☺ A different twist on Tower Defence.
☺ Heavy on strategy.
☺ Solid mechanics.
☹ Limited diversity.
Harvest: Massive Encounter is appropriately named. It's up to you to defend yourself against large waves of enemies that attack from all sides rather than predefined routes as you harvest a finite amount of resources and build up your defences, enabling you to expand your territory to harvest yet more resources and defend against even larger and deadlier waves of enemies.
Unlike a lot of tower defence games, Harvest: Massive Encounter is all about the known variables and a synergy of mechanics. You require resources to build Harvesters, Solar Plants, Laser Towers, Missile Turrets and Link Nodes - no endless stream of unlockable buildings here, just the tools for the job! The Solar Plants produce the power you need to operate the harvesters and fire your turrets and everything needs to be connected via link nodes to allow for a smooth transfer of energy, should a link in the chain break or your layout bottlenecks your supply, you'll be looking at an even tougher fight to survive. It's a very clever mechanic that rewards thoughtful placement and allows you to steadily expand without being constrained to build only area's or a grid system.
It's all about keeping the synergy between your assets allowing you to expand, collect, defend and repeat. For added complexity, Laser Towers can be linked to produce a more powerful beam with a longer range, so it's not just about putting more towers down to stop the flow of enemies, it's also about creating strong defensive points to tackle the harder enemies (of which there are several types with varying strengths, such as speed or the ability to teleport in reinforcements).
It's a tough battle from the start until you're inevitably overwhelmed, victory is not so much about defeating your enemy but simply lasting as long as you can before your defences finally cave in. Maybe you'll fair better on the field, but it'll be tough as thousands of enemy ships close in.
This may all sound rather positive but unfortunately, because the game relies on such closely knit mechanics there isn't that much diversity in what you can do or the enemies you face, its simply about using those limited tools you're given to the best of your abilities. You're also limited to the one, barren map until you can unlock another two after putting quite a few hours into the game and while there are a few game modes available, they offer a similar experience.
While a solid strategy game and a unique tower defence title, I'd only really recommend the game for those patient few that like a challenge, enjoy refining their tactics and can feel a sense of accomplishment in beating their old records. While the game can be satisfying and very rewarding when you defeat a wave with all your turrets still intact, for those looking for a greater sense of progression or some light hearted fun, I feel the game could quickly become repetitive.
Thank you for your time!