Gamers' reactions to tower defence games tend to go one of two ways. In one camp you have the devotees, the strategy junkies who need no excuse to set up towers and traps on their phones or desktops. In the other you have the haters, people who would rather do laundry or gauge out their eyes with nail files than spend even a minute fending off enemy waves with towers.
Towers N' Trolls, a new tower defence game to be released this Thursday for iPhone and iPad, won't change anyone's minds. It won't convert any haters or drive away any fans. It's just a solid strategy game with catchy music, some pretty HD art, and that "I'll just play one more game before bed" quality that has made this genre so popular.
It's made by Ember Entertainment, a new studio composed of developers who worked on games like Toy Soldiers and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. To market it as a different type of tower defence game, Ember Entertainment added an active touchscreen gimmick that allows you to drag mines and exploding barrels across the screen, setting them up on the battlefield to help your towers blow up enemy waves.
You'll also have to snag enemy-dropped gems with your finger. They give you extra points and help you buy more bombs.
Unlike many tower defence games, you can actually pause the action in Towers N' Trolls, halting enemy waves to build and upgrade your defenses. Sometimes that won't help. Especially if you play on the hardest difficulty level, Brutal.
I have to confess: I'm a junkie. I love tower defence games. I stayed up pretty late last night fighting off monsters in Towers N' Trolls. It's an addictive, creative game with some lovely aesthetics and challenging levels. If you're anything like me, it'll probably steal your soul.