App Army Assemble: 2112TD - Does this StarCraft-inspired tower defence game stand out from the rest of the genre?

We ask the App Army

App Army Assemble: 2112TD - Does this StarCraft-inspired tower defence game stand out from the rest of the genre?
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| 2112TD

2112TD is a tower defence game that aims to pay homage to old school strategy titles such as StarCraft and Command & Conquer. There have been a lot of tower defence games on mobile over the years however and it's becoming increasingly difficult to stand out, so we sent our App Army in to see how 2112TD fares against the best the genre has to offer.

Here's what they said:

Oksana Ryan

As far as tower defence games go this is a typical example. Towers can be upgraded, waves of enemies get stronger as the aliens keep coming and background music and sound effects are loud and frantic. The levels I have played so far have limited layout and feel minimalist and there isn’t anything new on offer against other games of the same genre. To be fair, it isn’t a bad game, it just hasn’t got anything to wow me, but I’m sure that fans of tower defense games will definitely enjoy it.

Dries Pretorius

If you played PC games in the ’90s then there is a good chance you played the classic Tiberian Sun. When the developers claim classic RTS aesthetics, I have no doubt that they are directly referencing it. Unfortunately, you need more than nostalgia to make a dent in the crowded Tower Defense genre on mobile, and what a crowded genre it is. You either need to come out with really tightly executed convention or you need to subvert it in a creative take.

On my 1GB device, I did not find 2112TD particularly beautiful, not a scratch on Anomaly 2 which is now 6 years old (yikes). The gameplay is quite enjoyable with the height of appeal being at least three towers upgraded to Experimental Level, blasting away at full tilt. At the end of the day, 2112TD is a pure Tower Defense experience that arrived 7 years too late. Maybe we’ve gone down the rabbit hole so far that it’s time to re-establish the genre we have been deviating from. Sentinel 4 hasn’t been updated in a long time.

Jt Hernandez

A decent tower defense game. Graphics is sci-fi themed, which very well might be generic assets. The first few monsters we face are so tiny and poorly coloured that I can't even see more than a pixel moving across the mud coloured path. Monsters don't really start becoming interesting until about the fourth area, where some monsters start temporarily freezing your towers and major boss monsters start appearing.

There are 4 types of towers with different attack types and range. During combat, there can be upgraded twice before you can select one of two special upgrades, like upgrading an artillery tower into a nuke launcher or a lightning tower. These "ultimate" towers will have charge timers which will let you shoot off some special attack. After combat, experience points earned gain you levels, which lets you earn tech points, which you can invest in improving the tech of your towers. Replaying missions still helps you earn experience, so if you're having trouble with the next mission, you can replay the previous one.

I guess the one thing that is supposed to be unique is the dropship, airstrike, and repair timers. The airstrike bombs your enemies. The repair trigger will do a little repair on your main base (which is the only resource that gets damaged anyway). The dropship can be used to shield or shoot missiles by button-mashing the enemies. I don't know why it bothers me that I have to button-mash in a TD game, but it kind of does. These "specials" quickly become key to winning the missions.

As I said, it's a decent TD game, but there are two reasons why I would still recommend trying it. First, because it appears to be the first published game from an independent game maker, which is something I always like to encourage. Second, there are no IAPs, no ads, no energy bars, and is completely offline playable.

Roman Valerio

I am a firm believer that tower defense games are a dying breed on mobile and this new arrival proves my point yet again. With the pre-game tutorial being that long and levels made up of multiple enemy waves, it negates all the beauty of "pick up and play" fun, which is at the core of iOS gaming. Moreover, the game does not look that good as I was fairly struggling to make out enemy units on the battlefield, which does not sound really promising for the iPhone owners considering the fact that I was playing on a 9.7-inch iPad screen.

After 15 minutes of gameplay time my survival instincts kicked in and I switched my attention to something else as I could not pinpoint a single thing that would make 2112TD stand out amongst hundreds of similar iOS games. If you want to scratch the itch for original genre-defining tower defense games on iOS, you should definitely check out my personal "big 3" consisting of Kingdom Rush series, Fieldrunners series and Jelly Defense. Truth be told, I am not really into this genre of games, so any true fan might still find 2112TD more or less interesting.

Nick Leibbrandt

Hi and thanks for the game code and the chance to try out 2112TD. have played the game both on My Samsung Galaxy Tab A and OPPO A9 phone and the game works and runs perfectly with no issues at all. The game itself is your typical tower defense game where you have different types of towers you can build on your map to set up your defense against waves of alien enemies and spawn from different areas of the map and advance toward your main base to destroy it. I found the gameplay really quite fun with trying to figure out what tower to build at what area that would be best suited to kill each wave of enemy.

Being able to set your towers to target different types of enemies makes the game even more fun. I found that the game can be quite challenging and had to replay maps a few times to complete them, you also get points once a map is finished that is used for upgrades for your towers, the only problem I had was the limited amount of view of your map wish I could zoom out more. I have found myself coming back to the game a few times now as it can be quite addictive and very fun, The Game well made with a great art style and would recommend giving this one a try if you like tower defense games.

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Paul Manchester

Typical tower defense game with all the usual unit types. Graphically I was underwhelmed and equally so by the uninspired sound. It’s pretty much the same as any tower defense game made ten years or more ago with very little to distinguish it from the once flooded market. If your a fan of the genre there is nothing particularly offensive about the game, but there was nothing here to keep me hooked for any amount of time. It’s an easy pass from me.

Mark Abukoff

As many have said, it’s a sci-fi based tower defense game, reminiscent of StarCraft. Reading some reviews and descriptions before I played this, I was interested in the StarCraft comparison. But what I hoped to see, the engaging story and cutscenes weren’t there. There is a story in a minimalist sense. You have a bit of text and storyline between missions and technical data on the aliens. But it’s really not an engaging story. So bit of a disappointment there. After my first playthrough, I was a bit underwhelmed, to be honest. The graphics were simple and kind of uninspiring.

However, as I played on, I found the levels a bit harder (mostly through added waves but also through tougher opponents) and the upgradability of my defences made it more worth playing. Upgrading my HQ just as it was dropping below ten per cent was pretty satisfying, and calling an airstrike on a bunch of them as they fought to bring down the barrier wall was also nice to watch. The music and sounds added nicely to the experience, and I had absolutely no problem with the controls. While this could be an even better game, as it is, it’s a pretty satisfying sci-fi tower defense. Happily recommend it.


Bruno Ramalho

I really like this game. Nothing really new in terms of tower defense games, but it’s Sci-Fi setting and story grabbed me from the start. I like the mission style campaign, where your command centre drops down to a planet, and then you have to secure it and defend against hordes of mutants/aliens (I guess we’ll find out who they are sooner or later). Predetermined spots to spawn your turrets, but the turrets themselves can be upgraded (standard tower defense), but then you can choose to specialize them into two different paths, taking into account the type of enemies you’re going to encounter. And then you can use special powers when they’re fully upgraded, which is fun, although behind a timer.

All scenarios have a wall in one of the paths that you can bring up, that stops enemies for a while, giving you the perfect timing to use your airstrike and kill as many as you can next to the wall. There’s a drone that you can call, to attack specific areas, or even to defend your command centre for a while. The command centre can be upgraded too, with a turret and a more sturdy shell.

The visuals are pretty old school (in a good way, as I played a lot of games in the 90s), but the sound effects were pretty spot on, very well made and used at every specific moment where you have a turret landing, a turret activated, everything that happens there’s some feedback for the player which is great. The Sci-Fi mood is just great. Nothing groundbreaking, but for sure a game that grabs you and you will spend hours playing it and upgrading everything so you can get past some very difficult planets. Even more so if you’re a fan of Tower Defense games.

Jim Linford

I really like this game. I’m showing my age but the art style reminds me of command and conquer.
The gameplay is simple enough, place your defenses and survive the waves. Upgrade defence and offences. Different weapons are better at certain enemies, so choose wisely. You can call in airstrikes, fix your base and upgrade turrets and perks. As mentioned before a limited zoom function means you cannot get a complete overview. So have to move the camera like a maniac. I like it. I can see it getting addictive in short bursts.

George Brawidjaya

Currently, I've reached the second stage, Neptune station, the gameplay itself is pretty standard for tower defense.

My opinion about the game so far :
- Pretty good on graphics, although it still has a lot of space for improvement (more details on unit, etc)
- Good sound effects
- It's a Defense Grid game with a feel of StarCraft
- RPG element (Leveling, unlocking item with points gained, etc)
Con :
- Limited zoom function
- No cutscene on the main story (only text)
- The unit design is not detailed enough

Overall I still recommend this game, especially for tower defense lover, you will playing this game all day long.

Raymond O'Donnell

2112TD is a tower defense set in the typical sci-fi world where you're pitted with the task of surviving wave after wave of mutants, aliens, etc. it doesn’t redefine the genre but what it does do is pay homage and sticks to the old-but-it-works roots of a TD/SRPG Mobile game. My favourite part of the game were the aesthetics and 90s graphics that reminded me of playing and deploying short gifs/motion captures instead of individual units and towers.

It has an odd, purposely old internet rendering styled texture pack that fits perfectly well for the genre and game it’s going for. The sound is clean and effects fit each scenario played through. It’s quick to pick up and found myself playing through it and upgrading my towers and my character and more in spare time between pizza deliveries and other tasks that I was working on simultaneously.

I recommend picking it up but don’t expect a time sinker. It’s fun, it’s casual, it’s retro, and it’s cute

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Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen brings both a love of games and a very formal-sounding journalism qualification to the Pocket Gamer team.