Tower Conquest Showcases Polish, Playability

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There is a time for drama and story. For sparkling dialogue and mighty deeds. And then there are the times when you just want to get fast and furious with a game like Tower Conquest, released a couple of weeks ago on iOS and Android.

Tower Conquest is a simple line defense game and it knows it. After the briefest of concessions to narrative — a comic book page shows a peasant opening a portal and monsters pouring out — the game gets on with teaching you how to have fun.

It’s not a hard game to learn. Two towers oppose each other in a series of entertaining settings. Bad guy minions advance from their tower to your tower. You build up mana and spawn up to five different minions from your own tower. Whoever’s tower gets blown up first loses.

The joy of a game like this is in the details, and Tower Conquest delivers. There are five factions with at least a dozen minions per faction, and each minion has a role to play in the game. Samurai and Thresher robots move fast and do a lot of damage, while Black Knights and Golem stand around and take the hits. Leapers bypass the stronger defending units in the front, while grandmothers riding battle cranes stalk past their enemies.

Each unit has a special power, which can be improved through a system of upgrade cards similar to Clash Royale. You can also spend gold to level up the units for better stats. Playing the game gives you plenty of cards and gold, and you can buy more with premium currency.

The power of archery compels your butt-kicking!
The power of archery compels your butt-kicking!

Tower Conquest Made Easy

The strategies of Tower Conquest are simple, maybe a little too much so. As is typical for this kind of game, speed kills, and you can win a lot of battles by spamming out cheap units. The balance is also a little too favorable to long-range units like Archers who can stay back out of the reach of the rudimentary AI.

(Disclaimer: I consulted for a couple of months on the game balance, and wasn’t completely happy with it then either.)

That said, this game makes up for its strategic weakness by being a hell of a lot of fun. The art is charming, full of cute little animations that catch your eye as you play. The pacing is excellent, with units appearing just fast enough to keep you fully engaged.

The reward system also keeps you on a steady upgrade path, dropping enough gold and character cards that the next upgrade is usually just around the corner. I’m not sure the monetization is everything it could be, actually. Unless you’re ultra-competitive, there’s little incentive to spend money just to race up the leaderboard a little faster. However, there’s always somebody who wants just a few more toys to play with, and Tower Conquest is engaging enough to reward that investment.

Tower Conquest spent a long time in development, and it shows. All the rough edges have been polished off, leaving a fast, addictive play experience. It’s kept me entertained for a week and 33 levels, and I think it’ll be quite a few more hours before I’m done.

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Copyright 2016 The Roaming Designer

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