Touch Arcade: Epic War TD 2: Hardcore Tower Defense Goodness

Mar 13, 2015

Balancing a tower defense title properly is a pretty tough task. Make a game too easy and players may lose interest in advancing through the game’s missions and difficulty. On the other hand, an incredibly difficult TD title can potentially alienate a lot of prospective players. Epic War TD 2 [$2.99] by AMT Games leans heavily on the difficult side in terms of the TD spectrum. However, the game is balanced well enough that most TD gamers can succeed while optional modes provide a challenge for the hardcore fans.

A sequel to a 2011 title, Epic War TD 2 gives off some pretty cool vibes with its art style and presentation. The visuals are a mix of Starcraft and Fallout in terms of futuristic elements mixed with a post apocalyptic setting. Alas, whatever tale you make up in your head in regards to the setting is all you’re going to get as Epic War TD 2 is devoid of any formal narrative. Granted, epic tales are rarely told in a TD setting but I found it interesting that Epic War 2 chose to bypass any attempt. Thankfully, the actual gameplay shines well enough.

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When it comes to towers, Epic War TD 2 has a good mix of classic tower tropes (basic gatling gun, AoE flame thrower, etc) mixed with a few interesting options (Tesla and Laser). Towers are unlocked via a progressive upgrade scheme that requires stars to unlock the next tower in the sequence. Stars are earned by playing and completing missions. Some advanced towers require player interaction in order to successfully use them, but most towers are on the standard auto-target that’s found in most TD games.

Overall, I thought the game did a decent job of providing specific detail on each of the towers as well as what the upgrades would unlock. Each enemy has a weakness in terms of tower type and it’s pretty easy for most players to understand that part of the gameplay strategy. One of the bigger annoyances I found, however, dealt with the lack of introductory tutorials for each tower. Folks that have played enough TD titles can probably guess as to what the majority of the towers do, but the lack of descriptive text makes for a lot of trial and error. This is especially true considering the game’s tendency to create situations that call for a “specific” solution to get past waves.

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Where I think Epic War TD 2 absolutely shines is in its difficulty balance from map to map. Simply put, this is a pretty tough addition to the genre. Most maps have at least one or two waves that require a specific combination of towers (which aren’t too hard to figure out if you analyze the types of enemies coming at you) but otherwise the game provides some margin of error as far as the types of towers that you should use. The fact that most towers serve a particular purpose and have a specific enemy that it’s strong against means that alert players should be able to quickly read and place towers in the correct sequence.

In this regard the gameplay is almost like a puzzle in some respects that requires some critical thought in order to pass individual waves. There’s also no IAP and no way to bypass maps, meaning that players will have to beat maps in succession. Personally, I found the difficulty to be exhilarating without being overbearing. Maps are certainly difficult, but it’s not too hard to play with combinations of towers to find the right combination. The game’s ‘Pro’ mode, however, truly is a strict puzzle environment as exact combinations of towers in the proper locations are required in order to succeed.

Epic War TD 2 is a pretty straight-forward tower defense title. There aren’t any RPG-like elements, story, or anything other than good, difficult gameplay. However, I do think that gameplay is good enough to carry the lack of a comprehensive tutorial or the reuse of maps across missions. It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten a tough, nice looking TD title, and I recommend folks looking for such to give Epic War TD 2 a try.

AUTHOR Eric Ford
POSTED ON 2015-03-12 19:06:28

Read on Touch Arcade