Big gaming blockbusters with guns a’blazing are great fun, but sometimes you need a simple, fun game to unload or to play when you’re on the go. For those situations, a good tower defense game is the perfect candidate.
You’ve probably had some fun with tower defense games in the past, strategic placement of jaw-dropping, automated weaponry intended to stop a continuous stream of bad guys. A hefty dose of arcade action as a pick-me-up, and you’re good to attack the rest of your day.
We love our tower defense games here at MakeUseOf. Just check out Erez’s review of Robo Defense for the Android phone, and Matt’s impressive round-up of The Three Best 3D Tower Defense Games for the PC. Today’s game promises vibrant turret-blazing fun for Mac OS X fans.
Radiant Defense is a futuristic Tower Defense game that takes place in space; the Radiant Universe to be more precise. This corner of space is littered with vortexes, connected to an ever-impending invasion of alien baddies. Once opened, the aliens will rush straight to the nearby spiral reactor. They will die upon impact, but the spiral reactor can only take so much. If it overloads, the vortex can no longer be closed.
That’s where you come in, an army commander with a mind for overkill, aided in his efforts by a slightly more prudent scientist. The main goal is simple, and similar to other tower defense games: find tactical positions for your impressive array of upgradeable weaponry, and smash the alien avant garde before they reach the spiral reactor. This (predictable) part of the game is spiced up with some interesting twists in gameplay, a narrative overflowing with dry wit, and beautiful visuals.
The app under review is from the Mac App store, but it’s mirrored on most popular smartphone platforms; iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. The gameplay is the same, but you can carry the invasion in your jacket pocket.
As outlined above, Radiant Defense stays true to the basics of the tower defense genre. You can place your guns at several nodes in the game, which are man-made structures spread over the screen. With the money earned from annihilating your enemy, you can then upgrade these weapons, or build a research center to unlock additional weaponry.
Apart from the regular, the creators have also seen to three weapons of mass defense, sating the over-the-top explosive needs you didn’t know you had. However, because the game is “freemium”, a few of the bigger weapons have to be unlocked through the in-app purchase of weapon packs.
The invasion always takes the short route between the vortex and the spiral reactor, but you have a limited number of modules (building blocks) at your disposal, which you change the lay-out of the level, and force the aliens to look for an alternate route. You can put your modules anywhere, as long as there remains a path between the vortex and the spiral reactor.
There are always new tower defense gems to be found — the above being my most recent acquisition. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!