Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I miss the tower defense craze of the late noughties and early tensies, seeing loads of ideas spiral out from the handful of TDs which caught mainstream attention. “Ours is polished and has funny voices!” goes one dev. “Ours has co-op!” says another. “Ours is an FPS!” “Ours is in a toybox!” “Ours is stylish and and hectic, and feels a fair bit like a regular RTS!” That last one is Revenge of the Titans [official site], one of my favourites.
There are these aliens, see, and they’re coming for your stuff, so you should build some guns to defend them. Oh, and you’ll want to build resource collectors to fund building those guns. You’ll need to defend those too. Wait, hang on, you’ll need to watch those guns and pick the best time to manually reload them. Here, maybe plop down some walls. Or some turret boosters – remember to build them in the optimal place. Maybe even get some AI-controlled robot buddies going. Oh, and try to be thrifty, as cash carries over between missions. And think hard about the direction you’ll head down the tech tree between missions.
Revenge of the Titans is hectic in the short term, as you try to defend your base and fund expansion while watching for alien hordes spilling out of a direction you hadn’t covered and trying to reload guns at the optimal time but don’t spend too much as you’ll that money left for the next mission… it can become overwhelming. Between missions, picking a route through the tech tree is equally important. Research branches in very different directions towards some mighty powerful things but you can’t get them all, so decisions matter.
There’s little time to faff, I suppose I’d say about Revenge of the Titans.
I’ve still never beaten it, mind. I’ve made a lot of very poor decisions. But I’ve certainly enjoyed failing.