Tower Defense games have exploded in popularity in recent years. I’m no pro in the genre, but I’ve played through a couple of them on my iPod. With The Creeps!, the difficulty was balanced well, bosses added an extra flavour, and I had a lot of fun that kept me coming back for more.
The game has quite a few different levels, spread across three game types. In around 50 waves, you can allow at most ten enemies through your defenses and to the finish line before losing. Bosses at times will join the other creeps, and are much more difficult to kill. Letting them through the frontlines costs extra lives. Weapons were varied, although I found myself using the same sort of blaster repeatedly and having success with it. I found some features of this game to be especially interesting.
Clearing the playing field: A fun twist to the game is when a level starts, there is only a few places to build structures. During the downtime in between waves, you can use your towers to clear out the rocks and debris to make room for towers in better positions. I found this balance between attacking creeps versus objects a fun spin on the genre.
Balance: I always seemed to just squeak past levels with a life or two remaining. At one point I had one life left with a boss marching towards the finish line. With my special ability of a tornado holding him back, there still seemed no way I would be able to pull it off. After frantically taking down towers that were out of range and rebuilding them, the creep fell just before taking his last step. Moments like this happened quite a bit and made for a great time.
Special abilities: Each level holds an item on screen that can be used for a period of time against the creeps. They have a good range of abilities, and always mix in a good use of the accelerometer. One ability covers the creep track in oil, so that whichever way you tilt the iPhone the creeps will slide in that direction. Another has you guiding a beam of destruction across the entire map that deals heavy damage to anything beneath it. A really cool feature of these abilities is that you can actually opt to sell the tower for a good chunk of change and in turn lose the ability to perform that special. The choice is up to you and it gives a lot of flexibility for developing strategies.
No stats: I missed not being able to see what damage each tower was dealing to the creeps. There’s no way to tell which tower or upgraded tower is performing better than another, so all you’re left with is the obvious advantage of range to see which is better. With three upgrades available for each tower, it makes it hard to want upgrade when you have no idea if it’s worth it.
With no expectations when I started up The Creeps!, I’ve had a fun time with this tower defense game. The attention to detail that the developers put in is clear, because all the aspects of the game come together in a nice package. Tower defense gamers, take The Creeps! for a spin and have a good time!