The tower defense genre is one of the most widespread gaming genres. Entries exist on a variety of platforms ranging from videogame consoles to smart phones, from Facebook to casual gaming websites. They can exist as disposable freeware or as stylistic PC Game of the Year candidates, such as Pop Cap’s Plants vs. Zombies.
Colony Defense, Mana Bomb Game Studio’s inaugural title, is a tower defense game that tries to rise above the detritus of the genre with a $10 price point and an attempt at innovation: full 3-D planets to defend. Outside of this added dimension, Colony Defense should be familiar to anyone with tower defense experience.
At the start of each map, you are tasked with using limited funds and an assortment of defense towers to defend a number of colonies against invading aliens. As aliens range in size and speed and even mode of transportation – some crawl along the ground while others fly – defense towers come in a few varieties. The Flame Thrower Tower is very effective against fast units and continues to damage invaders even when they’re out of range. Stasis Towers slow the enemy by 50% but do no damage. Air to Air Missile Towers, as implied by their name, defend against airborne but not ground targets.
Despite the game’s wide variety of weapons, you’ll find yourself sticking to the reliable and versatile Laser Towers which can attack both air and ground units. They are also very effective when fully upgraded – each invader you destroy nets you income, which you can then spend on more defense towers or upgrading existing towers to increase their range, damage, and rate of fire. But if you purchase too many towers of one type, the aliens will develop a resistance to that tower, like cockroaches to bug spray.
After defending each planet, you also receive one talent point, or two if you successfully defend without losing a single colonist. You can spend these talent points on permanently increasing tower attributes. You can even decrease the cost of building or upgrading a tower.