Warcraft Tower Defence

At the risk of bombarding you good people with tower defence games in these happy times of Plants vs Zombies and ridiculously cheap Defence Grids, let’s throw another one into the mix. Don’t roll your eyes at me like that, young man – this one is free and ingeniously different.

Element TD is a tiny mod for Warcraft III that adds a new scenario map, playable either as singleplayer or a sort of race/survival-based multiplayer. Clearly, the meat of it is constructing a warren of turrets to protect your base against a horde of invading Warcraft-universe men, monsters and elementals, but the construction system is a whole lot more complicated and thoughtful than the insta-plonk building of most tower defence games. Oh – and I’m not saying this is BRAND SHINY NEW NEWS. I know Warcraft 3 TD has been around for ages – it’s just what I was playing yesterday, and on RPS we write about what we play.

Towers types are divided into a bunch of elements – Earth, Water, Light, Dark, Nature, Fire – each of which is better against certain enemy types. A mixture of logic and knowledge of Warcraft lore establishes which is shotgun to the creeps’ rock and paper, though frankly it becomes as much about creating a massive pile-on of turrets rather than arranging elaborate exact matches. The really fun bit is when you come to upgrade the towers – you can either bump, say, your Water tower up a level, or you can combine it with, say, a Fire element to create a Vapour tower. Or with whatever else to create something different entirely. After that, again you can do a straight upgrade, or you can add a third element to create a brand new tower type. And that’s how you end up with a vast array of damage, area of effect, slow-down or life-restoring towers.

Added to that is the RPG-like collection and levelling up of the core elements – after every five waves of enemies, you’re rewarded with an element of your choice, which involves taking down a boss unit. So, you have to plan your build order way in advance rather than simply buy bigger stuff as your wallet swells. It’s clever stuff, and the huge, crazy variety of units and turret types makes for a very pretty, if truly chaotic, vista of carnage.

In multiplayer, each guy takes command of their own battlefield, which is in turn besieged by the same beasts simultaneously, and tries to last as long as possible. In the event of a stalemate, well – that’s when Ronald McDonald attacks.

Fun, challenging, ridiculously over the top and only 1.2Mb. Get it here.


  1. Heliocentric says:

    Or just join a server hosting the game and it will install the map automagically.

  2. alphaxion says:

    ah, I remember playing tower defense maps in wc3 all those years ago.
    Happy times :)

    ElementTD was always one of the more challenging maps.

  3. mrmud says:

    TD had its start in war3 had it not?

  4. Freudian Trip says:

    Nah they had them in Starcraft before that and I assume others before that.

  5. TauQuebb says:

    Started all the way back in Starcraft, I remember playing it on battle.net well before Warcraft3 came out.

  6. DarthInsinuate says:

    Is it wrong that I only ever played about 3 ranked matches on Warcraft 3, but dozens of rounds of tower defense, and that other one that Demigod is based on?

  7. Vandelay says:

    Always loved some War3 tower defence, in fact more than the game itself. Having said that, it was never as good as the Starcraft map, Zone Control. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done anywhere else (there was a version made in War3 but it was never as good.)

  8. Gandeh says:

    I loved some of the WC3 Addons, Favs included Gold TD, Burb TD and Footmen Frenzy… What a game that was! I was thinkin about rebuying WC3 (damn lost cds) just to play that again! Long live free addons!

  9. Heliocentric says:

    If you have your wc3 cd key but not the disc, add your key to a blizzard account and you can download the game. Covers everything but wow i think.

  10. FhnuZoag says:

    Wait a minute, isn’t this the original TD (well, somewhat), which beget Flash Elements TD, which beget Desktop TD, which beget all the others?

  11. mister k says:

    line tower wars are where it’s at, there’s nothing like sending a disturbingly large horde of units at your opponents! Elemental TD is strangely one of the few w3 maps I have yet to play.

  12. ascagnel says:

    @DarthInsinuate – Demigod is based on Defense of the Ancients, another great map-hack.

    @Heliocentric – Battle.net 2.0 links to WoW now.

    Tower defense games were the last gasp of the turtle strategy for a few years. After WC3, the next few big RTSes were Dawn of War, Empire at War, and Company of Heroes, all of which either eliminated or made worthless the turtle.

  13. cyrenic says:

    I remember the Warcraft 3 official expansion had a tower defense level in it.

    That was a very interesting expansion, especially the orc campaign that they gradually added as post release content. It was like they used that campaign as a trial run for the ideas they were using to develop World of Warcraft.

  14. A-scale says:

    Wintermaul forever

  15. PleasingFungus says:

    Haven’t played it in years, but I remember Element TD as being an excellent time. Nice to see a mention of it.

  16. Chris says:

    Hunters v farmers!

    There was a lot of creativity in all the Custom games section of Warcraft3. I hope when Wow starts to come to a close they open up a Wow custom games sever thingy it would be amazing.

  17. Morkilus says:

    Sounds exactly like the Flash TD game Gemcraft, on Kongregate.

  18. pootank says:

    Zoators* 3 tds and island td were the best by far

    tho the X def ones were good too

  19. amishmonster says:

    Element TD has probably the most obscenely complicated upgrade tree I’ve ever seen in a game, but at the same time it seemed like one of the most “solvable” TDs out there. I got through 160+ Ronalds on my second game when I realized that there are two or three towers whose damage ratings obviate the whole element/vulnerability mechanic that should make it so much more interesting.

    Still, good fun for those games!

  20. Korgan says:

    Hmm, does it have singleplayer capacity?

  21. alphaxion says:

    @ascagnel Supreme Commander kept the turtle alive, even had AI designed around the strategy. Still easy to crack them tho.

    And bnet 2.0 doesn’t link WoW accounts for anyone outside of the US right now.

  22. jolin012 says:

    yes it does. the only thing you miss out is the competetiveness of finishing a wave first and flooding the other players with new waves of creeps and singleplayer does not support Super Weapons mode. Else it’s the same in singleplayer as multiplayer.

  23. DD says:

    I also was playing that yesterday, weird…

  24. Dreamhacker says:

    Wintermaul invictus! The superior evolution of TD.

  25. Erlam says:

    This sounds a lot like Gemcraft, am I wrong? I realise there are differences, but I get the feeling there are many parallels.

  26. Sancdar says:

    I’ve only played the original Gemcraft, and while there are some parallels the game plays completely differently. The main difference here is that you start with no elements and slowly add them to your tech tree. Also, pure element towers don’t have special abilities, and mixing them gives a much wider variety of specials than in Gemcraft.

    @amishmonster Sprout TD has the most convoluted tech tree I’ve ever seen. Which towers do you think evade attack/armor types? There’s only one in the game that does 100% to everything, and getting to it can be tough.

  27. peg says:

    Check out Attack of the Creeps. link to galagogames.com It’s a downloadable tower defence game that is loads of fun.