The tower defense genre has changed greatly since the early days of the App Store thanks to the likes of Kingdom Rush Frontiers and Fieldrunners 2 dragging the whole genre ahead. There’s a new standard by which new tower defense games are judged by, and it takes quite a bit to stand out, but that’s exactly what Siegecraft TD is looking to do. The game is based on the medieval strategy game, Siegecraft, allowing you to use towers based on crossbows, catapults, dragons, and more. There are 15 different types of towers, and 18 unique enemy types that you will face across 30 levels, with some endless modes included along the way.
Siegecraft TD offers an open map style tower defense, which means you create a maze with your towers, as compared to the subtle placement of towers in fixed path style. Your enemy is the Lizardmen, and they’re after your sheep with a familiar set-up of a set number of waves, 20 sheep/heart point to survive, three upgrades per tower, and a simple drag and drop interface to place towers. A lot of the game is by the book to the point that the campaign levels can blend in with each other as well as the other tower defense games you’ve played. There’s an easy and hard difficulty on each level, and even at hard, most levels consist of sitting and watching your defense play out. A fast forward button is included to speed up the slow moving waves, and this is a feature we came to expect. Kingdom Rush Frontiers came along to show how constant action can be employed in tower defense, and it makes others look rudimentary. Siegecraft’s biggest drawback is that it came out in 2013, rather than 2012.
The main campaign is somewhat of a slog, but the level design does change it up with aerial enemies as well as some fixed path variations from time to time. There are also levels where new pathways can be introduced, and your previous defense set-up is ill prepared. You unlock a new tower at the end of almost every level, and there’s constant experimentation when creating the maze of your towers. The campaign also includes changing environments across the map with a subtle storyline to keep the flow going from level to level. One of the highlights is the 3D graphics engine which is extremely ornate to make it enjoyable to witness your defense in motion. The developers have taken it a step further with a free moving camera allowing you to see the battle up close and personal from various angles.
If that was all that is included in Siegecraft TD, then it would feel like just another tower defense game with great design. There’s an extremely intriguing nuance included as well though, and that’s online turn based multiplayer. You can go head to head with a friend or random Game Center player in an all new mode that subtly integrates the tower defense style. The main game is a battle for control of a mini Risk map as you try to conquer the few sections, ultimately capturing your opponent’s castle. To do so, you need to protect your own regions first with two waves of the tower defense action each turn, and the next turn picks up where you left off. After the tower defense battle, you then have five action options to either attack a region on the map, or build up your own region, and it’s a complete unique game experience. The multiplayer infuses freshness into the tower defense genre, and makes Siegecraft TD stand out from the crowd. Like all turn based games, the enjoyment is based on the speed and flow of your opponent.
Siegecraft TD ($2.99, Universal) is an all new extension to the tower defense genre with a deluxe single player campaign coupled with a brand new multiplayer component. There’s such a high quality design at work to deliver a great theme, and plenty of strategic experimentation in your defense layouts. Siegecraft TD is worth picking up for an all new world to defend.