A few years ago, mobile tower defence really did go over the top.
Encouraged by the success of a few great titles, developers went all-out on the genre, swamping the App Store with weak clones, and gamers understandably went on to other things.
However, tower defence games were pretty cool. And done well, they work brilliantly on touchscreen. So it's great to see that OTTTD (Over the Top Tower Defence) manages to be over the top in almost all the right ways.Thick
The first thing it lays on with a trowel is attitude. This is a silly game, wallowing in daftness. The plot is a ludicrous send-up of all the best and worst pulp action movies, with dumb monsters from armed fish to zombies and great chunky weapons to blow them up with.
But you don't just blow them up. You smear them across the landscape like meat paste, and leave them there along with their bones and organs, to the point where you can't tell what the original scenery was for all the gore. The whole thing is brilliantly animated in a faux-cartoon style with clever three-dimensional flourishes.Chunky
Knowing that standard tower defence formula has become stale, developer SMG Studio has tried to push the gameplay over the top too, by blending in real-time strategy elements.
Alongside towers you can field three heroes of different types, each of which has a unique skill tree that you can customise as they earn experience, giving you a lot of flexibility in how you choose to tackle the game.
They're fun to use. You need to keep your heroes moving around the field, repairing towers and battling bad guys while keeping a close eye on their health.
But the overall effect isn't all that novel: the Kingdom Rush games introduced heroes in an update. All OTTTD has done is given them a more central role. But it's just enough to keep things feeling fresh.
The learning curve is a little on the easy side, and there's no difficulty setting for those who want more of a challenge, either first time around or on a repeat play, which is a shame. But given how much the game oozes style and entertainment, we can forgive that oversight.