Silver Maze


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Rating: 4/5 (65 votes)
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MarcusSilver MazeThere are a few things in life that I just can't get enough of. Meat pizza, dark chocolate, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Harry Potter just to name a few. In the gaming realm, Tower Defense is one genre I can't get enough of and I've played quite a few, some good, some bad. Silver Maze is one that I can safely place in the "good" category. While it may seem on the surface a simple TD entry, the complexities soon make themselves evident.

Silver Maze starts out life as a tower defense game with but four towers to choose from. The gun tower is your standard single-shot gun. The minigun tower shoots bursts of bullets, but must cool down in-between firings. Canon towers don't deal much damage, but they deal it over multiple units. Finally, the laser tower has the largest range of all the weapons, while dealing about the same damage as the gun tower. Tower placement is critical to success.

Where the weapons seem to lack in variety, the creatures make up for it. Nine different enemy units will come slowly crawling your way during the levels of the game. Things start off simple with basic enemies that don't have any special abilities and standard hit points (HP). Soon you will be faced with a variety of different enemies. Some will come in large groups of small creatures. Others will come as behemoth single entities that will take the combined forces of all of your towers to eventually take out. If it seems that these enemies might become too much for your towers to take on, you'd be right.

Luckily, Silver Maze includes an extensive upgrade system. Besides the standard tower upgrades that increase throughout the game, there are a number of special upgrades that can be done to each tower. One of four enchantments can be placed on a tower, with different effects. Ice will temporarily slow enemies down each time they are hit with the enchanted weapon. Lightning will add an area effect to any weapon it is placed on. Fire will set enemies ablaze, doing further damage after they have been initially hit with the enchanted weapon. The shadow enchantment makes enemies explode when they expire, causing damage to surrounding enemy units.

The most unique of the upgrades is the combine. This unique ability allows you to combine the abilities of two towers to make a different, much more powerful tower. At first, you are only allowed to combine a tower with another of the same type. This creates a super-powered version of the tower, but keeps the abilities the same. Later in the game, you will be able to combine towers of different types, creating a tower that combines the abilities of each tower into a new type of tower. The results can be absolutely devastating, and they'll need to be, because the enemy keeps marching on.

Silver MazeAnalysis: What points Silver Maze may loose in graphic prowess, it gains back two-fold in strategy and planning. The designs for the weapons are very simple, but the animation is smooth and detailed. The enemies are simple circles with a variety of animated markings that, along with their size, help to identify each enemy type. Each level is, as the title suggests, silver in appearance, with a variety of path placements, from simple snaking paths to paths that cross over themselves multiple times. While there is often an "optimal" solution for each level, there is enough room for experimentation and planning to make later levels good for coming back to and trying again.

The presentation of the game ramps up the difficulty nice and slowly, introducing gameplay elements one by one over the course of a number of levels. Instead of bombarding the player with all the features of the game at once, this gives the player a chance to get used to each feature as it is introduced. It also means that you will have to survive quite a long time to achieve some of the cooler features of the game as they are slowly unlocked. It definitely keeps you playing. And, if you want more time to experiment with any of the game features that you have unlocked, you can always play in a sandbox mode. This is a large, twisting maze of a level in which you are given an excessive amount of money to spend on weapons, and can launch waves of different enemies at the push of a button. It's a great way to test strategies for certain weapons or in taking out certain types of enemies. It's also fun to load the level up with guns and see what happens!

Sound effects consist of your standard booms and bangs, and are okay, but could have been much bigger and bombastic. The music on the other hand is very well done, and suits the game style perfectly. I never once felt the need to turn it off and listen to iTunes, as in so many other games. It could easily stand on its own as a video game soundtrack meant for listening outside the game. It's that good.

Taking a few cues from other TD games such as Gemcraft, Silver Maze contains the perfect system for beginners while being challenging enough for expert TD gamers. While it's not the flashiest game on the block, its tower upgrade system more than makes up for it, and brings it to another level of awesomeness. Definitely give this one a try.

Play Silver Maze

21 Comments

Robot Roll Call!

Yes, TD is certainly an interestingly addicting breed, though 9/10 games feel identical to me.

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Seems like pretty much every other TD game out there. Slight variations aren't enough for me to want to play this tired genre.

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Interesting new ideas get hailed for their originality.

Hundreds of copycats turn it into a "genre".

Interesting new copycats get hailed for their originality.

hmm

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I am so sick of tower defense games, I'm starting to feel antipathy towards anything that resembles a tower. Just the other day, I punched a lighthouse in the FACE. Anyway, can't we find a more eco-friendly way of defending vulnerable structures? Having to build tower after tower after just to keep a seemingly endless parade of indistinguishable bad guys from storming your [whatever] is a very resource intensive tactic. Here's an idea, instead of waiting for all the bad guys to show up at your doorstep, why not send a spaceship or commando or super-mecha-tank out to track down the baddies and BLOW THEM TO KINGDOM COME?

This would not only be a environmentally sustainable means of defeating the forces of evil, but might also make for a reasonably fun game. Which would distinguish it from virtually every tower defense game ever made.

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I'm actually a fan of the TD genre, tired old dinosaur that it is. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but then what is? If you rate a game, I believe it should be rated on the positives and negatives of the title itself, not based on how you feel towards the genre as a whole.

That said, obviously if you don't enjoy TD games, this one might not convert you. There's nothing wrong with it (it's a solid entry) but I wouldn't hail it as revolutionary either. If you give it a chance, the levels actually require more strategy to beat than those featured in other, similar titles.

Downside being that each level seems to need almost a SPECIFIC strategy, so you can't really develop your own style. Which is a shame, because if there's one thing I am, it is STYLISH. *happily marches around in bright pink rain boots and rainbow leggings*

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haha, he referenced MST3k! best show ever!

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"Lose", not "loose".

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While I realize that this may be the first time these features have appeared in a browser based TD, these guys aren't actually innovating. The combining system is entirely based around "Element TD," a Warcraft 3 map that has been around for several years. So, while this might be a well-executed TD with depth, "unique" isn't a word I would use to describe it.

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So far I'm up to level 21, which was totally painful. I finally beat it:

I put a cluster of two level-9 typhoons with shadow and two level-3 cannon with ice at the first bend, to clear out the small stuff, and two artillery with fire covering the left and lower loops for the bigger stuff, then as I gained cash I built level-3 cannons with ice and fire so that the entire map was slowed and had constant fire refresh. After the last tank came through I sold stuff behind it and upgraded the fire cannon in front of it to artillery. The last tank died within millimeters of home base, but I lost no lives :)

General hints from my experience to date:

Area damage towers are nice for spreading status effects (fire, ice). Some towers have high damage output when firing but also have burst damage (i.e., firing pauses periodically), so they're unreliable in a pinch. You'll probably need to use several types of towers to deal with the different enemies.

The fire and ice enchantments are generally useful. The shadow enchantment is good for small stuff that comes in clusters, but not useful on large single targets.

Combo towers: of the 31 combos, only a handful are really useful. In general (there are exceptions):
* A combo with a laser will have long range
* A combo with a minigun will have short range and burst damage
* A combo with a cannon will have area damage

Here's the names and some of the stats of the combo towers:

2-tower combos:

2x gun = lynx
Damage: 14
Rate: 1 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 14
+Chance to increase rate of fire

2x minigun = squid
Damage: 2.6
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 100
DPS: 18
Burst damage
Low range
+Chance to deal 2x damage

2x cannon = mastodont
Damage: 12
Rate: 2 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 6
Area damage (2x)

2x laser = narwhal
Damage: 2
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 250
DPS: 10

minigun + cannon = storm
Damage: 12
Rate: 0.5 sec
Range: 100
DPS: 12
Burst damage
Area damage

minigun + laser = plasma
Damage: 2.8
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 14
Burst damage

cannon + laser = pulse
Damage: 8
Rate: 1 sec
Range: 200
DPS: 8
Area damage

The first set of 3-tower combos you can get:

Combos of 3 of the same:

3x gun = bobcat
Damage: 18
Rate: 1 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 18
+Chance to increase rate of fire
DPS at level 9: 1458

3x minigun = kraken
Damage: 4.8
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 100
DPS: 24
Burst damage
Low range
+Chance to deal 3x damage'
DPS at level 9: 1944

3x cannon = mammoth
Damage: 12
Rate: 2 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 6
Area damage (3x)
DPS at level 9: 486

3x laser = unicorn
Damage: 2.4
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 350
DPS: 12
Extremely long range
DPS at level 9: 972

Combos with 2 or 3 types:

laser + cannon + minigun = doomsday
Damage: 140
Rate: 10 sec
Range: 200
DPS: 14
Burst damage (5x)
Area damage
DPS at level 9: 1134

2x minigun + laser = tachyon
Damage: 4
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 20
Burst damage
+Chance to deal 2x damage
DPS at level 9: 1620

2x minigun + cannon = typhoon
Damage: 18
Rate: 0.5 sec
Range: 100
DPS: 18
Burst damage
Area damage
+Chance to deal 2x damage
DPS at level 9: 1458

2x cannon + laser = missile
Damage: 16
Rate: 2 sec
Range: 200
DPS: 8
Area damage (2x)
DPS at level 9: 648

2x cannon + minigun = hurricane
Damage: 12
Rate: 0.5 sec
Range: 100
DPS: 12
Burst damage
Adrea damage (2x)
DPS at level 9: 972

2x laser + minigun = stream
Damage: 3.2
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 250
DPS: 16
Blue lasers: 160% damage
Red lasers: 40% damage
DPS at level 9: 1296

2x laser + cannon = artillery
Damage: 20
Rate: 2 sec
Range: 250
DPS: 10
Area damage
DPS at level 9: 810

The final set of combos (after level 20):

2-tower combos with guns:

gun + minigun = predator
Damage: 8
Rate: 0.5 sec
Range: 100
DPS: 16
Special: aims for weakest unit in range

gun + cannon = judgement
Damage: 20
Rate: 2 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 10
Area damage
Special: aims for strongest unit in range

gun + laser = tag
Damage: 2.4
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 200
DPS: 12
Special: aims for tanks in range

3-tower combos with guns:

gun + 2x minigun = hunter
Damage: 4.4
Rate: 0.5 sec
Range: 100
DPS: 22
Chance to deal 2x damage
Special: aims for weakest unit in range
DPS at level 9: 1782

gun + 2x cannon = leveler
Damage: 20
Rate: 2 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 10
Area damage (2x)
Special: aims for strongest unit in range
DPS at level 9: 810

gun + 2x laser = tracker
Damage: 2.8
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 250
DPS: 14
Special: aims for tanks in range
DPS at level 9: 1134

2x gun + minigun = bane
Damage: 20
Rate: 1 sec
Range: 100
DPS: 20
+Chance to increase rate of fire
Special: aims for weakest unit in range
DPS at level 9: 1620

2x gun + cannon = balance
Damage: 28
Rate: 2 sec
Range: 150
DPS: 14
+Chance to increase rate of fire
Special: aims for strongest unit in range
DPS at level 9: 1134

2x gun + laser = moderator
Damage: 3.2
Rate: 0.1 sec
Range: 200
DPS: 16
+Chance to increase rate of fire
Special: aims for tanks in range
DPS at level 9: 1296

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dave from knoxville September 6, 2009 8:18 PM

I have tried stage 13 about 2 dozen times. Stuck.

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Also stuck on level 13. Tried spamming storm towers to no avail.

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How do you do the last level? Unicorns got the tank yellow... don't want to constantly rebuild in positions to keep striking, too painful :-) anyone done it?

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I'm stuck on level 13, the one in the very centre of the board. Any tips, guys?

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Well, I just figured out level 13... barely.

These are the first six towers I built, in order. Pink numbers indicate that the tower was completed before the first creep arrived. That held me until the final tank, with some loss of life as you can see.

Then I started madly selling towers as soon as the tank got out of their range and building new tachyons in front of it.

I squeaked through the level alive. If somebody else has a better approach, by all means share.

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I am stuck on level 17. Can anyone help please? It's driving me CRAZY!

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im stuck on lvl 11 any tips?

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I am stuck on level 19
This stage starts at low cash but the worms come out continuously

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For level 19, I just spammed mammoth towers close to the start and it worked out very easily, just keep building them, my money was stacking up pretty fast.

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Also stuck on level 11. Any tips appreciated.

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Anonymous October 29, 2009 5:34 AM

Has anyone done the tank worm level? how?

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any one beat lvl six im stuck

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