I’ve played a few tower defense games in my life so far, there have been differences between them although most of those differences are either graphical or they’ve changed the creep and tower theme, sometimes its zombies, sometimes trolls, sometimes soldiers from a neighbouring military faction etc. So when I was asked to review Aspects TD, a new tower defense game from Sabaton games, I was a little dubious but there is one major difference between this and all the other tower defense games. In Aspects TD you attack as well as defend.
If there is anyone who’s not sure of what a tower defense game is, the basic idea is…
“Build up your defenses (towers) along a given path, and obliterate all the many and varied beasties (creeps) marching along said path before they get to whatever it is you are defending from them.”
That’s pretty much it. The strategy lies in ensuring you manage your resources and build the right defenses for the type, or just sheer number of enemies attacking you.
In Aspects TD, players take on the aspect of a demigod in the service of the goddess Ixis, protecting the land of Nymira from an invasion of dark forces. Each demigod can summon totems (towers) to defend and phantoms (creeps) to attack. Since successful attacks generate income, players will need to strike a delicate balance between maintaining just enough totems to avoid being overrun but not so many they run out of resources in the long-term.
The first thing you have to do is choose which demigod you are going to be, Vul the aspect of fire; Ullr the aspect of wind and water or Gea the aspect of nature. They each have their own bonuses and penalties so you can choose an aspect to suit your play style. Each aspect has a few different totems and phantoms of their own as well, so each aspect feels different to play.
Once you’ve chosen your aspect you’re thrown in to the game, with only a fairly basic tutorial to set you on your way but the game is fairly intuitive anyway.
Each level is split into two parts that are played concurrently. You have the standard tower defense game, where you kill creeps to get resources and build towers to kill more creeps, as described above. Your home has twenty hit points, so if twenty creeps get to your heart you lose. This bit we know, it’s the next bit that’s much more interesting.
In the other part of the game you must send creeps to attack your attacker’s heart. Every time you buy a new unit of creeps, they will attack your enemy every round. However your enemy will also increase their defenses every round. It’s a balancing act you need to make sure your base is suitably defended from attack, but also spend resources to attack and get those twenty creeps to his heart.
‘Faith’ is there to give you a hand. Every time you send a new lot of creeps to attack your enemy you will get an increase to your Faith score. At the top of the screen is a bar that fills up, when this bar is full you get resources to the sum of your total Faith that you can use to build more defenses or send more creeps. Don’t take too long though, because your enemy is doing the same.
Getting this balance and learning to manage your resources is the secret to winning at any tower defense game, but more so for Aspects TD.
As you progress through the levels, the challenge increases as does the number and toughness of the creeps.
What do I feel about it? Will it occupy every bus journey to and from work for the next few months or will it be destined to languish at the bottom of my app list in iTunes forever? Well, it’s not instantly forgettable, and the levels are challenging enough to keep you hitting the retry button so the jury’s out on this one. There is a multi-player function as well which could be worth looking into, though at the moment this only works over Bluetooth or a local wireless network so it is a little restrictive. This all boils down to how much you love tower defense games.
Aspects TD is available from the apple store for $1.99 but if you are a fan of tower defense games then this is something you won’t have seen before and it will be worth you downloading it.