Toytown Tower Defense
Toytown Tower Defense, a Happiness Sam production, is yet another game of the tower defense genre that provides a decent amount of polish and a twist or two, but is otherwise more of the same. You place towers and upgrade them with money you earn from killing enemies marching on a pre-set path toward your castle, if twenty reach there you lose.
Just click on a tower to select it, once you've selected it you can upgrade it at cost, and you can set its "aura", which improves one trait of an adjacent tower. Red increases attack power, yellow increases monetary return, blue increases range and green increases attack rate. The goal is to hold out as long as possible.
The three twists Toytown offers to the genre include the auras described above and the control of one of three "Heroes" with different qualities. The marine can shoot quickly, the wizard does splash damage and the witch slows enemies down. Each hero can also choose an aura to affect nearby towers and can use two special attacks with a resultant cool-down time—EMP, which does splash damage and slows enemies; and Stun, which freezes an enemy and does considerable damage. These aspects make the game much more involved than the typical place-and-watch gameplay of most tower defense games, and also serve to keep you on your toes as you pick off stragglers and desperately hold off a remainder batch on their march toward your gate, trying to minimize casualties. The third twist is the need to build power plants periodically as you upgrade and buy new towers, a facile support loop that does little to deepen gameplay, merely adding a chore.
Aesthetically, the game is great and the pixel art is full of all the joy you can expect with pixel art. The ersatz mix of arrows, cannons, a castle you're defending and a Space Marine with a laser gun make the game either thematically diluted or pleasantly diverse, depending on your disposition. The enemies consist of typically non-scary creatures, flying pigs and penguins and little jellies—once again this can either come across as distractingly underwhelming or whimsically cute.
The interface suffers from a few issues. Because the game follows a 2.5D perspective-based perspective, clicking over a tower to move your hero there requires a prompt to choose whether you want to select the tower or move there. Using a special ability to freeze a boss right before it lands in your castle requires clicking on that and then clicking on the specific enemy—not the land right next to it as it moves. The most jarring aspect is that you must select a tower before you can select an enemy to see what their HP and resistances are. Little inconsistencies like this bug me, I don't know about you.
Regardless, this is a good way to spend some time if you're a TD fan.