Swamp Defense

Here’s a new trend alert for you — clever new twists on tower defense games. Several app development companies are taking the old idea “medieval towers defending a path” and turning it into something new. Swamp Defense puts in you charge of defending your territory against ugly swamp monsters. Instead of traditional towers, you’ve got a “family” of tough country folk with unique talents. Old Flint uses dental adhesive as his weapon, Hank has an electro beam, Maggie welds kitchen appliances, Buster shoots a gun, and Little Joe sports a rocket launcher. Choose among 15 levels with twisty turning routes.

Air Patriots

Air Patriots is a sort of mobile tower-defense title in which players draw the path of their planes across maps in order to attack targets. Mixing tower defense with line-drawing games such as Flight Control, Air Patriots gives you the ability to move your defenses in order to respond to changing threats as the game progresses. What that means is that it mixes the strategy of the tower defense genre, in which you put down your towers in order to take down attacking forces, and mixes it up quite a bit. There are also a number of modes and more maps you can snag with in-app purchases. Tower defense fans should give Air Patriots a look, as it’ll give them a different take on the genre and allow them to try working on new strategies.

Anomaly 2

Guide your convoy of military vehicles through enemy territory in Anomaly 2, protecting them as they fight of alien defenses in a reverse take on tower defense. There are tons of tower defense games on mobile platforms, but the Anomaly franchise does something interesting with the formula by putting players in control of not the towers, but the attackers. Your job in Anomaly 2 is to guide a convoy of powerful military vehicles past enemy towers, destroying them along the way and fighting to stay alive. The strategy elements have you planning your path for maximum efficiency and safety, while the action elements of the game require you to deploy items to repair your vehicles and distract enemies, or to morph your vehicles into secondary forms in different tactical situations. If you like tower defense titles, you’ll want to try being on the other side of the equation in Anomaly 2’s vehicles.

Battle Towers

A strategy game that balances resource-gathering and defense with leading warriors into battle, Battle Towers has players snatching victories through careful planning and strategic thinking. Like other strategy titles, 3-D strategy game Battle Towers is all about balancing your time between efficient management of resources, and smashing the enemy into dust. Players use their structures to gather resources that can be used to either upgrade buildings (and thus increase their defensive capabilities) or summon warriors to create armies (which can go on the offensive). The game uses a medieval fantasy world as a backdrop and uses simple touch controls to make it easy to issue orders and react to new threats. Fans of strategy titles such as StarCraft II on PC will get a kick out of Battle Towers.

Galaxy Defense

One of the slickest, most popular tower defense games around, with excellent gameplay and graphics. Developed by War Games, it puts a unique spin on a lot of the tower defense tropes. You place your towers in pre-set hexagonal tiles in defense of your base. The map and tower position layouts are very unlike any other standard tower defense game, and the huge number of really cool power-ups and tower types seal the deal. The production quality is top notch as well compared to many TD games. Definitely don’t judge this one by its cover, which actually happens to be quite pretty. People who want something a bit different from their tower defense games.

HexDefense Free

Tower defense from the future! This hexagonal board features tower defense-style mazes but the OpenGL graphics and 3D stereo sound make the mayhem bigger, faster, brighter, and louder.HexDefense features four types of towers, each with four possible upgrades. There are seven “screeps” leading the waves with four special-powered “boss creeps” to challenge your strategy and planning.

Astro Defense Free

Like tower defense style games? How about tower defense on steroids?Instead of just the regular marching meanies, this strategy game’s bad guys are EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse, in case you failed the nerd license test) Monsters who can shutdown your towers in a heartbeat. Fortunately the Gods of War have armed you with tower powers like fast rapid cannon, power rocket cannon, area attack explosive cannon, ranging sniper cannon, and the handy EMP-slowing cannon. Think we have enough cannons?

Asteroid Defense Classics

Asteroid Tower Defense is a great game from Deonn Games. It mixes up the conventional tower defense mechanics and comes up with something fairly unique and a lot of fun. This is definitely a game any tower defense fan should try out.

Rather than put you on a field or a closed circuit to place your towers like in other tower defense games, you build your defense from the bottom of the screen and out. You start out with one little command post in space, and you can only build new towers as attachments to one of the four sides. This is the only way to build anything in the game. Asteroids hurtle towards Earth and it’s your job to defend it.

Every time you start a new game, you will go through the games simple tutorial again, which just means that certain messages will pop up at certain times. You’re still free to do what you want for the most part. You have four guns to choose from. Quick-firing lasers, homing missiles, a freeze ray thing, and a splitter, which I just thought of as a sniper. As you expand your base, you will expend more and more energy.
You’ll have to remember to build plenty of solar panels to keep your guns from shutting down. You can also build maintenance droids that fix any towers within reach, and protective shield structures, which you will be building plenty of. Just about every structure can be upgraded to a more powerful form. There is a lot to the heads up display and the different asteroids, and the game doesn’t really teach you about them. Luckily, there is a page that explains these elements that you can reference should you forget anything.

At first the game is a lot of fun, as you expand your base and balance your upgrading. Eventually, you’ll complete your great big death station, and the game focus becomes fortification–building multi-layered defense walls and maintaining them as they get destroyed. This is where the game gets boring for a good long while. I got tired of just building more and more shields, it wasn’t a lot of fun to me. It eventually gets hectic though, with some really strong and fast moving asteroids blindsiding you and obliterating your defenses. I actually found it really amusing to just watch my massive base get steamrolled by a few massive flaming meteors. The whole point of the game is just to survive as long as you can and place in the leader boards.

Myth Defense LF

This was the first tower defense game I played. Myth Defense Light Forces gives you the ability to really customize and expand upon the basic game. While battling, you can earn GP and artifacts. GP is used in the shop to purchase different items such as heavy arrows and improved gunpowder. The artifacts you earn can be used in the Alchemy Lab, where you can create different types of runes. Runes can then be used to increase damage, tower ranges and so on. With the ability to customize the gameplay and the beautiful and detailed graphics, Myth Defense is a real joy to play and will provide hours of enjoyment.

Jelly Defense

Jelly Defense is probably one of the most unusual tower defense games. Your mission is to save Diploglobe (and the crystals) and Jelly nation from the invading aliens (who also appear to be Jelly). The monochrome background of the environment really makes the jellies, crystals and coins stand out. Jelly Defense might look simple but has quite a bit of complexity to it. What makes it difficult? Defenses can only be placed in certain locations along the route and defenses are color coordinated with enemy (red only can attack red). To survive you need to upgrade. To upgrade you need coins. When an enemy is killed, coins are released and you need to pick up the coins before they disappear. If you are slow, too bad!

Jelly Defense is a game where you need to be quick on your feet; managing your defenses, upgrading or removing them when appropriate, collecting coins, and saving the crystals. Taking some time between battles to learn about the jellies in the Jellypedia will also help you out.

Fieldrunners 2

Fieldrunners 2 has been out for some time and is one of the most popular tower defense games on the Android Market. When I think of tower defense, I think of Fieldrunners. When you begin a battle, you start off with a certain amount of cash and an open playing field. You can set the defense where you want and as many as you can afford. To survive, you will need a lot! The game has a number of built-in achievements for which you can shoot. You can pause the game to purchase more defenses or save the game for later. Pitch to zoom definitely comes in handy.  Fieldrunners 2 is just plain fun and is a great tower defense game.

Sentinel 3: Homeworld

Your mission is to take the battle to the alien home world. One of the unique options in the game is the commander unit, with which you can level-up and gain new abilities. This unit can be very powerful and a great ally in your fight against the alien hordes. If I had to describe Sentinel 3 in one word, it would be options! There three game modes (campaign, endless, classic), four levels of difficulty (easy, medium, hard, psycho), two styles under classic mode (assault, endurance), two types of weapons in the armory (ground units, sentinel weapons, over 20 types total), tons of maps (five in classic, 14 in endless, 20 in campaign), plus OpenFeint support. I got tired just listing those all! The graphics and gameplay are excellent in Sentinel 3: Homeworld. I also really enjoy the background music as it adds to the space theme of the game.

Fantasy Kingdom Defense

The game takes place on closed circuit maps rather than open fields. Your goal is to post troops along the path and defend your castle from invading fantasy creatures. Each unit you summon can be upgraded up to three times, and it’s about carefully selecting and placing the perfect units. Each level can be played on any difficulty yielding different rewards if you’re having trouble. As you play, you’ll amass a collection of crystals to spend at the in-game-shop. These unlock better castle defenses, new units, and one-time-use potions for boosted stats.

The art style is fantastic in this game. I love the cartoony ‘chibi’ characters and monsters, and the color palate they went with looks great. The game could really use better controls though. It doesn’t just let you scroll a camera around the maps and select spaces to work with, but rather, a space is constantly selected. Maneuvering the camera instinctively will probably give you trouble, but it’s not so hard to get used to.

Soldiers of Glory: WW2

Soldiers of Glory: WW2 is a tower defense game from Cat Studio, who also brought us Galaxy Wars Tower Defense and Neon Defense. It takes on a much more gritty and realistic aesthetic than its predecessors, and all in all, it’s a solid tower defense game. It’s got nice visuals and sound and tried and true gameplay mechanics, but it’s also cripplingly difficult and is currently full of bugs and issues.

You start out with one single level available to you, though you can play any of the three game modes for any level once it’s unlocked, being Normal, Endless, and Single Life. You can also choose between Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulty for each game. You place and upgrade towers around the environment to create mazes and other classic TD structures. These maps aren’t completely wide open like some other TD games, but they do have plenty of environmental objects to build around. Because of this, each level requires a very different strategy. You also have carpet bombs and other power attacks to use in a pinch, though they have rather long cool down timers, so use them carefully.

This is a solid game, but it’s also ridiculously challenging. As you earn points, you’ll earn money, which can be used to upgrade units and powers in different ways. Before you can really upgrade your units very much though, you’ll probably have a very hard time. You can always purchase extra money in-app for a big boost. It technically isn’t required, and you can just grind out the same levels over and over, but that’s no fun and they’re clearly trying to get you to consider IAP. The game is also very buggy. I have occasional issues starting it up, it froze on me once, and every so often the game will glitch and not send you any new waves of troops, forcing you to exit and start a new game.

The art and sound effects are all great, and this game really can be quite fun. It definitely gets better once you start upgrading your units, but that initial difficulty wall will be a major turn off to some. Outside of the campaign, you can play any level freely through the Custom Battle mode, which is a nice plus.