“A Great Take on Tower Defense, With a Complete Unique Aesthetic.”
An XboxHornet by WDesm.
The Tower Defense genre is, at this point, considered relatively mature. What that means is that new entrants into the field need to either be perfectly polished, or they need to add something unique to make the formula sparkle. I’m not sure which of those two criteria Sketchy Tower Defense falls under, but something about its simplistic charm and well-integrated multiplayer certainly makes it stand out amongst the crowd.
Like all tower defense games, the basic principle is to defend yourself against an increasing number of enemies. To do this, you must carefully place turrets (or towers), creating long-snaking mazes of firepower and traps that enemies are unable to survive. Sketchy Tower Defense takes the endless gauntlet approach to gameplay – the levels never actually end, and as the waves increase in difficulty and size, you simply need to buy more turrets (and upgrade the ones you have to stay alive).
While some tower defense games work on the “node” principle (on each map, you can only build towers at preselected positions), Sketchy Tower Defense gives you an empty sheet of grid paper, and any object can be placed anywhere, leaving it up to you where to place towers, and how to build your maze. There are a variety of towers to build, from arrows to cannons, to more mystical ice launchers and lightning towers, to even the not-quite-a-tower pit traps and +RNG (random number generator) and +DMG buffs. Each level starts with a set amount of gold, and killing monsters drops more gold, which fuels your tower building.
Single player Sketchy Tower Defense is good. It’s not great – admittedly, a small selection of maps, albeit open-ended maps, offers the most appeal to the diehard tower defense crowd – and it lacks a “throne of bragging” (aka an online leaderboard), which should be considered industry standard for any survive-as-long-as-possible game mode ever. If Sketchy Tower Defense was single player only, it would probably receive a few positive comments, and then be completely forgotten. However, we’ve only looked at half of the fun: Multiplayer.
Sketchy Tower Defense includes a (sadly, local-only) co-operative and competitive mode. In co-operative mode, you play the same maps as single player, but players can simultaneously act, build, upgrade, and tweak buildings. The inclusion of a fully functional second player is a blast, and really helps increase your longevity on a stage, and the longevity of the game. Competitive Sketchy Tower Defense has a splitscreen approach, and enemies you take down can be transported to the other player’s half of the map, making their life harder and yours easier.
With an endearing set of aesthetics and a thoroughly enjoyable multiplayer, Sketchy Tower Defense is worth checking out if you like the genre. It’s a shame that you can’t take on friends and foes online, or brag about your mastery of a stage (heck, even sending replays to friends would have been stellar!), but for 80MSPoints, you’ll get your value’s worth for sure.
Game Score: 8.5/10.
Download a free demo of the game here.