OTTTD : Over the Top Tower Defense
Nintendo Switch

Developed By : SMG Studio
Published By : SMG Studio
Category : Strategy, Arcade, Tower Defense
Release Date : May 6, 2019

Generally speaking, tower defense games are on the more boring side of the spectrum for me. They’re typically slow and tedious games that do little to actively engage me as the player in what I’m playing. With SMG’s approach however, OTTTD seems at a first glance to be an almighty exception to the genre, bringing some RPG elements to the game and it’s titled promise to be over the top.

Welcome to HEROCORP, the galaxy’s fourth largest private military group. Their purpose? To preemptively defend Earth from alien attacks before those attacks happen. The world has found it’s peace and security, so much so that there are no more wars to fight. Luckily, HEROCORP has taken advantage of the discovery of Trans-Dimensional Rifts and is now bringing the fight to the soldiers instead. In your position as commander, you’ll oversee the troops on the ground, as well as defense tower positions and insure the safe and total defense of many bases.

At your disposal you’ll have a roster of troops, their guns that they tote, and an entire plethora of towers to defend your mission HQ. All of these things will be more than necessary as you’ll be dealing with a superfluous amount of enemies at every stage, with multiple waves and almost no time to breathe until the battle has been won.

OTTTD‘s roster of ground troops is where the majority of the game’s RPG elements reside. Over the course of the game you’ll get to slowly unlock a total of seven soldiers, each with their own unique skills that will prove useful in your defense. As you successfully defend your HQ’s in missions, each soldier will earn experience that you can turn around and spend in their skill tree. What I loved most about these skill trees is that with how many options there are in each characters tree, virtually none of the options are copycat skills from the other trees. Naturally you’ll have things that expand your soldier’s individual health bar and movement speed, these are shared abilities but when you break things down into the specific skills, you’ll see that each soldier is completely unique from the other six.

It’s this individuality that also lends to the strategic feel of OTTTD‘s gameplay, and it’s not just in their skills either. Base stats such as movement speed and damage dealt will all be different. You’ll have your engineer who isn’t the strongest gun on the field, but his ability to repair towers from afar makes him an extremely important asset. There’s the rocketeer who is slow and not the best at aiming, but when his shots hit they’ll pack one hell of a heavy punch. Eventually in the game, you’ll be able to mix and match your soldiers, since you can only put three out on the battlefield at the same time, and finding the perfect grouping will absolutely be key.

However, as key as the soldiers and their skills are, your most important asset on the ground are your towers. There are a ton of different variations on these, and you’ll be introduced to a new one with each level at the beginning until you’ve used them all. These range from the rapidly shooting gatling towers, to defense-penetrating pulse towers, even rocket towers that hit hard and deal splash damage. All the towers can be upgraded a few times, repaired or sold, and even upgraded to some of the more powerful towers. When you start a level, all over the map you’ll notice little white circles with X’s, this is where your towers can be placed. After you’ve unlocked them, to start off levels you can place one of four towers, and upgrading to the more special towers are locked depending on which tower you place. Only the pulse tower can upgrade to the omni-cannon while the gatling tower is the only one that will let you access the long range sniper-like tower.

The only piece of the puzzle missing at this point is your enemies. They are plentiful, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and types. Everything from small robots that can zip quickly across the ground, to things that look like giant crabs with shell-hulls, humongous Wartoise tanks and even giant sharks that float in the sky. There are just as many types of enemies as there are towers, and that is crucial because all your enemies have strengths and weaknesses that will need to be catered to with the towers.

Enemies are also going to be your source of income. You’ll notice a dollar amount in the top right of your interface, and this is going to be the most important piece of information while you play. Everything you do costs money. Building or upgrading a tower? They each have their own cost, just like repairing them costs money too. Some missions you won’t need to pay too much attention to this, but there are others where you’ll be egging your crew on to get just a few more kills so can you drop a couple more towers and create a good choke point for your defense.

Being completely honest, I was definitely not expecting to enjoy this game half as much as I did. I expected the promise of “over the top” to be a huge oversell, but boy was I wrong. OTTTD is fast, and it engages the player a lot more than your run-of-the-mill tower defense game. Visually the game is a lot of fun to look at, all the characters and enemies look different so you won’t be confused about anything, except for those rare moments your screen gets overloaded in combat. And the soundtrack? For the type of game and the unrelenting hell you release on your would-be attackers, the music is absolutely perfect.

Once you pick it up, this will be a very hard game to put down, and it’s a steal for the price. My favorite thing about playing this was getting lost in setting up my defenses, and then finally getting a moment of “peace” and finally noticing the littering of mechanical pieces, bodies and bullets strewn about the fields.  Don’t wait another second, get to the eShop and grab a copy of OTTTD today!

 

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$7.99

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