There’s a well known series of adverts in the UK, in which a product is described as doing ‘exactly what it says on the tin’. That’s a claim that could easily be applied to Big Guns Tower Defense, a game whose title tells you everything you need to know. A port of Vectorlight’s Super Tower Defense for PC, BGTD (as it shall now be known) can be seen as almost the opposite of Dagari Studios’ – Pirates Assault where that was a tower defence game with high production values but narrow focus, this is a plain-looking game with a ton of levels and challenges.
What we have in place of gloss is a solid tower defence game with a nice sense of progression (twenty-eight levels of increasing difficulty, unlocked one after the other), a wide variety of different enemy types, and an arsenal of eleven different weapons with which to deal with them.
Interestingly, these weapons are available from the off (well, with two exceptions, but we’ll get to them) – rather than locking them from the player, they’re simply priced out of the early game, with higher-end weapons costing more than you’ll earn in an entire level at the start of proceedings.
The levels themselves are relatively large – shrunk down from the PC original, they still manage to have a wide variety of different routes used by the enemy, with multiple routes often being used at once. Things are further complicated by the occasional aerial assault – the source of those two turrets that aren’t always available, as aircraft can only be targeted by dedicated anti-air weaponry. Moreover, aircraft fly straight from the screen edge towards your base, not having to follow a complicated route, so they have to be dealt with swiftly and decisively.
As this is another game that doesn’t show you the enemy’s path in advance, this does mean that most levels with aircraft in will see you losing health the first time around to the aerial assault, as you simply won’t know where to place your anti-aircraft guns until it’s too late: it would have been nice if the game could at least have indicated in advance which side they would come in on.
It was also a bit of a pity to realise that several of the turrets are underpowered and/or useless – for all the choice on offer, you’ll find yourself sticking to a few select turrets, and ignoring a large portion of them. Moreover, what turrets there are broadly follow one of two patterns: fast but short-ranged or slow but long-ranged, with higher priced turrets simply increasing the damage output but following the same pattern. There is one exception – the flamethrower which can hit multiple enemies at once – but sadly this weapon is made irrelevant by having too narrow a stream of fire and being far too expensive. The bombs add some variety, though the EMP blast (which slows down enemies) seems rather pointless when you have a cheaper option available which simply destroys all nearby enemies.
There are basically three issues in the game that could do with being handled:
- Add some real variety to the turrets and enemies – let me slow down enemies with a turret to make them cluster, thus validating the flamethrower! And how about making some enemies more vulnerable to certain turrets (à la Defense Grid) – you might expect a slow-firing cannon to be less effective against fast motorbikes than a machine-gun, for example.
- Allow the player to see at least which side aircraft will come on in advance, so replaying the mission isn’t the only option.
- Add a leaderboard! At the moment the game tracks how many ‘stars’ you have per level, with three stars awarded for completing it without taking any damage, and descending accordingly. It doesn’t, however, keep track of anything else – if you were rewarded for not only taking little damage, but for spending as little money as possible, you could have a really interesting challenge added; combine that with leaderboards and you’d have a wonderfully competitive game.
As it stands, even without this the game is very satisfying, and really ramps up the challenge in the later levels – the combination of land and aerial assaults to deal with keeps things interesting, and it’s a game that’ll keep you occupied for a good few hours as you try and complete it with full marks. If Vectorlight were to take the above suggestions on board, though, they’d have a bona-fide classic on their hands!
Big Guns Tower Defense Gameplay Video
Big Guns Tower Defense Screenshots
Background : here
Version Under Review : 126.96.36.199
Flash / silverlight version for the PC : http://www.vectorlight.net/games/super_tower_defense_2.aspx
Big Guns Tower Defense is a FREE game for Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 7 Game Rating
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