Seller: Triniti Interactive Limited
© Triniti Interactive Limited
Rated 12+ for the following:
Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
By David Mayne
Tower defense games (TDG) come in many, and I mean MANY different shapes and sizes. Some games stick to the classic formula of gun turrets, missile launchers, flamethrowers, etc…while others actually throw in killer plants and rabid zombies. Some take place in fantastical, midevil lands while others take on a more historical backdrop like the ultra-addictive iBomber for iOS which puts you in charge of defending several military bases circa WWII. While certain titles might be drop dead simple to learn, like Plants Vs. Zombies, others take on an almost RPG quality with a plethora of upgrades and modifiers that take the genre to a whole new level.
Whatever the case, TDG’s are some of the most satisfying and easy to pick-up-and-play games there are, especially for mobile and tablet devices. Blighted Earth falls in to the easy to learn-difficult to master category, and while at first glance it may seem like any other run-of-the-mill TDG, Blighted Earth is surprisingly deep and extremely challenging.
The plot is simple, if not downright lacking in any sort of depth. Basically, mankind has ravaged the Earth in a planetary struggle for resources. Blighted Earth puts you in the role of a Warlord commanding your armies in this struggle. That said, there is zippo-story to be had, absolutely no progression of any sort of “mission” or goal other than to survive massive waves of invading enemies. On the surface, this might turn some gamers off, however, this is a TDG…who really plays for the “story” anyway?
There are 4 maps in Blighted Earth, each with increasing levels of difficulty. While 4 maps may not sound like much, consider that this is A) a .99 cent game, and B) these 4 maps will take you a long time to actually beat. You only play the defender in Blighted Earth, which means that all of your time will be spent building defenses and paths for your enemies to try to get through. Unlike some of the more linear TDG’s that force you to use pre-existing paths and such, Blighted Earth allows you to decide where on the map you will build, allowing for a much more “maze-like” approach to your defensive design. The maps start off as one massive “field” that you are free to build on, given you have the resources to spend. Money comes by defeating enemies. Each round/map starts you off with some spending money, an open field, and an oncoming 100 waves of enemies. Each wave is made up of various types of threats such as infantry units, tank and truck units, and eventually flying units to include even a “boss” unit of sorts that looks like a massive zeppelin. Each wave is made up of dozens of these enemy types, so by the end of a round/level, you will have faced off against literally thousands of enemies.
In your arsenal, you’ll find everything from basic gun turrets to quad-firing machine gun emplacements. You’ll also have towers that slow enemies down for a short time, ballistic cannons that are capable of firing massive shells at enemies in a large 360 degree radius, as well as anti-aircraft towers that shoot lightning at both aerial and ground targets. All of these towers are upgradable 2x each. To win, you need to figure out how to not only create a deadly path for your enemies to have to travel through on their way to your base entrance, you’ll have to use all of the different towers and their upgrades efficiently to stave off the ever-increasing waves of encroaching enemy units.
Coming up with ways on how to design and start building your towers and paths is what sets Blighted Earth apart from some other TDG’s. I love the freedom you have to decide how YOU want the paths to go, and you get a very satisfying feeling once you’ve created a deadly maze of meat-grinding corridors in which your enemies have to get through. While more tower options would have been nice, the included towers get the job done admirably IF you place and upgrade them correctly depending on the situation. You can also sell towers to get cash to spend on new towers if needed, which becomes almost a necessity later on in the game when you’re pitted against some of the stronger waves and bosses.
The sounds are simple but satisfying. Enemies yell and grunt as they are mowed down by your tower defenses, and the sound of incoming aerial units always gives you a sinking feeling that shit is about to hurt.
Overall, I can honestly say I love Blighted Earth. I actually found it bundled in the “Gamebox 1” app which featured a bunch of other indie games. The Gambox 1 was .99 cents, so to get Blighted Earth as well as a host of other titles was a bonus!
Things I’d Like To See In Blighted Earth 2 (IF there is a Blighted Earth 2):
- More tower options
- iPad/Android HD versions
- Some sort of soundtrack
- More maps / user-created maps!
Fun Factor: 10 – Fun for daaaays. Years later and I still play this for a quick TDG on the go!
Graphics: 8 – Basic but good. Great tower animations. Wish they would HD it for iPad.
Sound: 6 – Mainly just the screams of your fallen enemies. No kickin’ soundtrack?
Control: 9 – The touch interface works well, although there were a few times where units at the bottom of the screen were inaccessible.
Lasting Appeal: 10 – This game came out 6 years ago and I still play the hell out of it! More maps though, more maps!