Beware Planet Earth!


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Beware Planet Earth

KimberlySomewhere in the American Midwest, something strange is afoot. Crop circles are appearing. Cows are disappearing. All signs point to an alien invasion! "Beware Planet Earth!" is a zany tower defense game from indie developer Lightmare Studio. It's up to you and your friend Barney (who has unfortunately locked himself in the outhouse) to repel the ugly green monsters before it's too late.

Beware Planet Earth!Luckily for you, Barney is a genius with machines. You give him the materials, he'll make you up some slick defenses. The most basic (and essential) piece of machinery is the cog factory. It bakes up gears that you have to collect, and which act as the currency you need in order to place the other machines along the trail. Barney devises an array of attack machines, made available to you over time. Using just your mouse, drag and drop your towers to open spots in the field. You'll have to strike the right balance between cog machines and towers so you have enough supplies, but also enough firepower to hold the aliens back. After you place a tower, there is a cooldown period before you can place that particular tower again, so you need to plan for that as well.

The aliens follow a set path toward your cows each level. There are often multiple crop circles where the aliens beam in, though the paths always converge eventually. You have a set number of slots for towers, and before each level you select from a variety of towers to fill those slots. More choices and slots become available as you progress in the game. You get the chance to see the map and which enemies will be approaching before you choose which towers to use. This allows you to plan accordingly, and choose the best machines to suit each challenge.

You have a set number of cows to defend each level. If an alien breaks through your defenses, don't worry. Even if they manage to pick up a cow, they have to carry it all the way back to the crop circle in order to abduct it properly. This gives you time to rescue it and let it mosey its way back to the field. And if they do get one or two of your animals, don't despair. As long as you have one cow left at the end you'll be able to move on to the next map.

Beware Planet Earth!The main story is comprised of the four seasons, each with unique attributes that try to hinder you in some way. As you play, challenge modes are unlocked and playable from the main menu. These consist of a pre-determined number of cogs available, as well as limited selection of towers. And for those who thrive on achievements, there are plenty of those to go around.

Besides the towers, you have also managed to collect a laser gun dropped by one of the invaders, which you can now use against them. This zapper is vital to the gameplay. Use it for destroying hay bales, to make more room on the field, to destroy alien shields, or to super charge your towers, among other things. It overheats easily though, so save it for when you really need it. There are also various types of bombs that are placed directly on the path that can help weaken the enemies or save you in a pinch.

Analysis: If you think a lot of what I just described sounds like Plants vs Zombies, you'd be right. Lightmare has drawn several gameplay elements from the PopCap hit, and lists the game as an inspiration on their website. But you'd be dead wrong if you think this is just a clone. "Beware Planet Earth!" has plenty of originality, as well as its own sense of humor. The integral role of the laser gun alone is enough to set it apart from others in the genre. While normally a mouse-only gamer when possible, even I was wishing for a hotkey to grab the laser in tight situations. But the franticness is part of the fun.

Some may think the game is too easy, and while the early levels are fairly simple, it does get more difficult as you go along. If you still think it's a walk in the park, the developers tell us there's a Veteran's Mode on its way, which will be a free update when it is complete. This mode promises to challenge even the most experienced defense gamer.

The towers have a lot of personality, and the profiles of the aliens and your interactions with Barney will make you chuckle. The atmosphere of the game is early sci-fi, complete with a theremin in the soundtrack. If you loved Plants vs Zombies (and even if you didn't), this game is worth taking a look at. There is a free demo, so there's nothing stopping you from checking it out. Someone's gotta defend the beef!

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

Walkthrough Guide


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"Beware Planet Earth!" walkthrough

General Tips and Tricks:

  • Try to place Cog Factories and Bomb Silos away from the trail.

  • Your first move should always be placing a Cog Factory, followed by zapping the hay bales for extra cogs.

  • Build one or two attack towers next, but use your gun liberally at the start of each level to try to get a few cog machines to establish a steady stream of revenue.

  • Place your first towers where the paths converge nearest the pasture.

  • Cows wander slowly back to pasture on their own when dropped on the path. Use the cowbell to make them move more quickly.

  • If you end up with more cogs than you can use, destroy some of your Cog Factories and replace them with attack towers.

Zapper Gun Tips:

  • Shoot aliens with the zapper as often as you can without over-heating it.

  • Zap your towers to put them in overdrive. They will do extra damage for a short while, then will shut down completely for a short while.

  • Use the zapper on the portals the Quantum Leapers open to close them again.

  • Use the zapper to clear hay bales.

  • Zap disguised martians to uncloak them so your towers can shoot them.

  • The gun will get rid of the green shields the Mad Scientists create.

  • Zap frozen towers to remove ice.

  • Use the gun to get rid of gravestones left by Zombie Martians, and the trees the White Ninjas turn into.

  • Zap the mushrooms on the fall levels before they get big and black to prevent them from spreading to adjacent tiles.

  • You must activate the Explosive Barrel with the zapper.

Tower Types:

  1. Cog Factory: Essential! Produces cogs that allow you to build your other towers.

  2. Keg: Most basic of towers. It is inexpensive, does low damage, has a short range, but a fast rate of fire. Good first line of defense, but you'll often want to replace them later in the wave with something that does more damage.

  3. Fridg'o-matic: Slows enemies, but does no damage. Great against Ninjas.

  4. Land Mine: Single use item placed directly on the path. Takes a few seconds to arm itself, then does heavy damage to whichever alien is next to step on it.

  5. Bomb: Single use item placed on or near the path. Does medium damage to any alien in its range.

  6. Barbeque: Great long range high splash damage unit. Medium rate of fire. Because of its long range, it can be placed away from the path to save room for short range towers.

  7. Drill: Single use item used to clear rocks off the map to make room for more towers. Examine the level ahead of time and determine if there are too many rocks in key positions before you decide to take up a slot with this one.

  8. Fire station: Short range tower with continuous rate of fire. Damage increases the longer it is shooting. Great for high traffic areas.

  9. Watering Can: Single use item used to restore a "down" machine. Great if space is tight, but clowns are coming.

  10. Acid Trap: Single use item placed on the path. When triggered, it emits an acid cloud that slightly damages all aliens who pass through it.

  11. Super Keg: An upgraded version of the keg that does moderate instead of low damage, but costs more.

  12. Explosive Barrel: Single use item. Place it on the path and use your zapper to activate it. It then sends a laser zap down the path dealing heavy damage to everything it its way. If an alien touches it before you set it off, it will disappear.

  13. Poison Spitter: Long range tower that poisons multiple targets at once. Great for weakening up targets for later towers to destroy.

  14. Tesla Battery: Charges up when it has no target. The longer it is unused, the more powerful its next discharge will be. Best used in low traffic areas.

  15. Cow Decoy: Fake cow. The aliens will always pick one of these up instead of the real cows if available. Stays on the path when dropped until it is picked up by too many aliens and breaks down. Must be placed on the pasture, so notice how much room is in the pasture before you select this tower.

  16. Sprinkler: Reduces post over-drive breakdown time in towers near it. Use this if your strategy includes often over-clocking your machines.

  17. Helicowpter: Single use item that picks up a cow from the path and safely delivers it back to the pasture.

  18. Stove: Heats up towers around it so they won't freeze up in winter. If you've got enough space for it, it makes winter levels a bit less frantic. Doesn't work against Freeze Gun aliens

  19. Mortar: Highest damage tower, but very slow and expensive. Hits from long range and deals splash damage.

  20. Bomb Silo: Creates Bombs (see above) every once in awhile. Just click and drag to use when one appears for no addition cost. Best to place away from paths if possible.

Alien Types:

  1. Martian Trooper: Basic infantry unit. Medium toughness, medium speed.

  2. Red Ninja: Very fast, but very weak. Use the Fridg'o-matic to slow them down.

  3. Undercover Martian: Same toughness as a Trooper, but must be zapped to remove its disguise before your towers can shoot it.

  4. Martian Maid: These martians use their vacuum to suck up anything lying on or near the path, including cogs!

  5. Heavy Duty Martian: Very tough but very slow martian troop.

  6. Mad Scientist: Tough to kill, medium speed. Creates a green shield around surrounding enemies that must be zapped with your laser before your towers can do damage.

  7. Frost Martian: Tough but slow, he also freezes your towers with his ice gun. You must shoot them with your gun to melt the ice.

  8. Soldier: Very tough but slow, these aliens use rocket jumpers to blast over parts of the path. Look for exhaust marks on the path to know where they will jump.

  9. Clown Martian: Tough and fast, this enemy also over-clocks nearby towers when he dies.

  10. Saboteur: Medium toughness and speed, but these martians should always be top priority to kill as they can disable or destroy your towers. Zap or bomb asap.

  11. Metalhead Martian: Never seen without his Roadies, the Metalhead is tough with average speed. When he plays a note on his guitar, it enrages nearby roadies who turn into monsters who are tougher to kill.

  12. Roadie: Never seen far from a Metalhead, these usually average aliens turn into raging monsters when they hear the Metalhead play his guitar.

  13. Quantum Leaper: Medium toughness, medium speed. Uses its portal gun to open a warp zone on specified points on the path. Use your zapper to close this portal as soon as you can!

  14. Zombie Martian: Very tough, yet very slow, these martians create a gravestone upon death. Weak skeleton zombies will continue to pop out of the grave until you destroy it with your gun.

  15. Semaphore Martian: Medium toughness, high speed. This is another top priorty alien to kill, as he does not have to return to the crop circle to abduct your cows, but beams them directly to the ship upon contact.

  16. White Ninja: Medium speed and very fast, these ninjas will turn into a tree upon death. If you do not zap the tree in time, the ninja regains his health, turns back into a ninja, and continues down the path.

  17. Boss: Extremely tough. Use bombs whenever they regenerate, replace some cog towers with attack towers, use your zap gun, and time your over-clocks to kill this guy. He can steal all your cows at once!

Thanks, Kimberly, for the walkthrough!

5 Comments

I'm a huge fan of Tower Defence games. I've played a pile of them on Kongregate. I loved Plants vs Zombies. But the Beware Planet Earth! demo's convinced me not to buy a game.

The level where you get the BBQ was just too tough for me. Without having the equipment introduced gradually, being plunged into this level, after the very easy previous level, it was tough. I've played and replayed the level and I just can't get passed it. It goes too fast, too frantic, for the 4th level I get to play. There's no hints, no tips, no suggestions for what I'm doing so wrong that I can't get by the level.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

"Beware Planet Earth!" walkthrough

General Tips and Tricks:

  • Try to place Cog Factories and Bomb Silos away from the trail.

  • Your first move should always be placing a Cog Factory, followed by zapping the hay bales for extra cogs.

  • Build one or two attack towers next, but use your gun liberally at the start of each level to try to get a few cog machines to establish a steady stream of revenue.

  • Place your first towers where the paths converge nearest the pasture.

  • Cows wander slowly back to pasture on their own when dropped on the path. Use the cowbell to make them move more quickly.

  • If you end up with more cogs than you can use, destroy some of your Cog Factories and replace them with attack towers.

Zapper Gun Tips:

  • Shoot aliens with the zapper as often as you can without over-heating it.

  • Zap your towers to put them in overdrive. They will do extra damage for a short while, then will shut down completely for a short while.

  • Use the zapper on the portals the Quantum Leapers open to close them again.

  • Use the zapper to clear hay bales.

  • Zap disguised martians to uncloak them so your towers can shoot them.

  • The gun will get rid of the green shields the Mad Scientists create.

  • Zap frozen towers to remove ice.

  • Use the gun to get rid of gravestones left by Zombie Martians, and the trees the White Ninjas turn into.

  • Zap the mushrooms on the fall levels before they get big and black to prevent them from spreading to adjacent tiles.

  • You must activate the Explosive Barrel with the zapper.

Tower Types:

  1. Cog Factory: Essential! Produces cogs that allow you to build your other towers.

  2. Keg: Most basic of towers. It is inexpensive, does low damage, has a short range, but a fast rate of fire. Good first line of defense, but you'll often want to replace them later in the wave with something that does more damage.

  3. Fridg'o-matic: Slows enemies, but does no damage. Great against Ninjas.

  4. Land Mine: Single use item placed directly on the path. Takes a few seconds to arm itself, then does heavy damage to whichever alien is next to step on it.

  5. Bomb: Single use item placed on or near the path. Does medium damage to any alien in its range.

  6. Barbeque: Great long range high splash damage unit. Medium rate of fire. Because of its long range, it can be placed away from the path to save room for short range towers.

  7. Drill: Single use item used to clear rocks off the map to make room for more towers. Examine the level ahead of time and determine if there are too many rocks in key positions before you decide to take up a slot with this one.

  8. Fire station: Short range tower with continuous rate of fire. Damage increases the longer it is shooting. Great for high traffic areas.

  9. Watering Can: Single use item used to restore a "down" machine. Great if space is tight, but clowns are coming.

  10. Acid Trap: Single use item placed on the path. When triggered, it emits an acid cloud that slightly damages all aliens who pass through it.

  11. Super Keg: An upgraded version of the keg that does moderate instead of low damage, but costs more.

  12. Explosive Barrel: Single use item. Place it on the path and use your zapper to activate it. It then sends a laser zap down the path dealing heavy damage to everything it its way. If an alien touches it before you set it off, it will disappear.

  13. Poison Spitter: Long range tower that poisons multiple targets at once. Great for weakening up targets for later towers to destroy.

  14. Tesla Battery: Charges up when it has no target. The longer it is unused, the more powerful its next discharge will be. Best used in low traffic areas.

  15. Cow Decoy: Fake cow. The aliens will always pick one of these up instead of the real cows if available. Stays on the path when dropped until it is picked up by too many aliens and breaks down. Must be placed on the pasture, so notice how much room is in the pasture before you select this tower.

  16. Sprinkler: Reduces post over-drive breakdown time in towers near it. Use this if your strategy includes often over-clocking your machines.

  17. Helicowpter: Single use item that picks up a cow from the path and safely delivers it back to the pasture.

  18. Stove: Heats up towers around it so they won't freeze up in winter. If you've got enough space for it, it makes winter levels a bit less frantic. Doesn't work against Freeze Gun aliens

  19. Mortar: Highest damage tower, but very slow and expensive. Hits from long range and deals splash damage.

  20. Bomb Silo: Creates Bombs (see above) every once in awhile. Just click and drag to use when one appears for no addition cost. Best to place away from paths if possible.

Alien Types:

  1. Martian Trooper: Basic infantry unit. Medium toughness, medium speed.

  2. Red Ninja: Very fast, but very weak. Use the Fridg'o-matic to slow them down.

  3. Undercover Martian: Same toughness as a Trooper, but must be zapped to remove its disguise before your towers can shoot it.

  4. Martian Maid: These martians use their vacuum to suck up anything lying on or near the path, including cogs!

  5. Heavy Duty Martian: Very tough but very slow martian troop.

  6. Mad Scientist: Tough to kill, medium speed. Creates a green shield around surrounding enemies that must be zapped with your laser before your towers can do damage.

  7. Frost Martian: Tough but slow, he also freezes your towers with his ice gun. You must shoot them with your gun to melt the ice.

  8. Soldier: Very tough but slow, these aliens use rocket jumpers to blast over parts of the path. Look for exhaust marks on the path to know where they will jump.

  9. Clown Martian: Tough and fast, this enemy also over-clocks nearby towers when he dies.

  10. Saboteur: Medium toughness and speed, but these martians should always be top priority to kill as they can disable or destroy your towers. Zap or bomb asap.

  11. Metalhead Martian: Never seen without his Roadies, the Metalhead is tough with average speed. When he plays a note on his guitar, it enrages nearby roadies who turn into monsters who are tougher to kill.

  12. Roadie: Never seen far from a Metalhead, these usually average aliens turn into raging monsters when they hear the Metalhead play his guitar.

  13. Quantum Leaper: Medium toughness, medium speed. Uses its portal gun to open a warp zone on specified points on the path. Use your zapper to close this portal as soon as you can!

  14. Zombie Martian: Very tough, yet very slow, these martians create a gravestone upon death. Weak skeleton zombies will continue to pop out of the grave until you destroy it with your gun.

  15. Semaphore Martian: Medium toughness, high speed. This is another top priorty alien to kill, as he does not have to return to the crop circle to abduct your cows, but beams them directly to the ship upon contact.

  16. White Ninja: Medium speed and very fast, these ninjas will turn into a tree upon death. If you do not zap the tree in time, the ninja regains his health, turns back into a ninja, and continues down the path.

  17. Boss: Extremely tough. Use bombs whenever they regenerate, replace some cog towers with attack towers, use your zap gun, and time your over-clocks to kill this guy. He can steal all your cows at once!

Thanks, Kimberly, for the walkthrough!

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Thanks for all the tips. I worked out what I was doing wrong. A combination of building BBQs instead of the lower-cost towers, using the zapper to take out the first aliens, and knowing I could zap to remove the shields the scientist made helped me past that level. Now just 1 level on the demo to go.

While it's nice to have a demo that's actually a proper demo and gives a taste of a lot of the game, and allows me to play for as long as I want, I can't help but think if I'd a 1 hour free trial instead, with all the easy levels and gradual progression, I might be more inclined to buy. It's just so difficult.

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I don't find the later levels easy at all, at the moment i am stuck at fall level 10.

It is a little bit annoying when I fail to complete a level that I have to klick through all the messages from Barney again and again.

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