?

For the fans out there, what’s the appeal of the genre? And what’s the best tower defence game yet?


  • there is no way this game will let you down its alot of fun probably one of the best i have played, lots of replay value here with unlocks after adventure finishes so i would advise not reviewing it until u have finished the game and tried some of the end game unlocks. =) if you dont like at least a little bit i would be suprised

  • Can’t say much about Plants v Zombies but me and my friends have really enjoyed Pixeljunk Monsters and Savage Moon from the PSN.

    Comet Crash seems pretty amazing but theres no AU release yet.

  • I’ve always found Tower Defense to be a lot of fun, despite my general tendency of not playing RTS games. It has a distinctly addictive quality, being easy to pick up up and play without overwhelming you with strategic options.

    My first experience with it was the Tower Defense mod for Warcraft 3, which started the whole craze, as far as I’m aware. More recently I’ve played Defense Grid: The Awakening on Steam which is pretty good. You could always check out the demo like I did to see if you take to it. 🙂

  • Desktop Tower Defense (now in a Pro version) is likely the best one, and its free. Head over to and check it out there. Its even got tutes and stuff to ease you into the game. You’ll eat up a lot of your time in this game, you’re forewarned.

  • I’ve played a lot of tower defence games as I am an RTS whore and I picked up this game the other day. It is friggin awesome but its not the traditional tower defence style and I think it would be a little easier to slide into because of the way you are rewarded so often and the speed of the levels. Definatly worth a try at least.

  • I’d never even heard of the genre until I bought Defense Grid on Steam. Great way to kill half an hour.

  • Personally, I’d recommend Gem Craft/Gem Craft Chapter 0. I feel these flash games really set the bar in terms of browser based tower defense.

    While probably not as accessible as Plants vs Zombies or Pixeljunk Monsters; Gem Craft is a highly polished Tower Defense Game =)

  • In my opinion, the best Tower Defense games exist as maps for Warcraft III – Frozen Throne. Things like Elemental TD 3.0 (or greater, it’s been a while) should do the job. It’s not a mazing-type; meaning that the path of the monsters is set in stone (literally), and you can’t affect it. So you build on the walls of the maze, and try to stop them from reaching the end. You have 50 lives, and every 5 levels you get a new element with which to fuse and make new kinds of tower. It’s a lot of fun!

    Of course, even within TD’s, there are subgenres. I don’t know the names, if there are any official nomenclature protocols, but you have some involving mazing, some involving building on the walls so you can’t affect the flow of the creeps with the structures themselves, there are player versus player variants of these, cooperative ones, survival-types where you have to last the longest, and so on. There’s a lot of variation when you look at it.

  • Plants vs Zombies is the best 20 bucks you’ll spend on steam. i bought this game a few weeks back and it absolutely destroyed a weekend i had set aside for study. It’s a pretty good place to start, the missions are relatively easy and they walk you through what you have to do.

  • @Stephen Alexander – There was plenty of tower defence games in Starcraft well before War3 came out. The most popular was probably Matrix 4 Way 3 Race.

    The Warcraft 3 map GemTD is probably my favourite Tower Defence game. You can play it on your own if you’d like too to ease yourself into it.

  • Desktop was always a good one, but I really enjoyed Elemental and Vector TD, back in the day.
    I can’t believe you’ve never played a Tower Defence game before. they’re awesome!

  • Don’t waste your time, they are to RTS what light gun shooters are to FPS, small novelty at first, but soon a resounding meh.

  • Immortal Defence is another one (costs about $15USD). It’s very tradtional tower defence, where you place different points around a path to defend it. What’s different about it though, is its absolutely insane storyline. All about worls above hyperspace (Vangers anyone?), immortality, philosophy, the nature of man, all of that. Crazy stuff. Demo version also gives you 30 full levels.

    Also, check out a free little gem called NUD. Still in development, the game gives you a grid and the path of the enemies is determined by how you set up the towers. NUD is a good entry point as it’s more about the way you design and build your grid, instead of worrying about ‘what tower is best against what enemy’.

  • I reckon they are a great way to pass time.
    I recommend Plants vs Zombie, highly addictive with it unique/cute graphics.
    But slightly different to a normal tower defense so either get Desktop Defense or some of those hundred of Warcraft 3 TD maps.

  • I thought PvsZ was pretty average. The best out there is by far PixelJunk Monsters.

    I think GeoDefense on iPod/iPhone is great, Field Runners too.

    Don’t mind the FF Crystal Defenders but it’s a bit shallow.

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