By Werner Ruotsalainen on Wed, 11/04/2009
Well – finally it’s here! My favorite tower defense game for Windows Mobile has just been approved to the Apple mobile platforms. What is more, it only costs $1, which is quite a steal for this game – particularly if you take into account that I paid some $10 for the Windows Mobile version – when it was at a 50% sale (the regular price was, IIRC, $20).
In my opinion, this title is one of the best (if not THE best) tower defense titles for the iPhone. I might be a bit biased, of course – after all, I’ve played the WinMo version quite a lot before any game in the genre has been released for the iPhone and, consequently,
iPhone Note: the following tutorial is based on the Windows Mobile / desktop version (released in Summer 2008). The iPhone version isn’t at all different when it comes to the available tower types, game modes and the creeps. The only (slight) difference is in the operation: it’s far more finger-friendly, as opposed to the Windows Mobile (and, of course, the touchscreen-less desktop Windows / Symbian) version.
First, now, it’s far easier (and safer!) top upgrade / sell towers. In the previous versions, you needed to pay special attention not to tap / click the wrong side of the (very small) tower upgrade / selling interface. The iPhone, on the other hand, a much bigger area of the screen is dedicated to upgrading / selling as can be seen for example in the following (8k) screenshot (look for the 100 (upgrade price) / 40 (selling price) icons in the lower right corner):
That is, tapping (selecting) the wrong icon is much- much harder. This means accidentally selling a tower, which, when there is a massive surge of incoming creep attack, can have lethal consequences – remember you can’t place a newly-purchased tower when there’re any creeps over the position you’re going to place it.
Note that there are two ways of placing a new tower. First, if you start dragging in the new towers from the bottom-most screen area. Then, your finger won't cover the place you're going to drop the tower – it’ll be displayed about an inch (2-3 cm’s) above your finger. This, however, doesn't work with the bottommost two or three rows on the map; there, you need to tap the final place without dragging. This can, sometimes, result in misplacing if you don't tap-and-hold (but quickly tap instead) and, while holding the screen, look for the colored bars moving around on the X / Y axis showing the final placement of the tower.
As you can see in the screenshot below, Web high scores are also implemented:
(a 8k screenshot; I’m also on the list ;) )
Speed-wise, unlike on Windows Mobile when running on high-resolution (VGA) devices (as opposed to low-resolution QVGA ones), even the 3G (let alone the 3G S) runs the game just fine and you’ll only encounter severe slowdowns if you let some 15-20 waves of creep on the field at the same time. When not doing so (that is, at most, letting 2-3 waves of creep on the field at the same time), the game remains perfectly playable – unlike on Windows Mobile and VGA devices.
Note that there are some (slight) changes in the game limits too. For example, the 8k game now “only” has 81 enemy waves as can also be seen in the following screenshot (showing my having beaten the AI on the iPhone 3G):
Incidentally, this is how my set-up looked in the last wave:
All in all, my existing WinMo / desktop PC / Symbian strategy guide (it’s HERE) will be just fine with the Apple version too – taking the differences outlined above into account.