Developer(s) – Image & Form Games
ESRB – E10+
Before Image and Form Games introduced the SteamWorld mythos to mainstream platforms towards the end of the seventh generation of gaming with SteamWorld Dig, there was this hidden gem of a game; SteamWorld Tower Defence, currently exclusive to DSiWare. Similar to games such as Plants Vs Zombies and PixelJunk Monsters, it’s a pretty addictive game, and well worth the very modest asking price of £4.49.
Graphics – 7/10
The visual style of the game is actually quite reminiscent of Lego Ninjago; small characters inhabiting fairly sizeable worlds, except these worlds are of a steampunk old American West variety. There is also some diversity in level designs, taking place in barren desserts and deep mines. It’s also interesting to see where the entire SteamWorld mythos began and to see which conceptual ideas were carried on into the next game, and what will most likely be carried on into SteamWorld Heist.
Gameplay – 8/10
A tower defense game, the concept of it is to raise money by defeating enemies and lay down different units of different kinds of fighters such as gunmen, turrets, and sharpshooters, all to keep hoards of invading enemies at bay. The game also starts off challenging, but becomes progressively more so as it goes on; once more, not in a way that makes the game completely inaccessible, but challenges players to think on their toes.
Controls – 9.5/10
PCs and touchscreens by some distance the best method of which to play tower defense games, and thus, there are next to no problems with the control scheme of this game. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it can be a little bit awkward to put down units at first since there are specific dots in which they need to be placed across each stage, but before long, that criticism becomes a case of splitting hairs. The biggest deciding factor in whether a player wins or loses a stage is a skill.
Originality – 6/10
There have been many games made in the same vein as this, but what sets this title apart from the many other tower defense games developed, especially across the Internet, is that the visual concept, which has been instrumental in establishing entire mythology behind what has become a series of games. It may not be as unique or as outlandish as Plants Vs Zombies was, but the Image and Form are always contemplating new ideas that they can apply to the series, and it’s wonderful to watch where it all started.
In summation, SteamWorld Tower Defence is a diamond in the rough that holds up just as well as any other game of its kind; if not better than the average. It’s a solid and inexpensive gaming experience that is most definitely worth the attention of anyone with a 3DS.