Tower Heroes is a new browser-based strategy game developed with Flash which currently is in beta stage. Featuring simple, cartoon-inspired 2D graphics and a simple but original combat system, it challenges the player’s capabilities regarding his or her improvisation as well as in planning and organizing resources.
We’ve lately had the chance to take part in the closed beta testing und want to share our impressions about the game with you:
Like many other flash-based online games, Tower Heroes as well is a relatively simple one. The first step you do within the game is to choose one of the 3 playable races. There are Humans, Elves, and Dwarfs at your disposal, each one representing a different small advantage: Elves, for example, dispose over an enhanced production of resources, Dwarfs and Humans are able to create troops for defence or attack at lower costs. Unfortunately, there’s no possibility to change for another race afterwards. So choose your favourite race wisely!
The world of Tower Heroes consists of a kind of table divided into 7x7 regions of the same size. Each region features a group of tiny islands where players can found and build up their realms. You’re able to switch between the 3 perspectives (world, region, island) randomly at any time. The perspective of the island is where the action takes place, in this screen, the map is presented as the classic grid of hexagons.
The Player is guided by a tutorial explaining step by step every aspect of its system, its features and the different options. And they use a simple but somehow nice way to lead you through the game: an officer of your army is giving hints and advice. And you have to follow his instructions precisely, otherwise you can’t continue. At the beginning, this doesn’t cause any problems but after a while and being familiarized with the interface and the options, those tutorial pop ups become a little bit annoying.
Right at the beginning, a first combat takes places whereupon every player receives a castle on a piece of land consisting of 6 hexagons. This land is yours to build up mines, farms and other buildings which can be upgraded in order to improve the production of resources and the training of your troops.
Similar to any other strategy MMO, Tower Heroes is all about developing your realm, expanding it by conquering neighbouring islands first and than going on to more distant regions using brutal military power, efficient economy and clever diplomacy and defending your empire against other players and their realms.
INTERFACE & GRAPHICS
As we’ve already mentioned, the visuals are quite simple and rather practical than beautiful. The usage of Flash seldom allows heavy graphics or top-notch spatial effects. Characters (heroes and troops) have been designed in cartoon style. During combat, magic attacks are decorated by some nice effects which, however, a far from being eye-popping.
The interface is straightforward, intuitive and appropriate. You won’t need more than half an hour of the tutorial to understand the functioning of all the options in the menu. When it comes to managing your resources and buildings, it’s a simple and intuitive thing as well. Pieces of advice are directly linked to the menu point which results in additional assistance.
All combats are carried out in the same pattern, no matter if it’s a castle siege or a raid within a dungeon. The one who starts the battle has to defend his flag that is positioned at the end of a winding path representing the size of the castle or dungeon. The one who attacks has his military power in form of towers of different types and heroes at his disposal which have to be placed (or placed anew) in a strategic way along the path. The dungeon or castle will automatically be defended but not at all at random.
The battle is divided into a specific number (3, 5, etc.) of waves of attack, each one consisting of several troops of different levels and attributes, such as archer, mage, knight, etc. You’re able to manage your troops in a way that the attacking player has to undertake some efforts to plan the right tactics. And it even gets more difficult for him when you changing your defence during the battle which is only possible for a few seconds between the single waves of attack. However, there’s the option for inexperienced players to stop all actions if everything is happening to fast for them. On the other hand, there the possibility to let the action run with doubled speed in order to shorten the breaks between the waves.
Let us give you an example: The attacking player is placing a few expensive but powerful towers in the vicinity of the enemy castle. When the first wave of defenders is coming out, he realizes that it only consists of slow and weak cannon fodder troops. Therefore, he’s destroying the first wave at ease but makes a serious mistake afterwards not rethinking his strategy before the second wave is arriving. He could have taken a look at the upper edge of the screen in order to see that the second wave would be formed of some troops or creatures which are a lot faster than the first ones. At this point, he’s practically bumped off! The faster troops are marching along the path quickly leaving behind the towers of the attacker whose only way out would be to stop all actions in order to find a prompt solution. Unfortunately, there are arriving other troops alongside the fast ones that have to be dealt with by the already placed towers. There’s no time nor enough recourses for replacing the towers for they’re very expensive as we already mentioned. So all the attacking player can do is watch what’s going to happen and better rethink his strategy for the next waves of defenders to come.
The attacking player wins in case he gets through all the waves of defence. Moreover, his victory will be untainted when destroying absolutely every troop the defender is sending out and his flag being untouched by them. The defender, however, will be the winner when his troops caused enough damage to the attacker’s flag. This is usually the case when 10 of his troops have completely left behind the whole path. We could imagine that it’ll get more difficult to destroy the flag the higher the opponent’s level will be. But we didn’t had the opportunity to check that out.
SKILLS & CRAFTING
The crafting system is another very simply structured thing. The available resources are gold, food and crystals which are needed for constructing buildings, learning new skills as well as buying better equipment for you and your hero. Expanding your realm allows a faster production of resources but results in a more complex management and in constantly growing costs for expanding the frontiers. Campaigns against other players also require resources, food being the main requirement.
Each Building, even the castle, possesses 6 different upgradeable features. Troops and attacking towers can be improved as well.
In addition to the resources mentioned above, there are also diamonds that function as a kind of premium currency. You’re unable to produce them; they can only be bought in the in-game shop. Their rarity makes them even more valuable and useful: Diamonds serve as time savers. You’re able to set up buildings and troops instantly without having to wait endlessly until their production is finished. Your hero will travel over long distances without spending time and your troops can be transported immediately between your castle and their site of operation. That means, managing the supplies of diamonds as essential.
An interesting thing we found was that there exists an alchemist within the game who’s able to turn gold into food or crystals into gold. However, his abilities must be paid with diamonds as well.
Players are able to trade their resources (nor only gold). When you’re lacking food but have plenty of gold, you could invite other players to trading. For resources being not that divers and relatively easy to manage, trading also remains quite limited.
Players have the possibility to form alliances with each other. Members of an alliance are provided with a menu that serves as a kind of chat room where they can communicate with each other.
There’s nothing extremely stunning or spectacular about this game, nevertheless it’s quite nice for killing time and playing in between times. The trivial opportunity to defend your realm against other player from time to time and to join alliances may be quite entertaining for enthusiasts of simple but fun strategy games.