Goodness me. You wouldn't think that there'd be any towers left to defend by now, but there's just no stopping this implacable (and easy to code) genre. Luckily tower defence is a great fit for the iPhone's touchscreen... and Vector TD is an fantastic example.
Vector TD found its feet - and its fans - as a browser based game. The evil Vectroids cruise down preset paths towards the exit of the level, reducing your stock of lives and reappearing at the start of the stage if they reach their desination. To stop them, you'll need to place and upgrade a number of coloured towers that have different effects on specific enemy types. Dead Vectroids provide extra funds for the cause, and a frugal selection of powerups provide a last-ditch way out of desperate jams.
This simple yet effective gameplay has made the jump to iPhones (as well as the Playstation Network) extremely well, with the vector wireframe graphics looking sharp and capable on even older-generation devices. The iPad is also an attractive platform for the action, as the larger screen makes towers and menus much easier to navigate. The relatively small number of levels is balanced by each stage containing fifty waves, delivering deceptively decent value.
There are a couple of problems with Vector TD's presentation, including a lack of sound effect feedback and some fiddly icons that are much more difficult to drag and drop than they ought to be. However, my major criticism is bound to lose me some respect, but here goes anyway.
Vector TD is extremely difficult, both in terms of the core gameplay itself and the lack of any learning curve to speak of. Players are thrown in at the deep end and expected to keep up, despite having to learn about each tower's strengths and weaknesses through trial, error and failure.
But here's the important thing. Vector TD is now free, meaning that a multitude of sins can be forgiven and forgotten for the sake of value for money.
- Fun - if difficult - gameplay
- Attractive vector graphics
- It's free
- Steep learning curve
- GUI puts style over accessibility
- No sound effects
Summary: Vector TD is an attractive and capable tower defender that takes no prisoners. Oh, and it's free - so you should probably download it.
Developer: Candystand Games
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: FREE - App Store