Harvest: Massive Encounter is an award-winning real-time strategy game with battles of epic proportions and a unique style of resource management and exploration. Build power plants, mineral harvesters and defense towers and make sure they have sufficient energy to fend off endless hordes of evil aliens.
User reviews:
Very Positive (78 reviews) - 82% of the 78 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 5, 2008

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About This Game

Harvest: Massive Encounter is an award-winning real-time strategy game with battles of epic proportions and a unique style of resource management and exploration. Build power plants, mineral harvesters and defense towers and make sure they have sufficient energy to fend off endless hordes of evil aliens. The game offers a vast array of possible strategies with these simple rules, and will compel you to try new and better base designs every time.

Your objective is simple: Stay alive for as long as possible. Compete on the extensive online high-score lists, form player groups that battle against other groups, or simply try to beat your own record on each of the game's planets. With two scores to beat, three planets to explore and four high-score enabled game modes, you will have a lot to do!

  • Survival Real-Time Strategy Game with Epic Proportions
  • Unique Resource Management that Requires Planning and Creative Thinking
  • Beautiful Rendered 2D Graphics
  • Five Game Modes Ranging from Relaxed to Insane
  • Three Worlds with New Challenges and Discoveries
  • Ten Distinct Enemy Alien Types
  • Five Building Types with Unique Abilities
  • Extensive Online High-scores
  • Unlock all 25 Steam Achievements

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS:Windows 2000/XP/Vista
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB
    • Graphics: Direct3d compatible
    • DirectX Version: 9.0 or later
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8 or later.
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 180 MB
    • Video Card: 3D accelerated graphics card, Open GL compliant
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Very Positive (78 reviews)
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65 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
30 of 30 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
48.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Well, now you've gone and done it. You've made a remarkably unique Tower Defense game, and that takes some serious effort these days, along with a whole lot of crazy.

Harvest: Massive Encounter is honestly just that: a TD game. If you like TD games, you're going to enjoy it.

So what makes it so unique compared to the others out there on the market, from the starcraft 2 maps to flash games?

First off, resource harvesting. You get nothing for killing enemy units; you're dumped into the middle of an endless field full of minerals. Your job is to mine as many minerals as possible, and survive as long as you can. (With some variations on a theme for different game modes).

The map starts out small, but if you build towards the edge of any one side, it'll stretch out, expanding the minimap further and letting you move farther away from your base. As such, you have pretty much unlimited room to build, but the most dense packs of minerals will be close to where you start off, and the farther from your central base you get, the less efficient mining will become.

The towers provided to you are remarkably few in number for a tower defense game, but they're very carefully fine tuned to be exactly what you need. For example, laser towers have relatively short range themselves, but can be set to focus all of the laser towers in an area to a single, massive beam. This effect can scale to an unlimited degree, and you can chain smaller groups of laser towers together to form an enormous, intricate network of lasers that has immense range and godlike firepower, or break off their power temporarily to wipe out a swarm of smaller enemies that are faster.

You can set your towers to prioritize, deprioritize, or ignore certain enemy types as well, so it's well within your power to tell little lasers to focus fire kill the suicide-bomber style gehenna shuttles, but ignore some of the larger units, while having your eagle class missle launchers ignore the shuttles unless they're the only thing left on the screen, or ignore them entirely, only aiming for bigger game to hunt.

Another really unique feature to H:ME is the energy system. I've seriously seen nothing remotely similar to it in any game before or since. The idea is that you build solar power generators, which create a ball of energy every few seconds. The energy ball bounces randomly between any adjacent point that it can possibly reach, until it comes across something that needs power, and then it rams the target and provides the power required, disappearing from your screen in so doing. This quickly leads to a vast, intricate network of energy lines going all over your base, and energy management becomes vitally important. Having a ton of energy on one side of your base, but not the spot that it's needed, is BAD. Fortunately, you have plenty of very easy to use tools to control your energy flow, such as marking a building as top priority to get any and all energy it needs, or drawing out routing paths to force energy balls to travel along a set path, only being allowed to follow their typical AI programming when they exit the path.

Pretty much everything in H:ME can be summed up this way: it's weird, but in a really good way. It's creative, unique, and it WORKS. It's not just different for the sake of being different, but rather, it's different because it makes the game more interesting and fun.

It'll take awhile to get used to most of the unique aspects that Harvest has to offer, but they're well worth the enjoyment once they've grown on you a bit.

Final Verdict:

Everything Harvest: Massive Encounter does, it does well. The learning curve is really quite steep, however, there's no plot, no multiplayer, and it's really just one big tower defense sandbox. For what it strives to be, it's pretty much perfect at. For what it doesn't try to be, however, it doesn't do at all. If you don't like TD games, this won't be the one to make you a convert, by any means, but it'll be one of the best TD games you've played if you do like them.

Score: About 70%. It does what it does pretty much perfectly, but it completely lacks a few areas that could make it a lot better still.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
90.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2014
Tower defence with a touch of 4X resource gathering.

The seemingly unlimited units allow a truly epic scale.

Also the ability to link weaker laser towers together gives a creative freedom not often found in the genre.

As ever, balance is the key but like most great RTS/Tower Defence games there are myriad ways of achieving balance and victory.

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30 of 47 people (64%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 25, 2014
☺ A different twist on Tower Defence.
☺ Heavy on strategy.
☺ Solid mechanics.

☹ Limited diversity.
☹ Repetitive.

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!
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2015
Not sure when it came to steam, but I bought it directly from Oxeye nearly a decade ago, and I frequently come back to it. Gladly bought it again. With tough acchievements to keep challenging you, this unique Tower Defense might have you yelling at the sceen, or even going out of your way to destroy any spinning yellow disc-like objects. I've found myself getting into the 'one more run' mentality about it on more than one occasion.

The only issues I have with the game are that there are only 3 planets (lack of scenary options), and I find at times linking/unlinking towers can be needlessly complicated, especially when I'm trying to get very specific owers to link, unless theres a shortcut command like shift+click that i've been missing all these years.
But those minor gripes aside, it's definatly worth a look, for both casual and hardcore TD fans, and casual gamers in general, the general hardcore crowd might not find it intense enough to start wiith, but it does ramp up later.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
41.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2013
RTS/Tower Defense game with simple mechanics but with the potential for a high level of strategy, with resource management and the way buildings interact with one another. Gameplay is mostly survival based, where you just try to to not lose for as long as possible against ever increasing numbers of enemies.

Also unique in the sense that as far as story goes, you are sort of the antagonist, stripping resources from alien planets for money, with the local alien populations understandably irritated about this and attacking you.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
55.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2011
Massive is right! RTS writ large. No story, just get in there, mine resources, build stuff, manage your power, and shoot the bad guys before they destroy your base.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
144.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
Easy to learn, difficult to beat. Excellent to be available on Linux too, but for some reasons in sandbox-mode there are missing those buildings and mainly in sandbox mode is no possible to add enemies in Linux-version. But game itself is still very pleasant acquaintance.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
59.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2015
I have really liked and played extensively this TD-like game. Original and innovative in its layout and it's dev tree. Recommended
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2013
YES YES YES YES YES. Excellent defense game. Feels good, like retro good. Old school video games good.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2014
A great tower- eeh... survival game with a bitter after-taste:

The invaders eventually and inevitably run over your base in the end...
No victory for humanity in this game.
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Recently Posted
5.4 hrs
Posted: August 31
Great game but no longer supported by the developer. It has been left in an unplayable state. It will not run on MAC or PC.
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Bertram X
1.3 hrs
Posted: July 18
The biggest points in the marketing of this game are: Building and harvesting mechanics.
This is an outright lie, the game is just a polished version of the creeper world series. BTW, don't buy those on steam either, they are ftp for years now.

+ good things:

-It is a neat game, the artstyle is great, sounds and music are decent.
-runs smooth and has little to no loading times

- bad things:

-unfairly hard; the waves seem to grow exponential, meaning double the trouble at every wave. Ressource gathering is just too slow for keeping up with that amount of support needed. You are forced to expand agressively, but still have a massive ring of defensive measures. Does not scale well.
-little content, i don't really care for big storyline, but random generated maps are not enough to keep you occupied

IF the ressource gathering would be reworked (maybe slower but infinite supplies), i would give this 2 thumbs up.
Creeper world did everything right, this just added fancy graphics and took away the ressource management perfection.
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6.8 hrs
Posted: July 6
best tower defense game ever made
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Bryan LoneCoder - Legend of Luca
25.7 hrs
Posted: June 11
I really enjoyed this game.
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Pineapple Home Page Button
3.5 hrs
Posted: May 17
Pretty chill slowly becomes intense and deadly :O
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0.7 hrs
Posted: May 14
5 buildings? really?
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-rLx- Zian
19.6 hrs
Posted: April 30
This game is good for a tower defense game, but it lacks proper linux support which if you're a linux user you will have to edit a config file for it to work properly. Outside of that I can't find too much to complain about.
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Eeyore Kirby [Misoski] CommS007
78.2 hrs
Posted: April 10
hard, pretty fun,

wish there was co-op and or that it was sometimes slightly easier :X
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[NDB] Enrymion
36.9 hrs
Posted: March 13
Very enjoyable game. Over the years I've played it every once in a while and it's still one of my favourites.
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15.9 hrs
Posted: February 7
Harvest: Massive Encounter is one of the first steam games I ever bought and one of the few I really regretted. In Harvest you have to micro manage the hell out of everything. There's really only like 3 towers with attacks. There's 0 story, no modding, no interesting scenarios, and for me, very little replayability once you get things figured out.

It does some interesting things and is pretty different from most other tower defense games, but I can't recommend this game to anyone because it has so little depth. The interesting: 1) power management, you have to supply energy to your mines and your towers or they will not work (Creeper World 3 has something like this and I've seen some warcraft 3 custom maps that do this.). This is one of the few places where Harvest shines. 2) chaining of lasers together to make bigger, more powerful weapons. You can end up with an extremely powerful laser weapon and balancing how big you build them vs how many targets you need to hit is the main way you manage your weapons in the game. 3) the creative mode lets you build your base however you like and spawn monsters or waves whenever you want.

Sadly, that's pretty much it. Managing your lasers and your power grid and building some missile weapons is pretty much all you have to work with. In a genre that has everything from poison towers to buffing towers to armor shredders and many other forms of defenses, this one brings very little interesting and new to experience. Once you've played a few hours and survived a couple of onslaughts, you've seen everything the game has to offer. Oh and if you are a tower defense enthusiast who likes mazing, you can forget that. There are no walls in this game, and once a bad guy touches one of your buildings, it's gone. The game is pretty unforgiving in the sense that if you start to lose bits of your base, you've pretty much lost all of your base.

I would *only* recommend it if you are a TD enthusiast (you might find it interesting then) who doesn't mind having a game in their library that they might only ever sink 10 or 20 hours into, or a game developer (to see the unique things it does and the many ways it fails to live up to other games). But it really only has replayability if you are the kind of player that likes to play the same map over and over again to shoot for more efficient times, because that's essentially what the game has: one map (with 3 different skins) and that's it. I was terribly dissapointed in the game and still am, over half a decade later.Sadly, the developer never added anything to the game to give it replayability.

Games that I would recommend over this one:
Creeper World 3 - Arc Eternal (power grid, towers, much deeper gameplay, has a map editor and thousands of maps made by fans to extend gameplay for months or years. It's part tower defense, part real time strategy game (except you can pause) because you can move the towers. The replayability has made this my favorite game on steam since Space Pirates and Zombies (a space ship shooter, not in this genre).)
Gemcraft - Chasing Shadows ( tower defense game with clever upgrade system, something like a hundred maps to play with, and challenge modifiers to make maps as tough as you like. Probably the best pure tower defense game that exists)

Other tower defense worthy mentions: Fieldrunners 2 (great variety of towers, great presentation, good mazing), Sanctum, Sanctum 2, Defender's Quest, Valley of the Forgotten (Great Story!)
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