Aliens are invading the Earth… again! They’re back, and they want the wool of your precious flocks of sheep in order to knit a really nice sweater for their emperor. No, really. What, do you doubt the quality of your sheep? Or just the zany premise? Laugh all you want, but the only things stopping you from being the proud owner of a brand-new empty field are Bo the Ram, an arsenal of high-tech machinery, and hopefully a strategic mind.
The name of the game is “tower defense.” Actually, it’s “TowerMadness 2,” but it’s still a tower defense game, and if you’ve played one before, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with the turf you’re about to tread upon.
You know the drill: A seemingly endless army of (aliens) are marching in formation to reach (your sheep). Your job is to set up a gauntlet of various weapons and other tools to take them down and thwart their plans before they have the chance to succeed. As you progress, the (aliens) begin to adapt to your tactics and weaponry, forcing you to step up your game in equal measure. The more (aliens) you take down, the more in-game currency you’ll receive to plant more weapons and devices, or upgrade the ones you already have (assuming you’ve unlocked them from the store with a separate form of in-game currency).
Okay, so TowerMadness 2 doesn’t really win points for originality. As you can see, the basic premise reads like tower defense mad libs, but by no means is it a poor game– far from it. It basically retreads familiar ground, but at least it does it well.
Lending to the overall feel of the game is a sense of humor which adds a nice bit of levity as you fend off the alien invaders. Of course, you could probably glean that from the whole “emperor’s sweater” story, but it nonetheless gets the job done. Various data bits spread throughout the game give it personality, such as one of the alien types who wear a suit that is immune to your energy blasts. As it turns out, the helmet for that getup is basically what they use for trash cans back on their home planet. “Energy-resistant trash cans,” it adds.
One unique factor which is almost contradictory is the inclusion of Bo the Ram. A champion among rams, he helps watch over your sheep, and if an alien manages to get by your defenses, he’ll chase and run down the entire lot. This leads all the way back to their ship, where he takes care of business personally. You can only allow this once per stage, and it’s generally not an “ideal” scenario to happen, but it’s just so much fun to watch an entire army of aliens about-face and run back to their ships.
Beyond that, you have several sheep, and they can only take them away one at a time, so if an alien or two manages to get by you, it’s not game over. Just don’t let it happen too often, or else it’s back to the drawing board.
Mechanically, TowerMadness 2 isn’t anything particularly special. But again, that’s okay; what it lacks in outright innovation, it makes up for in craftsmanship and personality. If you’ve never played a tower defense game before, or simply can’t get enough of the genre, this is one well worth checking out.