A multiplayer tower defence game that seems to be all the rage at the moment, with massive amounts of excitement and fun surrounding it, Tower Wars is a refreshing and energetic take on an otherwise overused concept. Players play either on their own or in teams against other players, having to both defend their castle as is traditional, while also attacking the opponent’s tower. Tower Wars from Supervillain Studios, an organisation of doomsday device-wielding villains-cross-developers, is making quite a bit of fuss with its Steam beta launch and high profile publicity.
Tower Wars is one of those rare indie games where one wants to play the multiplayer so much more than single player. It’s understandable, tower defence games are ten-a-penny these days, most of which are single player. Fortunately, it seems I didn’t miss out on any awesome knowledge, because the player’s natural ability to notice things that look like buttons (as well as clicking everything they can get their mouse over at least once) learning to play through a multiplayer game, with a friend, actually turned out to be faster than when I went back and checked the tutorial. True, the multiplayer game was longer, but learning how to play it was significantly faster. Whether or not the tutorial is actually needed is debatable, but I have to give the guys over at Supervillain Studios credit, the humour in the tutorial is pretty darn funny.
Not only is Tower Wars visually stunning, with beautiful textures and a high level of model and animation detail, but the simplistic music really compliments the game just right. At the start of a match it subtly helps you rush at a point in the game that is otherwise slow, and nicely supports your self-contained evil pride when you find yourself winning. On the other hand, it also quietly drives that need for revenge if you find yourself loosing.
Aesthetics and audio of the game aside, there are a massive amount of upgrades and units available in Tower Wars, many of which it takes quite a bit of time to get used to. I suppose though, that’s the usefulness of the tutorial. One can take their time, and the match is rigged up so the player wins. Fortunately it’s done in such a way that you can take your time and experiment, getting to grips with what each unit and each upgrade does. Either way, it really is impressive how they’ve dealt with the balance between defence with offence. Players are forced from the outset to send minions to their doom before they have the opportunity to upgrade their units and towers.
For a game that’s still in beta, there’s a remarkable amount of polish to it, then again if Supervillain are using the beta phase to show off the game to the world, that’s understandable; it would need that polish to have maximum appeal. It’s a bit unusual, and a bit of a shame, that the game not only starts in windowed mode, but starts in a 4:3 resolution. There are ample gameplay, video and audio settings, however it just strikes me as odd that the game starts in that manner. Even more peculiar is that when in windowed mode, the mouse isn’t free to leave the window without tabbing out. I get the point of this when in a match, but when on a menu screen, it seems to moot one of the key points of playing in windowed mode.