The Unending Hell That Is TowerMadness

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Recently I went away on a 3-week trip. It was the kind of trip where two days out of three you’re getting on a plane and going somewhere else. Usually when I go on such trips I take the precaution of buying some insanely addictive iPhone game in advance.

I’ve gone down this road with GeoDefense and GeoDefense Swarm. I’ve done Enigmo and Plants Vs. Zombies and DoodleJump and The Horrible Vikings. Usually the obsession ends when the trip does. But I’m back, and I’m still playing TowerMadness.

It’s a tower defense game. Nothin’ special. Aliens are trying to steal your sheep. You are trying to stop them using a variety of level-up-able projectile, laser and electricity weapons. The graphics are nothin’ special. The weapons are nothin’ special.

Really the only thing special about it is that you can pinch-zoom your way all the way down to ground level, so you’re seeing the action from the point of view of one of the combatants. But I never do that because it’s a good way to get instantly murdered.

Maybe it’s that there are so many levels. And they’re so hard. And that they’re reasonably well designed. I don’t know.

But so that my vast time investment does not go to waste, I will share my TowerMadness insights for the benefit of the similarly afflicted.

– Quality not quantity. I generally focus more on promoting ¬†units than on building out giant mazes. But that’s partly because I like lookin’ at the exotic, high-ranking weapon-types.

— Buy the flamethrower. It’s DLC. It costs, what, $.99. This will enable you to inflict devastating flame damage on both ground and aerial units. It also means you will be constantly tempted to blow 300 in-game dollars on it at crucial moments, thereby wasting a ton of resources, because it looks cool. Also you will feel bad when your friends beat the game without using it.

— The guided missiles look cool, with their little vapor-trail arcs. But their minimal splash damage feels over-targeted to me. I never use them.

— I don’t know what the plasmatrons are good for. It’s fun when they stun opponents. But it never happens when you want it to.

— If you’re losing the ground war but not the air war, ditch your flak towers in favor of lasers, which can hit both ground and aerial targets.

— Ignore ElectroSlow at your peril. I usually find they deliver bang for buck.

— You can spend a lifetime trying to line up cool multi-enemy railgun shots. Such lifetimes are often well spent.

—¬†Ignore these tips. They are the insights of a man who has tried and failed to beat the “Snake” level about ninety times.