What we did not mention, is that Warzone Tower Defense offers plenty of serious fun. That being said, if military themed combat is not your cup of tea, you might want to try a different game. On the other hand, if you appreciate missiles, cannon fire and massive lasers blowing up wave after wave of enemy vehicles, then this is a great game choice for you. As we keep mentioning, the waves are endless –that means that somehow, sometime in the game, you will eventually get run over by the enemy and you will lose. There is no victory condition in the game, just a scaling of how long you managed to survive and how much points you managed to earn.
Yep, the does without the unnecessary back story that plagues most of the casual titles we have played. After all, when you just want to be entertained for a few hours, it really does not matter so much if you have an intriguing or well written script to back up the game. What matters is the gameplay and in that category, Warzone truly shines.
Playing Warzone Tower Defense is like opening up a chest full of your own toys. You decide what to play with and where you will be playing. But like any children’s game, you set your own rules, decide your limitations and then play to your heart’s content. The game gives you a choice of which map to play and what rules to play under –this means that you can create a customizable tower defense experience catered to your needs. The things that will not change however, is the order of enemy waves and the layout of the maps (where your base is located and what natural rock formations are available in the stage).
As one would expect of most tower defense games, control is mostly mouse based. And as with any Flash based game, only the left mouse button is used. The keyboard is used for quick accessing tower creation and the use of abilities. Sadly, there is no hotkey for selling a structure (which would be a good tool for anyone setting up complicated mazes and would want to quickly sell an existing block and replace it with something else. Aside from that, the controls are responsive and easy to get used to. One thing we did notice however, was that there was no way to deselect an item using the mouse button –you will need to press the escape key to do so. The reason that this is a bit of a problem is due to the fact that if you are not careful, it is possible that you would be accidentally laying down another block on the floor (or even a tower). Aside from that little bit, controlling the game is a breeze.
The user interface is also easy to understand. The entire map fits nicely in a single screen which means that there is no need to zoom out or pan the camera. This also allows you to get a quick idea of the flow of the battle without having to get dizzied looking for small skirmishes over a larger world map. Tower selection is easy –just click on the icon once and you will get a quick overview of the tower’s statistics and even a summary of its main features. The best thing is, all the text is easy to read and grasp with a quick glance (which means you will not be wasting precious moments looking away from the field map even if you are playing for the first time).
The only thing dragging about the game is the relatively slow rate at which you earn credits for buying towers and making upgrades –which means that managing your resources plays a very important role in the game. If you are not careful about how you spend your money at the start, you can find yourself being easily overrun immediately. Try to balance the creation of new tower with the addition of blocks that will create a maze-like path for your enemies, this helps you dish out more damage (by keeping the enemy within a tower’s attack longer, without having to invest in a new tower. As for upgrades, pace them according to the waves that are arriving, naturally, it pays to have a high leveled tower in an area that enemies tend to slow down in.
The user interface for Warzone Tower Defense is a charm –you get to see all the information you need without the need for several nested menus or annoying pop-up windows. Everything you need appears in that neat little status display box on the bottom of the screen. Tower selection is made easy as you can access different tower types through the use of keyboard shortcuts or by simply clicking on them on the toolbar below. As we mentioned earlier, doing so will bring up a very easy to follow stat review and tower description. Whether you are a completely new player trying to get the hang of things or a veteran of the game who needs to do a quick review of things you already know, this interface is perfectly designed for such times.
The battlefield itself is where all the action happens and again, as a user interface it works so well. Now, before we continue, most of you may be wondering, why all the focus on functionality? Because aside from visual aesthetics, the graphics of a game completely determine how playable and enjoyable it is; for desktop tower defense games like Warzone, having a user interface that is easily recognizable and usable is critical to creating an enjoyable gameplay experience –after all, no gamer has ever been happy with a game whose interface takes hours to figure out.
Anyway, back to the topic, the battlefield’s details such as grid placement, terrain and enemy spawn points are easy to figure. Also, assessing the existing security for your base is simply a matter of checking out the existing map. Figuring out which is the ground and what are natural rock formations is easy, making this task something very simple. Thanks to the grid overlay on the map, planning out mazes and tower layouts is made a whole lot easier as you can literally see where things will fit into place.
In terms of aesthetics, it all manages to look quite good as well. Each defense tower you deploy has its own unique designs and animations, the projectile art looks pretty well done too. From the deep red beams of the lasers to the light vernier bursts from the homing missiles, each tower attack does complete justice to the game. And if the attacks are good to look at, the impact is even better. Each attack affects enemies differently, like the way the pulse cannon’s radial bursts seems to completely penetrate all nearby targets before spreading out, or the way the lasers just seem to pierce right through targets.
Speaking of targets, the enemies have also been nicely designed. Each enemy unit comes from a specific class, each with its own unique appearance that complements its abilities. The smaller bike and fighter plane types have low defenses, but have the speed to make up for it. The bigger and bulkier tank-like enemies tend to be loaded with armor.
In general, the artwork for warzone tower defense has been nicely done. Sure there are a few things that can be improved, but for the most part, this is already a pretty solid game in terms of visuals, so there really is not much more to ask for.
Replayability has always been a weakness for most war flash based games apart from the odd gem here or there such 1944 world warfare game, but the lack of an overbearing storyline means that there really is no sense of ‘completion’ once you reach a certain point –which makes the game so easy to return to. Mostly, you never feel like you are wasting your time (after all, if you already finished a game’s story, what more is there that is left for you to go back to right?), instead, each new attempt is a challenge to beat your previous score and to be able to build a more efficient and well defended base against enemy hordes.
Should You Play WTD?
In terms of endless horde defense titles, Madcow Interactive’s Warzone Tower Defense is nothing so unique that players would not have seen before. But at the end of the day, what matters is that it is still a worthwhile game to pick up and enjoy, It is not very often that we find a game that provides the same kind of pacing and solutions as we would like, and it is with these great factors: good gameplay, easy controls and nice artwork that we have considered Warzone Tower Defense to be a very recommended title on the same level as other popular td games like Gemcraft and Bloons Tower Defense 5.
How to Deal with Enemies
To give you a quick idea about the enemy waves you are about to encounter, you need to know certain things. There are two general types of enemies: ground based and flying. Ground based enemies are limited in movement –they have to go around towers, walls and boulders. Flying enemies enjoy much freedom in the game, they can fly in any direction they want –and they want to fly towards your base. For those looking for a much simpler game –one where you do not need to worry about flying enemies so much, stick to the maps that specifically state ground only. This will leave you with enemies that are only ground based and there is no need to buy the flak cannons and missile turrets.
Enemy types vary in speed and armor. The basic rule of thumb is that the faster, smaller enemies have lower armor than those which are slower. This can be quite useful in a large narrow maze since the slower units will jam up the path for the faster ones. In an open field however, the smaller units will easily overtake the slow tougher ones. The same applies to both ground units and flying ones, and all you really need to be careful of is when enemy troops start upgrading.
Another unique enemy are the special semi-bosses. These are easily recognized by the unique blue shielding they have on their vehicles. Basically, these guys tend to be tough and hard to fight, so it pays to have plenty of good defenses if you see an enemy with the blue icon in your upcoming enemy wave preview window.
Lastly before choosing to employ bombs, nukes or EMPs, be sure to check your cash status and assess how badly you need to act. Oftentimes, you can easily bring down a few stragglers with a newly placed defense tower, but when an entire fleet of damaged enemies get past you, then it might not be such a bad idea to bring out a nuke to kill them off –just be sure that their armors have already taken plenty of damage for the attack to be effective.