Steampunk Tower 2

For those unfamiliar with the Tower Defense genre, the premise is fairly simple. Wave after wave of enemies attack your base, and you build your “tower” defenses to defeat your enemies without taking too much damage or losing your base. Steampunk Tower 2 is a tower defense game that takes the “Tower Defense” concept a bit more literally than other games I’ve played. In Steampunk Tower 2 you are actually IN the tower (that you equip with turrets and specialty weapons) and your job is to defend it with all your might. This might sound like all other games in the genre, but the formula is a bit different as the game ends up being a half tower defense/half puzzle game. So how does a tower defense game about defending your tower turn out? Read on to find out…

The story of Steampunk Tower 2 is your typical tale of “cult wants to take over Europe and you are in charge of pushing them back and defeating them”. If you want to defeat the cult and take back control of Europe, you are going to have to do so by upgrading your base of operations, expanding your tower and taking part in spy missions that allow you to gather additional resources. Expanding your base and upgrading your turrets and tower defenses is your first line of defense against the cult and their ever-expanding thirst to take over the world.

As you may have guessed by now, the main portion of the game involves upgrading your tower and utilizing your tower to liberate areas in Europe that have been taken over by the cult. You are provided with a map of Eastern Europe that shows the various types of battles available to you. Some battles expand the narrative and are represented as red markers on the world map. The yellow markers represent battles that provide needed currency for purchasing additional special weapon attacks/upgrading building etc. and to increase your research in upgrading buildings or weapons. Last but not least, the blue markers represent challenges, that while difficult, reward you with special turrets that can be upgraded with abilities not available to the standard turrets. Once you select the mission you wish to embark on, you are transported to the battlefield via a flying fortress and your Battle Tower is literally dropped into battle. Battle is pretty straightforward, as your turrets just blast away whatever comes towards the tower. The enemies are broken down into two distinct types, land and air. Your job is to plan your turrets accordingly so that you have the right number of ground and air attack turrets to defeat the waves of oncoming enemies. The turret locations are assigned prior to the mission, but they can be moved around and adjusted during battle. As turrets get low on ammunition you can move them into the middle of the tower so that they can restock. If you fail to do so and they run out of ammo they will restock on their own, but at a MUCH slower pace than if they were manually moved to the center of the tower. As turrets rack up kills, a meter fills up, and once that meter is completely full, the turret in question has a special attack that does additional damage to the enemies. Each battle is about managing each individual turret, moving them to the center of the tower when their ammo is low, and ensuring the use of the special attacks at the most opportune moment.

Turrets are not your only line of defense though…the tower “eye” can double as an extremely powerful death-ray that can be used against ground and air opponents. This eye is charged with steam that can be purchased prior to battle or earned in battle by initiating the next wave of enemies before the five second countdown has completed. In addition to the eye, there are support units which can also be purchased to give the player an edge in battle. These extremely powerful weapons can be expensive to use, and the eye can take a long time to charge, but both can turn the tide of a battle in an instant…stealing victory from the arms of defeat. Some battles will involve huge boss machines that take a lot of fire power to take down, so having these extra powerful weapons at your disposal is a godsend.

Even with all of these weapons, the cult will not be easy to take down and they will strike back at the areas on the map that you have stolen from them. When this happens, you are forced to use your mighty Battle Tower to once again defeat the evil cult and maintain your hold on the territory. After you have captured a territory, you can choose to have any additional attacks on that territory be battled automatically by the computer. If you choose to go this route, the computer utilizes a formula to determine how much damage your tower would take and the chance for success based on your turrets and resources. I’m the type of player who prefers to always control my own battles, so while the battles can become monotonous, that, to me anyway, was the whole fun of the game.

Graphically I loved the theme of the game, as I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a sucker for the steampunk aesthetic. The graphics for the enemies was a unique touch as the lesser enemies were merely shadows of what they represent, while the bosses looked like large lumbering nightmares from a clockmaker’s dream. The graphics are simple, but highly effective in portraying just the right atmosphere in the game. I also enjoyed the soundtrack and the battle sounds were crisp and vibrant, making the game easy to get lost in.

Steampunk Tower 2 does a fantastic job depicting the feeling of battling for Europe in a steampunk universe. The game is easy to pick up and learn, and the first several hours are great at teaching the player what to do and keeping them on task. If you lose a level, you analyze what you did (or didn’t) do and you battle it again. The game is a decent length, around 15-20 hours, and while the gameplay is pretty redundant, there was still something that kept bringing me back for more. If you like tower defense games, you will certainly like this game and if you like puzzle games then there is something here for you as well. Now if you’d excuse me, the cult is invading, and I must go and dispatch my Battle Tower to dispose of them!

What I liked: Steampunk setting, Fun gameplay, Interesting base management

What I liked less: Can be a bit repetitive

4 out of 5 stars