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Tower Heroes
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Tower Heroes

Release Date:  November 19, 2013
Publisher:  Travian Games
Developer:  ODD 1
Genre:  Strategy
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Tower Heroes is a browser-based game that blends mechanics of Tower Defense and role-playing strategy, bringing an online experience that tends to take place in tablets.

The game is developed by ODD 1 and published by Travian Games ,which also publishes Rise of Europe made by Perfect World.

Overview:

In the game, players assume a role of Human, Dwarf or Elf to take control of an abandoned castle which players need to build by constructing various functional buildings, training a host of tiny heroes as well as attacking other players and defending their own castle.

Tower Heroes serves a good example of how Tower Defense and City Builder are seamlessly blended. That is to say, the combination would be aimed for both strategy gamers and Tower Defense lovers, perhaps better, a new group of gamers with such hybrid genre.

At the very beginning of the game, you possess a small castle and all you need to do is produce raw materials and build it by following the quest guideline. After you’ve mastered the basics, you may craft better weapons and create barriers to defend your land. It is also possible to unite with others to co-build your city or to declare war with them.

The famous tower defense principle used in Tower Heroes mostly reflects on the theme of the game. In any other hands, you must tactically defend your territory against invading enemies. Only in this way can you expand your influence, and make your empire more influential.

Review:

Tower Heroes fuses tower defense and strategy elements, and therefore featuring fast engrossing combat but slow and careful management.

If you are familiar with the tile-matching puzzle game Zuma, you might feel right at home when it comes to Tower Heroes. It is still set on the zigzagging map where you have to defend your home base and try your best to eliminate all the incoming things on the way to prevent them from entering the home base. Only this time, you are not dealing with colorful balls, but vicious enemies carrying assorted weapons.

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To keep your home base safe, you have to deploy the turret towers, cannon towers and shockwave towers that will deal damage on the enemies nearby. But you might not deploy as many as you want since you need to collect the tools and mana by killing monsters before deploying them.

How you put them on your map, and how many you deploy can make a huge difference in battles. For example, the turret tower and cannon tower always target at the first monster that draws near, which might leave the rest to pass by without ever being shot at. That explains why now and then you need the shockwave tower, which deals damage to all the nearby enemies. All the towers and the heroes attack at distinctive intervals and chances are you have all the towers and heroes in place but still have one or two monsters sneak in even where they are just about to die. Accordingly, you have to make a good use of all the weapons and heroes available as well as the random map.

However, you don’t merely design strategies in battles. You will build a castle, around which barracks, fortress, mines, quarries and farms will be constructed. They will provide with the resources you need for constructions, upgrades, training, researches and other purposes or help you defend against invaders. As is in most deep strategy titles, the food, crystals and gold are produced at an incredibly slow rate while the constructions and upgrades consume a huge amount of them. It is often the case that you don’t have enough resources to perform the current task and can only repeatedly explore the same dungeons to kill time.

Tower Heroes adopts complicated menus and it takes a while before a player gets used to the functions of all the buttons. Nevertheless, the tutorial quests and the tips still fail to prepare players for all the necessary problems they encounter. For example, it is suggested that mines, quarries and farms are deployed upon the slots where the production rates are enhanced, since slots of different sorts provide boosts to different productions. But not one tip informs me that if I put my castle near the mountain or a pit, some of my otherwise available territories would be lost. And since I cannot move the territory or expand it by far, I had to destroy all the buildings and start over somewhere else.

Meanwhile, since the upgrades occur far between while few dungeons are available for exploring, one would have to revisit the same dungeon repeatedly. Every five consecutive levels share one dungeon. In other words, you explore the same dungeon from level 1 through level 5 and after that visit the next one until you reach level 10. Although the map is randomly chosen every time you enter it, the grinding still stinks, especially when there is no challenge any more.

Tower Heroes offers a satisfactory mix of unique tower defense and deep strategy experiences reminiscent of Totem Online. But if the developers would like to make a hit, they still need to diversify the dungeons and work on the tutorial and tips.

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