Tower Defense catch-all

$20 is a $6 hike in price as the other games on release were $14.99. I usually average 35 hours out of the games before I complete all the achievements. Will be picking it up for sure since it looks more of the same game play which I enjoy for Tower Defense genre.

I am going to dive into the Warstone DLC. If anyone is looking for a tower defense to play and hasn't tried it, I recommend it, and it is on sale for $7.50 on Steam.

I am personally a big Mindustry fan with over 400 hours in. It should probably be labeled early access though as it is still very much in development. The current version (with the planet map) is a lot of fun until you get to some of the harder levels (enemy bases with Foreshadows are very hard to crack and some of the Guardian units are insanely tough).

I've been meaning to play Mindustry. I stumbled onto it a while ago when browsing the android store. I struggled with the touch controls so I may look into PC.

A_Unicycle wrote:

I've been meaning to play Mindustry. I stumbled onto it a while ago when browsing the android store. I struggled with the touch controls so I may look into PC.

I've been meaning to go back to Mindustry after not playing for a while. It's free/name your own price, over on if you prefer, or want to check it out before getting on Steam.

Thank you for the link! I'm incredibly short on money this pay so I'll take it for a spin before throwing them some cash later.

I haven't tried the mobile version I have just been playing on PC with the Steam version. Finally beat a very hard sector last night that I have tried to beat 7 or 8 times before. Managed to destroy the enemy core with just seconds to spare before it warped in a Guardian (the giant walker bug one) with just my puny ship.

I bought it on Steam for a lousy six bucks. I'm presently at 165 hours, so this sucker has had enormous bang-per-buck for me. It sounds like Rykin has gone a lot further than I have in the most recent version; I only attacked a few of the random hexes on the planet map, mostly staying with the named/premade battles.

It also got me into doing some attacks instead of always defending, like I did in Mindustry 5.0. In this version they gate some techs behind sectors with enemy bases, so you have to launch assaults if you want to keep progressing. I still prefer pure defense, but assaults aren't as bad as I thought they would be, especially with the new mechanics that let you launch into new sectors with a ton of high-grade resources. This lets you start building advanced stuff right away, and then you can backfill the generation of those goods before you run out. (eg, mining thorium... if you start with 4 or 5,000 in the initial launch, you can build a lot of advanced stuff that needs it before you actually need to mine any.) I only did it five or six times, but I usually started with 4K of the various advanced resources, saw each dwindle to 1Kish over time, and then brought local production online. (as in, oh crud, I'm running low on surge alloy, I better make more.)

The storyline assaults aren't that hard; I never had to go past Tier 3 units. I still haven't built anything in T4 or T5.

My son and I played Mindustry co-op several times and had a blast. It was fun yelling to each other for help shoring up defenses, discussions on what techs to go for and what-not. Definitely recommend giving it a try. I mean tower defense, co-op Factorio...what's not to love!

I have basically finished Mindustry in its current form. I have beat all the named levels and cleared out all of the enemy bases near them so they are no longer under attack. Once I figured out the method even the Eradication level enemy bases are not that hard.

Step one of taking on an Eradication level base is to setup 3 or 4 supporting sectors that you can use to launch resource using the Launch Pad. Every little bit helps but specifically you want the more advanced resources like Surge, Plastanium, Phase, and as much Silicon as you can manage ready to send to the other sector (and I kind of wish they hadn't changed the way full cores work in 6.0 because the old system where the resources would back up would have made this easier to do while also keeping that core full). If you have patches of unused base materials it is simple to setup an Airblast Drill on them with water and a Launch Pad to boost your resources in the attacking sector. Also all of the Launch Pads in a given sector will target the same sector so you only have to change the target sector of one per sector. I like to set a custom icon on my sectors that have Launch Pads so that they are easy to spot on the planet map.

So with that out of the way it is time to actually launch into the sector you want to attack. You will want to go into a nearby sector with a Nucleus that is overflowing with resources (if you don't know you can attach 8 Vaults and 2 Containers to your Nucleus to increase its capacity up to 21K per resource). Including resources like Scrap is optional, but including stuff like Coal, Sand, and Pyratite will allow you to setup quick Silicon Crucible right off of your Nucleus in the new sector. You want to launch in with 13K of each resource in your Nucleus.

Once you are in the level clear the four little drills it starts you out with and pause. With the game paused figure out a good spot to build your first Vault attached to your Nucleus so that you can then pull items out of it and into an Air Factory and an Additive Reconstructor. You want this off to the side or behind your base so that it isn't in the way, but you also want to leave room so you can build Payload Router and Conveyor between them and so that you can add a Multiplicative Reconstructor in the future. The goal here is to get Monos and Polys out ASAP. Monos will mine Copper and Lead so you don't have to build any mining equipment for those and Polys will help you build faster. You will also need to power these building so for that we will extract Thorium from the Nucleus and feed it into three RTG Generators. What you want to end up with is something like this:


Now what you want to do is rush to getting a basic defense setup. I have yet to see an Eradication map without Thorium so I use that as the basis of my defense and for early power. Before flying away from the Nucleus load up your craft with Thorium. Build an Airburst Drill with a Water Extractor on a big Thorium patch near to a good choke point and place an RTG Generator so that it is touching both of them. Drop some Thorium into the RTG Generator and you will have just created a self sustaining supply of Thorium.


Next up I will pause the game and start laying out my choke point. You want to build it in such a way that you are not completely blocking the path (if there is more than one path to your base block off all but one, but remember you may need to build defense at each of them as some enemies can walk over walls and will always take the shortest route to your base), but you need enough firepower to kill enemies before they can get through. Spectre turrets are going to be the basis for that firepower. They can shoot both ground and air enemies, they have a good rate of fire, good range, and great damage when supplied with Thorium. Spectres take forever to build though and if you aren't fast enough doing this you might get your plans ruined by the very first wave of enemies. You will also need to give some thought to flying enemies as they usually go directly towards your Core or towards power generators. You want to end up with something like this before the first enemy wave (focus on getting the Thorium supply and the first Spectre before anything else):


Now is a good time to go to the sectors you setup earlier and and start targeting this sector with your Launch Pads. Once you get back you can setup additional defenses and begin working on destroying the enemy base. At this point head back to your Nucleus and get it decked out with Vaults and Container to give you maximum storage and maximum surface area. This is also a good time to setup Silicon production as you will need lots of that. It is also a good time to link your power production together.

On levels that are tight I like to go for tier 5 air units otherwise I go with ground units. Don't waste time or resources sending out anything below tier 4 units and I even like to go all the to tier 5. Beside costing a ton of resource tier 4 and 5 also require Cryofluid and in order to have both going at once and at full speed you will need 20 Cryofluid Mixers. If you are on a level with water that is easy enough, but without water you will also need 40 Water Extractors to feed this many Cryofluid Mixers. You will probably need to beef up you power production either way. What you want to end up with is something like this monstrosity:


You will want to setup a Command Center somewhere near your choke point and then work on beefing up your defense and generating some resources while you wait for 3 or 4 tier 5 units to be produced. It is a bit harder to get resource into your Nucleus with Conveyors now so you are going to want to use Mass Drivers. If you set a Mass Driver right next to a Core or Vault its unloading rate will be faster than if you are using Conveyors to unload it. I like to create pairs of Mass Drivers with one acting as a catcher and one acting as the pitcher to the next pair in the chain as this speeds stuff up by skipping the animations.


If you have them touching each other it might be faster but I like using Conveyors so I can see that it is working.

I just polished off the first Kingdom Rush (after sampling Vengeance, and figuring I should start at the beginning). What a wonderful experience! Fiendish in parts, requiring a pleasant amount of planning and adapting on the go. I particularly loved playing around with the different heroes. I initially despised the restricted tower placement, but having seen the later levels I can understand the balancing.

Onto Origins now, and still loving it.

I enjoy the Kingdom Rush series too. I went to Frontiers next, which I think is the next one and I haven't made it to Origins. I started to get a bit of fantigue in Frontiers so I figured it was time to take a break. My current tower defense game (which isn't exactly a tower defense but is so in spirit) is Creeper World 3. I missed the sale on 4 so I figured I'd play 3 since I own it, and I hadn't played all the missions. It's constantly adding new weapons and enemies. I like CW3 quite a bit.

I haven't given a shout out to Unstoppable Gorg in quite a long time which is one of my favorite tower defense games.

Huge Kingdom Rush fan. I cycle through all the games every few months.

I'd say Frontiers is the weakest of the bunch but the heroes are a lot of fun (the pirate and the monkey in particular). Origins and Rush are the most fun and have some of the best levels. The original is just classic and can be brutal at times.

They Are Billions is really scratching an itch I didn't know I had. Very tower defence adjacent, it reminds me of Factorio with less emphasis on supply chains and base management. It's a good mix of the two genres.

I'm surprised there's nothing else quite like it. I can think of Rise to Ruins, Mindustry and the upcoming Riftbreaker. These all look wildly different, which is both a good and bad thing!

Is there anything else I should be aware of?

Conan: Unconquered is alright. Very similar to They are Billions, just with coop and more of a story.

I've been wary of Conan based on the mixed reviews, but I think I'll give it a shot next time it's on sale! I'm curious enough to throw some change at it.

In the meantime, I've been playing a bit of 2112TD. It's a bit of a grittier sci-fi tower defense game on Android. At first I didn't like it, but I've found myself playing a little bit each day. The upgrade system feels nice, so there's a satisfying little grind. It also doesn't have any IAPs, which feels like a rarity these days.

Tower placement is restricted, and the towers don't feel particularly powerful. Often, enemies get to your base and blob up as they attack it. You don't lose lives when they reach the end, though. You have a command center that can take damage and be repaired (almost like a RTS).

There are large enemies, small enemies, and flying enemies. Large enemies don't take much damage from anything outside of the 2 specialized armour piercing towers, but those towers are shockingly ineffective against small enemies.

It's slow and clunky but I've got my $2's worth and I'll probably see it through to the end.


That photo inspired a thought in me. What about a tower defense-ish game that has elements of Deathrace, F1 Manager, and TD?

One of my favourite (and best imo) tower defence games - Dungeon Warfare 1 & 2 is currently on sale at 66% off for PC, iOS and Android.

Dungeon Warfare - PC / iOS / Android
Dungeon Warfare 2 - PC / iOS / Android

I highly recommend them both if you enjoy a challenging TD game.

Absolutely buy these. So good. So overlooked.

I’ll throw in my vote for Rise to Ruins. Supply chain survival, but not nearly as heavy on the industrial processes as Factorio.

Cheers Robear, definitely picking it up next time it's on sale.

In the meantime, Conan Unconquered was a crisp $10 on GMG. Was hesitant, but it looks like a straight-up TAB clone with a cool setting. Will report back soon.

Edit: 40 minutes in, this is an absolutely shameless ripoff of TAB. It's actually incredible how much they ripped off the game. However, TAB being so satisfying, I kinda don't mind? It's fun to use these ideas in a new setting. There's a greater focus on melee which is interesting, and you start with a hero which feels very similar to Warcraft 3. It's been fun levelling him up while I wipe out random enemies on the map.

Instead of zombies sacking your dwellings, enemies set your buildings on fire. So far, this seems more forgiving than TAB...But with far less ranged options, it feels so different!

So far, honestly? Pretty solid! My main complaint is just the visuals. Everything is very muddy, it's hard to pinpoint where objects and characters are.

Robear wrote:

I’ll throw in my vote for Rise to Ruins. Supply chain survival, but not nearly as heavy on the industrial processes as Factorio.

I wishlisted Rise to Ruins a while back but haven't pulled the trigger on it yet. It does look good, I might just pick it up in the next sale.

I've just read the dev's latest post on Steam, it seems like he has funding sorted out for his next game (quite a journey!)

Funding Secured for Project Mary:

Unicycle, one look at DW2 and I realized I had played the heck out of DW. So that’s great and thanks again.

Rise to Ruin is interesting to me because the game is partly old-school “The Settlers”, where you build up your base through exploration and resource exploitation, to attract more workers, to build up your production chains. But you also have a TD aspect, in that there are periodic attacks from a fulminating enemy presence, but one that can be pushed back and safely corralled over time. And on top of that, you can spawn off new settlements in different areas of the map and set up trade between them, and you also have to protect the trade routes.

So it’s kind of unassuming, but it builds very nicely and the multi-settlement aspect gives it a very long life and lots of replayability (and the maps are procedurally generated, iirc, so that keeps things fresh too). Very nice village survival game.

Robear wrote:

Unicycle, one look at DW2 and I realized I had played the heck out of DW. So that’s great and thanks again.

I haven't heard of the DW games, but I've been looking for a good phone game, and DW2 might be it. Picked it up late last night and ran through a few levels before bed.

Robear wrote:

Rise to Ruin is interesting to me because the game is partly old-school “The Settlers”

Stop, that's all I needed to hear. Wishlisted for the next Steam sale.

Well, it was almost 30 years ago, so let me be clear, Merphle. You start out with a small group of workers who will harvest resources, build and upgrade structures, and operate those structures. So you have tiers of resources, with stuff like logs and stone at the bottom, and crops and animals and tools further up. Buildings have different levels with different construction requirements along the way. There’s also mana, which when tapped allows you personally to intervene in the game directly (and also can power various weapons and buildings). As you grow and expand, you’ll find that you need a new settlement to harvest resources that you don’t yet have, and that creates trade networks. And of course you have to defend the settlements. As you grow, you attract wandering workers who will judge whether to join you or not by your progress. You citizens also reproduce (and die of various causes).

That’s not identical to The Settlers, but for me, that’s what it reminded me of. Hope that’s clarified it. It’s NOT a Factorio-like production sim, even though it has production chains. That’s why I call it old school. Harvest trees to get logs, store logs near producers, then set up (say) a furniture shop that can turn out tables and workbenches for other shops, furniture to upgrade houses, and so forth. Then you staff the shop so it can actually do it’s work.

For folks who remember those kinds of games, RtR is nostalgia gold done right.

Robear wrote:

For folks who remember those kinds of games, RtR is nostalgia gold done right.

Yeah, I watched the trailer on Steam. It definitely looks like it's up my alley.

Okay, good.


New Ironhide game dropped out of nowhere (okay, more likely I wasn't paying attention). Has anyone played it?

First impressions are very solid. Kingdom Rush meets Mad Max. I really love the presentation and audio so far. I'm a little concerned that's it's a F2P game, though. There's an annoying energy system which does not bode well.

I'm not opposed to throwing some money onto this if it's as good as their previous games, but I do need to play some more.

Bah, soft launched in a bunch of countries but not the US.

I don't think you're missing much, unfortunately.

So far, no tower upgrades. Too many microtransactions.

You can buy towers to add to your deck, then upgrade the numbers on those towers between fights. Sigh, I really thought Ironhide were better than this. I'd be more than happy to keep buying their games at a premium price, but this feels pretty greedy.

Will report back once I've finished a few more chapters. I want to give it the benefit of the doubt here.