Lets Breakdown the qualities of a good tower defense game so you will have a better idea on how I determined the games like kingdom rush below.
- Main objective is destroying enemies before they reach a goal
- Units can be upgraded to become more powerful.
- In game heroes with special abilities or special units
- Castable abilities to assist your defenses.
- Graphics that clearly portray each unit or structure
- Difficult/Challenging to win
- Evolving gameplay that takes advantage of new units and level design
- Large arsenal of towers and units
- Challenging and unique boss battles
- Elegant user interface.
I’m going to be honest with you, very few games have all of these qualifications, most will have a few sacrifices.
If you have any suggestions for additional tower defense games, please comment them below.
Starcraft 2 – Custom Games
Starcraft is one of the more unique games on this list, and personally I feel it might also be the best.
Starcraft II is typically a real time strategy game where you build troops and buildings, create and upgrade units, and try to eliminate your enemies base. What you may not know is there is a very in depth map creation program that allows people to create their own custom games. If you explore the custom maps in SCII you will find a wide range of interactive tower defense style games that you can play by yourself or with other players.
When you start playing the tower defense games you will find there is much more creativity to explore in how you defeat the many maps people create. To be honest I could make a very solid case on how tower defense games spawned from real time strategy games like starcraft II. My favorite part about starcraft II as a tower defense game is the ability to play co-op and chat with other players.
You will also find these custom tower defense games in other blizzard games such as Warcraft 3 the Frozen Throne. (Warcraft 3 has spell casting heroes that might make a better tower defense game than starcraft.)
Cursed Treasure 2
The only thing this game is missing is heroes and the ability to block enemies. (Like the militia units in kingdom rush) One thing this game does very well is take advantage of the landscape. By using mana that you collect from defeated enemies, you can clear trees and debree to make room for more towers.
There are 3 different towers that can each be upgrade 9 times to change its functionality, so 36 different towers. The bosses are very similar to kingdom rush, they summon more units and have special abilities.
Aside of 3 main spells, enemies also drop scrolls on the ground that activate when clicked on. One example of these scrolls paralyzes all units in a radius. There is also a skills page much like the Kingdom rush upgrades that offer subtle changes to the units.
Enemies have to grab the gems in the cave and return them to the opposite side. This is challenging because if an enemy drops a gem it stays where it is dropped and the next wave can grab it easier.
In Bloons you play as a family of monkeys on a quest to slaughter as many balloons as possible. This game is really fun to play from the wide variety of towers available to purchase and upgrade. To be honest the game seems really easy at first, however it’s very unforgiving. If you don’t have the right unit composition you can go from doing very well to completely desecrated in one round.
There are 56 levels that range from beginner to extreme that all have an easy medium and hard difficulty. Unfortunately every level uses the same track of units that may get repetitive for some people. The bosses are not as creative as the ones in Kingdom Rush and are also the same on every level (85 rounds per level).
But don’t let that discourage you, the game is unique in it’s own way. Every balloon pops with just one hit (aside of the metal and ceramic balloons) and more balloons are revealed under the layers. This game differs from Kingdom Rush in this way as there is usually chaos on the screen by the final wave of each level.
By defeating levels you can earn money to unlock heroes and you have to win quite a few before they can be unlocked.
Keeper of the Grove 1 and 2
This game is a bit more lacking on the list, however it does have some good qualities. It is a solid game that is easy to understand and learn, however is limited by the variety of towers and lack of in game heroes and monsters. There are a total of 3 different towers that can be upgraded 3 different ways for a total of 12 different towers.
As you can tell by the screenshot below, I’m not sure what they were thinking for their version 1 and 2 of the game. Both games perform almost identical with the biggest change being the graphics.
Spells are dropped by select enemies and can be used to get the edge on the battles. There are also a few spells you can buy that can be used in emergencies, however they can only be bought once.
Here are some others that you might consider looking into, some need to be downloaded.
- Heroes of the banner
- Incursion 2 – The artifact
- Pirate Legends TD
- Fieldrunners 2
- Defenders of Time
- Giants and Dwarves TD
- Incursion 2
- Star Wars Galactic Defense