Tower(Defence) = Guns / Turrets + Bullets(Lots)*Missiles
Tower defence games often follow a formula, whereby you obey certain rules and fulfill certain criteria. Good tower defence games make this process happen invisibly and provide an experience that is both addictive and challenging, games like the seminal Defence Grid, which is considered the benchmark upon which all other Tower Defence games must be looked upon.
Comparing Terrorhedron to a Tower Defence game isn't really possible, because if Tower Defence is a formula, then Terrorhedron is algebra. It is mathematical purity and brilliance, expressed in abstract form. In most Tower Defence games you have a fixed path upon which the creeps will run and try to get to your base, you may be able to mess with this path by placing towers down, or you may have fixed locations upon which to build your towers.
Wait, what, I have root? ... I have root... muwahahahhaha. I HAVE ROOT!
In this case you do have fixed starting locations from which to build upon, but where it departs from the norm in this case is that the tower build points are merely bases, and from there you add lego like snap connectors from which towers can grow, tree like from the root node. The game takes full advantage of this, with levels working on every single plane of a three dimensional maze, often weaving complicated, tangled paths over cubes or more complex surfaces, allowing you to maximise your opportunities if you're clever and are willing to be imaginative.
That's the key bit, because you can use the snap connectors freely, the only limitation is really funds and how crazy you can get with the tower layout, want to build mighty archways with laser turrets hanging off? Go nuts. I just did for a section of the first level, and it worked beautifully. Here, you -build- the towers, step by step.
Depth of field? Check. Abstract polygons? Check. Chiptunes? Check.
With such an expansive canvas, the aesthetic comes as a relief, being clean and abstract, minimalist but without looking amateur, game looks slick, well rendered, and has a thumping soundtrack, and doesn't suffer any framerate issues, regardless of what mayhem is going on at the time, and the clean design of the level layout allows you to keep focussed on the action. Doing the tutorial is mandatory this time, because Terrorhedron requires you to adapt to the fact that this game will have you building corners, arches, bridges, and all kinds of things to create your own defensive setups.
Enemies in this game are represented in a similarly abstract manner, simple three dimensional shapes with various colours representing their health, it keeps things simple and allows for absolutely ridiculous levels of enemies on the screen at once, when combined with the insane combinations of bases and towers, this can turn into an exceptionally busy game in a real hurry. It keeps scaling as you go, so when your carefully constructed strategy begins to falter, you may find that you have to re-engineer and expand to ever greater feats of lunacy to keep the enemies at bay.
Terrorhedron University is open, enroll today.
In Terrorhedron you take pretty much every principle you've learned from other Tower Defence games and then extend and amplify those concepts, turning them from basics to pure, abstracted concepts. In effect, the game takes the genre, strips away all the things that aren't needed and then refines what there is and adds a few key elements that in turn fundamentally require the player to abandon the comfort zone of "just build a tower", because it's never just a tower, not when you're perpetually adding and extending it. Tower defence is maths, Terrorhedron is the degree course.
Verdict : Essential, even moreso if you are a Tower Defence fan, or a Tower Defence player looking to improve their skills in the genre.Writer and columnist for Just Reviews, where you can get similar fine reading material. Join our group, follow our curations, and throw me a like if you would like to keep up to date with our efforts!