14
Apr
radianttiny

Alright, yes. The tower defense genre is flooded. Radiant Defense still deserves an honorable mention in the crowded field. The game, from the creators of Radiant HD, continues the neon-colored universe's traditions of quirky humor and colorful enemies. Curiously, though, it does not follow the previous game's 8-bit homage tradition. Still, we think it adds enough to the genre to be worth your time.

What's Different About This Tower Defense Game?

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Left: Unmodified path; Right: Plenty of time to kill some aliens

If this game were exactly like all the others, it wouldn't be worth a mention. Radiant Defense feels a bit more like a grown-ups tower defense game, though. For starters, at the beginning of each round, you're given the option to place "modules" to modify the path enemies must travel down. After the first couple of training levels, it becomes apparent just how much entirely different paths can affect gameplay. It's a simple mechanic, but it can drastically affect how well you perform against a stream of enemies.

Also, unlike most other tower defense games, you're given a break between waves to build up your defense. This is almost necessary due to the other big difference that makes this game more challenging: you are given all of your weapons at once and need most of them. It can be overwhelming at first, but the game has plenty of tooltips and info on your various weapons.

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If this is your first tower defense game, it might be a bit too much information. I liken the experience to the first time playing a major MMO: there's a ton of information here and you can't possibly know the best ways to use all your abilities to your advantage right off the bat, but there are plenty of ways to explore and that actually adds to the fun a bit. Throwing turrets at the wall and seeing what blows up.

Oysters, Losers, And Natural Selection

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This game is funny. If there is nothing else this game has going for it over the other games in this genre, this game is hilarious. The awkwardly phrased, absurd, bickering humor style of the previous Radiant game is still here and still gets laughs. As before, new items and concepts are introduced intermixed into humorous conversations, to keep the game entertaining. We won't ruin all the fun for you,but here's a few samples:

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Those Nasty In-App Purchases

It seems that all games, these days, have some form of money-grubbing shenanigans to go along with them. Radiant Defense's in-app purchases are, thankfully, not that bad. I managed to play through several levels of the game and only felt constrained by the default options once. Even then, it was against a new type of enemy, so my struggle could just as easily be attributed to my own learning curve. The important thing is that I never felt like I was having genuine difficulty with the game because I hadn't purchased any extra items. So, for those of you who don't want your money, feel free to send me some buy some upgrades, but it doesn't seem necessary to the gameplay. It would be a nice way to support the developer, though, until a paid version comes out.

So, Should You Try It?

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Sure! If you're not completely sick of tower defense games (and honestly, it would be hard to blame you), this one offers plenty of challenges to even seasoned veterans of the genre. It's not a complete rework, but the essence of tower defense games is combat-related puzzles, and this one is one of the more complex ones we've seen.

All that being said, though, developers? Can we have a talk? It's nice that you guys have so many good ideas for this genre. I've played a half-dozen different games like this in the last month and they all manage to have some quirk or feature that makes them interesting. On the whole, however, we wouldn't hate it if any developers currently planning their next big game chose something other than a tower defense game. They're not bad games, but there sure are an awful lot of them.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • sjobs

    The paid upgrades for this app appear to be transferable to your other devices via an unlock code of some kind? Is this true?

    • James Jun

      Weren't in-app purchases tied to your Google account?

    • http://mystady.com/ MY STADY — mystady.com

      The redeem codes are given to reviewers and such.

      Payments are tied to your Google account as always.

  • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

    Beautiful and mesmerizing, nobody can reproduce the same mysterious charm of Hexage's games. I do wish they used new sounds though, I felt like they were reusing a lot of the ones from their other games.

    • http://mystady.com/ MY STADY — mystady.com

      I'm pretty sure they're reusing the sounds on purpose.

  • Shetty Com

    Eric, how many levels did you play? The game ramps up in difficulty very fast and it seems impossible to complete mission 2(sigma delta) without purchasing a bunch of premium upgrades.

    • Jasopan

       Agreed, I hate starting games knowing that they're eventually gonna make you pay to enjoy/finish the game.

    • http://rootzwiki.com/user/17721-ocentertainment/ Eric Ravenscraft

      That's actually the exact level I was talking about in the article that I had a little trouble with. On my first time playing through, I bought myself into a corner because I was experimenting with the research center or whatever the crap that was. The wave with about 150 tiny purple aliens murdered me. I came back again, though, and spent more on guns and less on experimenting. I struggled a bit with that wave and lost a few spirals, but ultimately I beat it. The rest of the waves in Delta Sigma were a breeze.

      Like I said, this game isn't the easiest of the tower defense games, and frankly, I'm glad. Tower defense games can be really generic. This one has plenty to explore and, if you don't give up at the first sign of trouble, there seems to be a few different ways of approaching the same problem.

      It's also worth noting on that level that the second time I played it, I took another look at the construction of the path and realized I could make it even less efficient for the baddies. It helped. You might try that out.

      • Shetty Com

        Oh! So it is possible to best that level without premium upgrades. Guess I need to try harder.
        Thanks for the suggestions Eric

      • Carlgaardner

        How do You research? Havent figured that out yet... I cant get past level 3... I press the "unresearched" weapont (the ones that arent buyable) and it says Research in red but how do i Research it? Pleas answer, going nuts over here...

        • Hallonar

          You buy the research unit (press the arrow to the left or right till you find the buy menu for those kind of things)

      • http://mystady.com/ MY STADY — mystady.com

        You should easily get to level 5 without paying for any premium upgrades. And by that I mean have all three stars intact.

        The DLC upgrades are great though. I purchased them later because to me the total is one dollar less than what I would have paid for a full version anyway.

        Tips:

        - Only upgrade after the wave has started.

        - After a successful wave, start the next with fast-forward. This is a test run to see if anything needs upgrading. You'll be surprised how often you DON'T need to upgrade.

  • eleazar

    This game is great.  Amazing graphics, consistent gameplay, and no crashes!

  • snedger

    If it is possible to progress past the boss at the end of Mission 3 - Monsters Ante Portas - without making purchases, then I will be surprised.
    I can't even work out which weapons have the most effect! The boss doesn't appear to suffer any damage for ages and then not far before the spiral, it starts to take damage, but simply not enough weapons, time or space.
    This games crashes an awful lot on my Galaxy S2 and feasts on battery.
    Still, extremely fun and rewarding when you work out a strategy - except that to experiment killing end of mission 3, I will have to reset mission - which means 24 sub-missions to replay - or get out my wallet.

    • phantomash

      I managed to play pass level 5 with 3 stars without in app purchases, but beyond that it seems impossible for me. Well if anyone have figured out how to play through level 6 without in app purchases, please feel free to correct me. 

      • Al McElmon

        Got any tips for boss 3?

        • BenRad

          Yes, I'm stuck on that boss too, and I bought all the upgrades.

          • Iliffchris

            And as am I. I can't beat him at all with the upgrades

          • Iliffchris

            And as am I. I can't beat him at all with the upgrades

          • Iliffchris

            And as am I. I can't beat him at all with the upgrades

          • Iliffchris

            And as am I. I can't beat him at all with the upgrades

      • bobs

        I'm on 7 wave 36 without any purchases, but i'm stuck =[

      • alhen

        I'm stuck at level 7 - the boss.

    • Square

      I beat level 1-6 all with 3 stars and no-damage.. I completed level 7, but only with 1 star, the boss gives you a 10-lives damage (I had 12). THAT BOSS, the entire screen was shooting at it, and still, I only managed to reduce his health to 50%..dehj..

  • Conrad

    I got through Level 7 without in app purchases using the same method each time.  

    Always buy one of each starter weapon. Put laser first closer to the vortex, then put the canon and gun next to each other in a spot facing what will be your killing floor.  Each level will have a spot where you aim all your weapons.  

    The biggest thing to solve is where the killing floor will be in the maze.  This typically is done my making a zig zag like an "M", where your range weapons are outside of it but in range pelting everything that goes in it.  In the center of the "M" you put your laser and eventually the Tesla and Slow thing.  

    Only build or upgrade during the wave so you can reset if I screw up.  

    Make money!  Only upgrade the minimum amount each wave to try to have more than $500 after each wave, maxing out on the interest, getting the max of $50 per round.  

    Order of weapons...
    First round, buy the three main ones.
    Slowly upgrade the three in a balanced way till you have enough to buy the research center.
    Next buy the Tesla and put it in the pointy center end part of your M.  Slowly max it out.
    Then put the Slow thingie right next to it.  Slowly max it out.
    Gas, then Judgement
    Then get more cannons or teslas depending on the level.

    The last boss is always hard, so you may have to sell weapons as it passes to put them closer to the end of the maze.  

  • Aforbiddenlegacy

    Well i got through all levels up to lvl 7 without any purchases. nowon lvl 7 with both the explosion and flamer pack im still stuck and always die before wave 30.

    so if anyone has a good layout or idea how to finish this, please feel free to contact me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Max-Hippie/100001025843970 Max Hippie

    Ok well i beaten lvl 7 now with all upgrades however.
    Now at lvl 8 im totally stuck and getting killed bigtime. think imma need a different strategy. anyone who needs help with the game can contact me on my page on facebook and ill see if i can help ya out. (click on my name here to get to my fb page) and rest should be a walk in the park for you.

    cheers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Max-Hippie/100001025843970 Max Hippie

    Ok well i beaten lvl 7 now with all upgrades however.
    Now at lvl 8 im totally stuck and getting killed bigtime. think imma need a different strategy. anyone who needs help with the game can contact me on my page on facebook and ill see if i can help ya out. (click on my name here to get to my fb page) and rest should be a walk in the park for you.

    cheers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Max-Hippie/100001025843970 Max Hippie

    Ok well i beaten lvl 7 now with all upgrades however.
    Now at lvl 8 im totally stuck and getting killed bigtime. think imma need a different strategy. anyone who needs help with the game can contact me on my page on facebook and ill see if i can help ya out. (click on my name here to get to my fb page) and rest should be a walk in the park for you.

    cheers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Max-Hippie/100001025843970 Max Hippie

    Ok well i beaten lvl 7 now with all upgrades however.
    Now at lvl 8 im totally stuck and getting killed bigtime. think imma need a different strategy. anyone who needs help with the game can contact me on my page on facebook and ill see if i can help ya out. (click on my name here to get to my fb page) and rest should be a walk in the park for you.

    cheers.

  • Adhi Ptsip

    anyone can help me thru level 9???  i already reached wave 20, but always with low budget wave by wave. and cannot buy superweapon.....

  • john grace

    I am having trouble on level 8 mainly with placement or my guns and the 3 moduels you Ye at the start, can someone help me out a bit?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Max-Hippie/100001025843970 Max Hippie

      we;; o john let me know what the main problem is and what, if any, upgrades you've got. otherwise contact me on facebook like i explained here below in a different message. cheers.

      P.S.
      beaten the whole game up to lvl 9 and the fridge sucker.

  • Armondo Mcnair

    Should have got this game a long time ago, its awesome, I show everyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=36611074 Erik Rogers

    As a huge fan of Tower Defense, Sentinel 3 was my favorite until I found this gem. It is also on the Windows 8 store now so definitely pick it up if you have a Windows 8 tablet!

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