I am slightly conflicted in recommending this. On one hand, purely from a "tower defense" perspective, the gameplay is pretty solid. Everything works as it should and it is well-designed (nice interface, towers all serve specific purposes, enemy health, waves and routes are clearly indicated, etc). And most importantly, the actual gameplay itself is fun. What brings this down are the nonstandard elements the developers tried to introduce into the standard tower defense formula - specifically, the "card system" (and everything that comes along with it). There's nothing wrong with the basic idea - tower types are represented by cards that can be collected and leveled up, and you have to pick and choose a subset of cards from your deck before going into a level. Where the problem comes in is obtaining the cards you need you be successful and "leveling up" those cards. First of all, the leveling system is overly confusing and needlessly complicated. Secondly, in order to beat the later levels, you will need specific cards leveled up to adequate levels of strength. The problem with this is that most of the cards you get as rewards are random, so you could go a good long while without (or possibly even never) finding a Lightning Tower card, for example (which I would consider absolutely essential for beating the game). And even if you are lucky enough to get some good towers, the process of leveling them up takes serious time. You basically just need to keep grinding out optional levels to get extra cards that can be used to fuse/evolve other cards. And make no mistake, you are going to be doing some serious grinding. So, depending on your tolerance for grinding levels and ranking up things, that's how I would recommend you make your decision to buy this or not. Personally, I am the OCD-type who feels the need to level things up and complete stuff, so I forced myself through and eventually got enough cards of high enough strength to power through the main game, as well as the extra hard difficultly that unlocks afterwards. While I did enjoy the game overall, it did take a lot of time and effort to get the most out of it. To me, tower defense shouldn't be about making towers strong enough to win by brute force. It should be about overcoming the challenges using a set of predefined towers and nothing else except whatever strategy you come up with. The first half of this game can be played along those lines, but once you get to the later levels, you will absolutely hit a wall if you don't have certain cards leveled up to a certain strength. That's poor design in my eyes. But even with all that said, I honestly still had fun with this game, as it's well made and I have a semi-high tolerance for grindy things. If you think you can deal with the grinding issue and like TD games, definitely go for it. Otherwise, you may want to hold off or wait for a huge discount.
Posted: November 18th, 2013