As you may have gathered, I have a bias against tower defense games. Basically, I hate them, and not just because I suck at them. ;) I’m not a fan because I feel like I’m stuck in one place on the battlefield, whereas I’d rather move my units around and attack OTHER bases and ships, you know? Regardless, I tried to overcome my hatred of tower defense games to give Winter Rain Games’ Interstellar Defence Troops (IDT) a fair shake. Let’s see how it turned out…
As with any other game, I began with the tutorial. This is a mix of both textual and interactive instruction that works well. It gives a basic rundown of the interface elements — which are nice and clean — as well as some interactivity in terms of building an economy and defending your base from attackers. While the premise of IDT is similar to other tower defense games I’ve played, it also adds the spacey elements of mining and research. Research helps you upgrade your towers and buildings, and mining for minerals is done by small mining craft like in other space games.
You also need to build power plants in order to build the game’s other resource, energy, and these are important targets as one would surmise, so protect them well. Controlling all of this is very simple. Select your main station and tell it to build something, whether a worker, tower or building, then place it where you want. If you have idle workers, there’s a simple button to select them all and get ’em to work, easy peasy.
Once I was done with the tutorial, I had four game modes to choose from. These include:
- Battles: This is something of a campaign mode. There are three sectors, two of which need to be unlocked. The first sector has several missions to complete as well.
- Survival: This is the classic tower defense mode.
- Rush: This is apparently a very challenging mode, as it has VERY quick and smart enemies that appear whenever they want.
- Waves: This is apparently waves and waves of enemies.
I began with the Battles mode, and chose the first mission, “Warm-Up”, which had a difficulty score as two out of ten. I also chose medium difficulty since it was the default, hoping it wouldn’t be too tough.
As soon as I began the mission, I began mining and building defenses. This was indeed simple to set up, and in short order, I felt ready to take on the first waves of attackers. I did fine with the first few waves of fighters, but then the enemy sent in capital ships which I was wholly unprepared for, it felt like.
Eventually, waves if incoming capital ships destroyed my base and its defenses in short order, which was honestly fun to watch, even thought I was losing horribly. The graphics themselves are serviceable, but when more ships come on screen, and havoc is wreaked on both sides, the resulting firefight and explosions are really great to witness.
After such an humiliating defeat, I decided to try the same mission again on the same difficulty, to see if I could do any better. I set up my defenses as best I could and then recalled “Hey, I can research improvements! Duuuuh!”. I then opened the research screen and applied which improvements I could.
I also recalled that there are buttons on the lower right which give temporary bonuses as well, like invulnerability, health and so on. I used these as best I could throughout the match, and did indeed last a little longer, this time spending more money to upgrade towers rather than build more lower-level towers. However, in the end, I met the same fate.
And then I stopped playing. Not because the game was bad or anything — it’s not from what I can tell — it’s just I suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck, and got frustrated. What I likely need to do is play the traditional Survival mode on lower difficulty to get the hang of things before diving into the main campaign, which is what I’ll do on my next run through.
So even IDT proved how horrid, HORRID I am at tower defense games, I still had some fun playing it. This isn’t a reflection on the quality of the game, however, far from it. It’s well put together, easy on the eyes, has great music, and if you are into TD games, you’d probably love it.
Thanks for reading, and please enjoy all the screenshots I took for this article below.