Unique fusion of a top down shooter and tower defense strategy. You are the invader! Use destructive weapons or lead you enemies into a maze of towers. Strategize in the build mode by carefully selecting various types of alien towers or throw yourself right into the heat of the battle.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (706) - 92% of the 706 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 30, 2017

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February 8

Reddit AMA incoming! Nintendo Switch preorders available.


The year 2019 has been really intense for us so far, and it’s just the beginning! We would like to share with you what we’ve been up to and what you can expect from us in the near future.

As some of you might know, X-Morph: Defense is set to release on the Nintendo Switch on the 21st of February 2019. Apart from the local co-op, all the updates, features and expansions have found their way to the Switch. What that means is you can enjoy all the game features, including the Survival Mode, the advanced tower types and even all the DLCs on release day.

Moreover, we are running a preorder campaign. For the next couple of weeks, before the game releases, you can get either the base version of X-Morph: Defense or the Complete Edition with all the DLCs at a 20% discount. The game will be preloaded to your device and will be available to play the moment the game releases to the public.

As a part of our release celebration, we are going to do an AMA (ask me anything) session! The wonderful mod team at the r/nintendoswitch subreddit have given us an opportunity to take the sub over for a couple of hours and chat with the community about the game, the development process and all the things you might be interested in! The AMA is going to take place on the 21st of February at 4 PM CET, at www.reddit.com/r/nintendoswitch. Don't be shy! Even though it is a Switch subreddit, you can still come and ask your non-Switch related questions. It's Ask Me Anything after all! You are all welcome there.

As for the Nintendo Switch physical version of the game - yes, we are planning it. We have teamed up with Avance Discos in Europe and Teyon in Japan in order to get those hard copies to all the collectors out there. We will give you more details on those as soon as we get them.

We can’t tell you what is coming next just yet, but you won’t have to wait long. We have a lot of things prepared for you...

When it comes to our travel plans for this year, you will find our booth at GDC Expo 2019, PAX East, PAX West, E3 and Gamescom, just to name a few. We’re going to be waiting for you with some sweet goodies and some more exciting stuff. Stay tuned.

As always, we thank you for your support. If you’d like to stay up to date with the latest developments in our studio, subscribe to our social media channels.

EXOR Studios

6 comments Read more

December 17, 2018


Chinese Dragon Train Boss

Hello and welcome back to another episode of our series on boss fight design! The boss we showed you last time was relatively easy to implement and made it into the final release of X-Morph: Defense. The one we will be discussing today had no such luck. Made up of hundreds of little pieces, the task of making all the components work together turned out to be a little bit too much for us, given the time restrictions we eventually had to impose on ourselves. Let’s take a closer look at it - here’s the Chinese Dragon Train.

This is the untextured prototype from a very early stage of development. Notice the scale of the train compared to a regular tank.

Even the sheer size of it is quite daunting. This boss was supposed to be the final enemy of the China stage in X-Morph: Defense. The battlefield is located in the middle of a military base. It is not unusual for the army to carry their freight by using specialized trains, so we decided it would be fitting and more unique than another ultra-heavy tank or a gigantic aircraft. Comprised of four completely different carriages, the Chinese Dragon Train had a number of ways to make the players sweat.


The entire Chinese Dragon Train would fill up a large portion of the level and would be too large to fit on a single screen in-game.

As you might expect from EXOR Studios, the visual aspect of the boss design was rather over the top. The train with all its carriages spanned across almost half of the map. Since each part was specialized to carry out a different task, all of them had to vary significantly. That meant, of course, that our artists had to prepare 4 models to be later connected into one consistent entity. It was a tall order, especially given the fact that all the parts had completely different purposes.

The parts of the train were connected by dynamic joints, allowing it to slightly bend while making turns.

The Chinese Dragon Train is not just a vehicle packed with weapons. In fact, it is a military base on wheels, complete with an artillery cannon, a nuclear strike calling satellite dish and even an aircraft factory! A MIRV missile launcher rounds up the package nicely, giving the boss complete control over all the aspects of the battle taking place around it. There simply isn’t an aspect of the warfare the train couldn’t control.

The cannon carriage doubles up as an engine for the whole train. It is able to move forwards and backwards. It’s better not to ask about the power of its engines.


height - 43.5m
width - 39m
length - 56.5m
total number of weapons - 17

The heart of the Chinese Dragon Train is the engine. It is powerful enough to set all the other carriages in motion. It is crucial that this part stays operational for the whole machine to function properly, therefore it is constantly protected with an energy force field. Nothing goes in or out of this one. If everything else fails, however, the crew can man the onboard defense systems. The one that is immediately noticeable is the electromagnetic cannon, capable of long-range attacks. It seems like it would be the most dangerous weapon on this carriage, but it is the least of your worries.

Each carriage has its own hitbox map. The player has the ability to choose which elements they want to destroy.

Joining the fray are multiple cruise missile launchers. They are capable of firing a barrage at the alien core. The projectiles are quite slow, so they can be shot down by the player. Nevertheless, it is a daunting weapon. The carriage also defends itself by shooting at the alien fighter with its quad anti-air guns. Providing covering fire for the engine, their relentless fire is terrifying enough to drive even the most experienced pilots away. Rounding up the arms package are the grenade launchers and napalm cannons, both meant to dispose of anything the X-Morph might have put up on the ground.

The second carriage, holding the satellite dish. Nuclear strike detected.


height - 34.4m
width - 38,2m
length - 80m
total weapons - 19

The second carriage does not seem quite as dangerous as the first one, but don’t let the innocent looks fool you. The massive chassis covers up the satellite dish which the train crew uses to maintain comms with the space station capable of launching nuclear strikes on unsuspecting targets. It is the main weapon this carriage has against the X-Morph, but it comes with a significant drawback. The data transmission is quite long and can be interrupted, giving players a chance to counteract. In addition to calling a nuclear strike, the carriage is equipped with side lasers, capable of targeting the X-Morph core, like in a classic drive-by. Add AA guns to the mix and you have a force to be reckoned with.

The ballistic missile launcher car. The train’s cars would move on a quadruple set of train tracks due to the trains enormous size.


height - 32m
width - 43.2m
length - 80m
total weapons - 23

The third carriage on the Chinese Dragon Train is a MIRV ballistic missile launching pod. Its main weapon is only capable of long-range attacks, so we chose three points on the map they would be launched from. The train would stop and open up one of the six silos, preparing to launch one of the warheads at the alien core. The whole process is as cinematic as it can be, with smoke, sirens and red lights flashing as the rocket is prepared to start. Apart from adding dramatic flair, it was meant to be a moment for the player to strike, disabling the launch and protecting their assets.

Each weapon system is controlled separately. The number of AA guns on this beast was an absolute overkill.

The secondary anti-core weapon is swarm missiles fired from eight side launchers. They compensate their lack of sheer power with the numbers. This attack happens instantaneously, so the X-Morph must shoot down the missiles while they are traveling through the air. Apart from that, the carriage is protected by the usual - flak cannons, grenade launchers and miniguns against the alien fighter.

An airplane launch pad on wheels. What a time to be alive.


height - 31m
width - 43.5m
length - 80m
total weapons - 21

The last part of the train might yet be the craziest of the bunch. Aircraft carriers are some of the most terrifying naval vessels known to man, given their high range and firepower. No water units in X-Morph: Defense meant that if we wanted to have one, we would have to come up with a different idea for that. Therefore, we put an aircraft carrier on rails and made it a part of the Chinese Dragon. To make the whole thing even more obnoxious (in a good way) it serves not only as a launchpad for fighters but also as an aircraft factory! To cut the players some slack, the neverending air assault does not attack the core directly, its sole purpose is to attack the alien fighter.

The aircraft carrier is not defenseless without its birds. The plasma cannons on the sides fire relentlessly.

The other weapon the carriage is equipped with is side plasma cannons, shooting balls of plasma at the core that cannot be shot down. The only way to stop them is to interrupt the charging sequence, which might be a bit tricky given the swarms of planes flying around, like bees around the hive. The usual defensive package of AA guns, miniguns, and swarm missiles makes sure that the factory is well protected against all kinds of X-Morph attacks. This rounds up the whole offensive and defensive package of the Chinese Dragon.

The whole package. Notice the purple elements - humans and planes. They show the true scale of this monstrosity.


highest point - 43m
widest point - 43.5m
total length - 300m
total weapons - 80

In order to take the train down, the player would have to destroy all of the single carriages. Each carriage has its weak spots, such as capacitors, generators, and engines. The player may aim at the weapons in order to reduce their functionality, decrease the damage and increase the charging time. If you decide to go for the weak spots, though, you might be able to snipe the whole part of the train before it becomes a significant problem.


One of the limiting factors for designing such a machine is the fact it moves on rails only. It meant that the level would have to be designed specifically to address this need. We decided to place six train tracks on the level. The players cannot see what lies beyond the level boundaries in X-Morph: Defense. That, in turn, gave us a free hand to turn the train back, rotate it, and place it on a completely different track than it previously used. By simply teleporting the boss entity we avoided the necessity of creating a multi-kilometer rail network only to turn around the train of this size. This was supposed to show that the rail network was very complex and required the players to guard 12 points of entry in total.

A very early mockup of the level design. The whole environment is designed to accommodate the regular enemy waves as well as the boss fight.

The layout of the train tracks couldn’t be random. Had we simply put intersecting tracks on a flat surface, it wouldn’t have made the fight any more fun, just unnecessarily complex. Thus, instead of opting for a flat, desert-like environment, we went for a series of tunnels and overpasses. This element made it to the final game, as it introduces multiple ways the players can shape the enemy paths and take the level on.

Moreover, for a little dramatic flair, the train tracks would not be empty at the start of the level. To evoke the feeling of the humans being surprised by the attack, there would be regular trains all over the map. As with everything in our game, the player could destroy them. However, a more epic assumption was that the player left them alone and the Dragon Train would simply bash its way through all of the ‘regular’ trains. It came to rescue humanity after all; you’d better get out of its way!


A perspective view of the early prototype.

The boss introduction was to resemble action films of the late 80s/early 90s, with its over-the-top epicness and the general atmosphere. The train would arrive to the battlefield as the weapon of last resort, and you’d better get out of its way. It would destroy everything on its way, and if the player had blocked any tracks beforehand all the obstacles would be destroyed as well. Its initial point of entry was the tunnel track and it would begin the fight with a ballistic missile attack.

The entry and exit point schematics.

After all of the above, the train would start its routine of cruising along one of the tracks, launching an avalanche of attacks available from its current position, leave the map, choose a new entry point and do it all over again. The reason for limiting the number of available attacks on a track is twofold. First, you do not want to overwhelm the player. Second - the structure of the level, with all the height differences, overpasses, tunnels, would render some of the weapons useless in a couple of circumstances. You don’t want to shoot rockets at a wall, after all.

In order for this fight to be fair, we had to put some limits in place. First of all, as you already know, the train would follow 6 tracks with a total of 12 entry points. The attacks used by the train were determined by the point of entry it used. This way it was entirely possible to learn the attack sets by heart and how to counter them. In addition to predictable attack patterns, the intercepted radio comms would also give the player a hint of what’s to come. It would be up to the player, however, in what order they wanted to get rid of the carriages.

This mockup presents the overview of the level together with the train model to give the viewer a sense of scale.

The energy shield protecting the train engine disappeared only after all the other parts were destroyed. The wrecked carriages would still travel with the train, as the wheels and suspension system would not be destructible. Additionally, the train could move both forwards and backwards, thanks to the rocket engines mounted on the electromagnetic cannon carriage. All these elements were to result in a demanding, multi-layered boss fight. Sadly, the Chinese Dragon did not make it to the final release, but it is a design we’re quite proud of.


While daunting in scope, the boss was not as complicated as it was complex. The sheer number of elements would take at least 3 months of work and we could not justify it. All the carriages, their elements, destruction levels - we are talking about hundreds of models here. Therefore, it was not about the lack of skill or tech. Resigning from the implementation of the Chinese Dragon Train was a decision dictated by reason. All that remains of the boss in the game today are the huge tunnels and multiple tracks on the China map. Perhaps someday the design will find its way to one of our releases.

That is only one of our sick, over-the-top ideas that we never found the time and resources to finish. And since we are already on the topic of insane bosses, the next time we will try to tell you the story of another one - a boss fight comprised of two boss fights. We hope you have a pleasant time this holiday season and that you will have the chance to spend it together with your friends and family.

EXOR Studios

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“X-Morph Defense is a fantastic meeting of 2 popular genres, and Exor Studios have made it work, and it works well”
9/10 – Adult Gaming Underground

84% – PC Guru - Printed Magazine

“X-Morph: Defense is a marvel of physics, visuals, and that incredibly fulfilling arcade feeling.”
8.5/10 – TechRaptor

Enhanced for the PC

  • Uncapped frame rate, works even in 144FPS
  • Support for panoramic resolutions 21:9 included
  • Custom Keyboard + Mouse Controls, created specifically for the PC. No artificial constraints.
  • Customizable controls
  • NVIDIA Game Ready Certified

About This Game

Unique fusion of a top down shooter and tower defense strategy. You are the X-Morph - an alien species that invades Earth to harvest its resources and terraform the surface. Strategize in the build mode by carefully selecting various types of alien towers or throw yourself right into heat of the battle. Build mazes for incoming enemies in an environment that provides exceptional planning freedom. Tear down buildings and collapse bridges to support your defense or to simply indulge in a spectacle of unprecedented destruction. Possess a range of unique alien weapons and use defense strategies like you've never seen before in this genre.

Your goal is to defend the X-Morph harvesters from waves of incoming human forces. Each enemy wave is preceded by a setup phase in which the player can check what types of enemies are going to be attacking him and to observe their paths. There is no time limit for this phase, so the player can carefully plan his defenses or choose to start fighting immediately and place towers when needed during the battle. One of the game's key features is the ability to build towers virtually anywhere on the map and to shape enemy paths by connecting towers with laser fences. The player can choose between building long mazes out of basic towers or placing more advanced towers which are more effective at different types of incoming enemies. Advanced tower types specialize in dealing with specific enemy types e.g. flame towers are great for destroying fast moving ground units, artillery towers are best at countering large groups of slow enemies, anti air laser is ideal for shooting down heavy bombers.

As the X-Morph fighter you can engage enemy units directly with a diverse arsenal of weapons. You can morph into four distinct forms which specialize in dealing with different kinds of threats. Each form has a basic attack and a special charged attack mode. The Plasma Fighter is the most universal form - good at destroying both air and ground units. The Dark Matter Bomber is great at decimating groups of ground units. It can also slow down time and release a dark matter bomb that can cut down buildings. The Shredder fighter is perfect for annihilating large numbers of human air units and clearing the sky. Finally the Laser Destroyer is best for smelting large single units. It can also charge up a gravitational anomaly that sucks in smaller enemy units. A large variety of weapons and enemies along with a dynamic, fully destructible environment provides a rich arcade shooter experience.

The game's environments are constructed with a lot of attention to detail and they are almost completely destructible. From small picket fences to huge skyscrapers. Any bridge or building in the game can be collapsed and it's destruction is dynamically simulated using realistic physics. The destruction is not only a visual effect as it can significantly influence the layout of the battlefield. The combination of dynamic environments, laser fences and real time calculated enemy paths creates unique gameplay scenarios.

Humans are desperate to defend their home world. They have created huge, building size, mechanical war machines to fight against each other, but now they will use them to destroy the X-Morph. Each boss fight is unique and heavily influences the gameplay environment. Entire cities will be destroyed.

X-Morph: Defence includes a split screen co-op mode. All missions have different gameplay scenarios designed specifically for co-op play. Enemies attack in larger numbers and from new directions making good cooperation essential to winning. In this mode the game can be played in many different ways, one player can focus on optimizing tower placement while the other shoots at enemies or they can both focus their firepower on the strongest attackers.

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7 64bit Service Pack 1
    • Processor: Processor: i3 2.6Ghz or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 460 or AMD equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Processor: i5 2.6Ghz or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 960 or AMD equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card

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