The Tower Defense gaming genre has recently exploded in popularity, led by the PlayStation 3’s PixelJunk Monsters series; one of most popular downloads available on the PlayStation Network. A Tower Defense game for the multi-touch interface of the iPhone and iPod Touch is a natural, especially when combined with an ad-supported pricing model that allows the game to be offered for free at Apple’s App Store.
TowerMadness Zero, developed by Limbic Software, is a great take on the Tower Defense genre, featuring both addictive gameplay and deep strategies that are well-suited to iPhone’s multi-touch interface. The free version of the game is no different from the pay version, with the exception of unobtrusive ads that appear before the game begins.
TowerMadness Zero Features
3D Graphics featuring multi-touch Pan and Zoom
16 different Alien types
9 weapon types, each with 5 different upgrades
14 different game maps
Online community with leaderboards, downloadable content, etc.
Protecting Sheep from an Alien Demise
Upon first starting TowerMadness Zero, the user has the option of playing the first map as a tutorial which covers the basic alien types along with the different tower defenses to combat them. The game’s basic premise is protecting a hoard of sheep from alien abductors who want to use the stolen wool to make a meaningless article of clothing for a proverbial galactic bad guy.
During basic gameplay on the game’s initial map, various types of aliens mosey on down from the top of the screen trying to get to the sheep pen at the bottom. The user taps where they want their defensive towers to appear. Successive menus allow the gamer to easily select the weapon style and model for each tower. Changes are also easy to make during the heat of battle, with a simple tap bringing up a dialog allowing the user to either upgrade or cash out the tower.
The iPhone is the perfect platform for a tower defense game. TowerMadness effectively uses the iPhone’s multi-touch screen to allow the user to zoom and angle the game view to suit their style of play. The simple screen taps to control tower placement and upgrades are an interface revelation for a real-time strategy game.
The Perfect Ad-supported Game?
With 14 different game maps, tons of aliens and weapon options, and an online gaming community providing support and updated content, TowerMadness provides good value and replay-ability. The fact that the game is available in a free, ad-supported version bodes well for independent game developers trying to stand out with innovation in the increasingly price-pressured world of the iPhone’s App Store.
TowerMadness Zero is a highly recommended download for fans of the Tower Defense genre and for fans of real-time strategy games in general. It might be the iPhone’s perfect free game.