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Real World Tower Defense: MapsTD

MapsTD isn’t a spectacular tower defense game but it slots into a category of interactive jollies that I find it hard to resist. The key is in the name – MapsTD integrates with Google Maps so that players can defend any location in the world. There are some recommended locations but the real pleasure comes from typing in the address of an old school, workplace or home. Maybe even your favourite pub or cafe. Enemies approach along roads, meaning it’s simple to pick an easily secured location, but even well-placed forts become difficult when all four routes open up. The paths that will become active in later rounds are marked from the start, allowing for advance planning.

The obvious joke is that playing MapsTD using my own current living quarters in Salford is much like simulating the nightly riots that sweep through the streets. Bollocks to that though – there’s still a certain lager-swept charm to neighbouring Trafford and Ordsall (the origin story of Coronation Street and home of Salford Lads Club, dontcha know) but Salford Quays is crammed with latte-supping media types since the arrival of the BBC. It’s a friendly old town from both sides though, no matter how dirty it might be.

The Quays are also remarkably easy to defend. It probably helps that home is located with water on several sides, which reduces the routes of attack, and that Trafford Road is long and straight. Having a base that is essentially at a crossroads is clearly the way to go, as it allows towers to cover multiple routes at the same time.

I’m always surprised that there aren’t more games using the enormous potential of Google Maps. I’m certainly not the only person who enjoys them. If you know of any others, do share.

Via PC Gamer.

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Adam Smith

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