A new free (ad supported) Tower Defense game appeared in the App Store tonight called TapDefense [App Store].

The Tower Defense genre has received a lot of attention on the iPhone with the massive success of Fieldrunners. These games are strategy games in which you build defense towers of varying ability to combat swarm after swarm of enemy attackers. Each tower costs a certain number of points and points are earned as you defeat more enemies.

TapDefense is an ambitious attempt with some interesting features. The game provides set paths for the enemies to traverse. Towers can be placed anywhere along these paths. An interesting feature allows you to "research" new towers in order to make them available for purchase.

All in all, it seems like a worthy (and free) effort, though in my brief play of it, I found the gameplay fell short of Fieldrunners. There's some ongoing debate about the best tower defense games, and some argue that Fieldrunners may appeal more to tower defense novices. Either way, if you have any interest in the genre, TapDefense is certainly worth a try.

App Store Link: TapDefense, Free

  • oliver

    Played it now for half an hour. Really like the research part and the general theme of this (heaven vs hell). GUI is a bit ugly, buttons on the wrong side and text way too small. Also the ad stuff wants your location every time you win, which is very annoying.

  • f e a r l e s s

    I had to turn off Location Services because that popup was driving me nuts. Good game though. I do have to agree it's a tad on the ugly side.

  • Lee

    Hi all, I'm one of the creators of this game (and full time grad student). I'd like to thank touchArcade for the write up. We spent our time working on TapDefense and made it available at no cost because we love the Tower Defense genre and we are crazy about the iPhone.

    We take you comments/feedback/suggestions very seriously and will work to correct any issues as quickly as we can. The location pop-up seems to only occur with a subset of devices, but we should have a fix shortly.

    Again, many thanks to everyone for trying out our game! If you have any additional thoughts feel free to shoot us an email: feedback@tapjoy.com

  • Oliver

    I'm using an iPhone first generation with 16GB on 2.2 and get this popup once on launch and then twice after each round when the ads appear.

    I really like your game. I makes more fun than Besiegement and in fact you included the graphics style and size I which Besiegement will get in future updates. The research part is great.

    Comments on the game:

    - Switch the sell and upgrade buttons. Sell is always available and replaces play, so I often sell units when I don't want ;). Upgrade is less painful and not always available.

    - Font size is too mixed in the whole application and sometimes just too tiny. Looks like you spent too much time in the simulator, which is bigger than the real device because of the resolution differences :).

    - You should enable the unit status bar as a default.

    - Framerate drops on level 15 and later a bit.

    - Separate the game sound effects from the game units and let us decide that we only want music and not sound effects. Of course, when you only enable the sound effects a running iPod music must not be faded out. Instead, the sound effects have to play on top of the iPod music.

    - Framerate in all levels goes down when enabling sound.

    - It seems to eat power. My iPhone is empty now. It was half full before 1 hour of playing :).

    - You should display in the research window what specs the item has.

    - Enemies look blurry.

  • Asa

    I agree that the music and enemy stats should be enabled by default. I was disappointed with the gameplay until I looked at the options screen. It would be nice to have a end game option on the screen. I didn't know how to force an end to the game to record a highscore, starting a new game seemed to just erase my previous game with no record.

    Eventually have different maps would be cool as well. The text is a bit small, but the graphics are good, and while it doesn't have the versatility of field runners, for free it's a pretty good game.

  • Eric5h5

    It doesn't eat power on my 2G Touch. Starting with a full charge, I played all the way through the easy level with sound on and I still have at least a 90% charge. I haven't seen an ad or been asked for my location. The game seems decent enough, but I'm not real big on tower defense games so I'm not sure I'd play it that much.

    --Eric

  • http://mrbass.org mrbass

    Played it for about 4 hours now. Highest level I got to was 35 on easy. Perhaps I'm doing something way wrong. Don't even want to try medium let alone hard. The earth quake I tried it and it has an 8 sec cooldown. Can we just click it rather than shaking the phone perhaps. Improvements are perhaps show what it'll upgrade to. When I'll built towers in every available space it's impossible to click on road so you have to double tap to get the menu at bottom again. Perhaps mention double tapping in help.

  • stargazer

    this game is awesome for a free versioN! more maps would be awesome and put on some sort of guide/ strategy once the website comes online with a forum; i can only get to level 30 on EASY lol, maybe make the game a bit less hard would be nice..

  • Snow Mani

    I've never played a TD genre game before. So I tried this one out as it was free. Nothing ventured, nothing gained heh? I've really enjoyed playing and will keep an eye out for any other games from this developer. And I'll be buying Fieldrunners in the near future. My thanks to the devs. I appreciated the opportunity to try something new (for me). Great little game.

  • http://lukecarbis.com Luke

    This game constantly crashes for me.

    It crashed the first time when I finished the first level (on easy). I tried restarting my iPhone but the same thing happened.

    I realised that my location might not be easily accessible from where I was sitting, so I tried disabling location services - this time I got to the second level. After I finished the second level it crashed again, and I gave up.

    Has anyone else had this problem?

  • Eric5h5

    No crashes here. I finished Medium the first time I tried with very nearly 30,000 spare gold at the end of the game, so yeah anyone having problems on Easy is doing it way wrong. ;)

  • AhKit

    hey, i wonder if the research on interesting rate is working?? i upgraded it twice, but after each level, the money calculation still saying 13%?? or have i miss anything? please help!

  • davidtoc

    I love Tower Defense games, and this is a really good one. The fact that it's free makes it downright great. A big thanks to the creators! There's really no new ground covered as far as TD games go, and is reminiscent of the excellent "Flash Element TD" but the elements included in the game work really well together. My quick review is, "If you like TD games, this is a no-brainer: DOWNLOAD THIS GAME."

    My main complaint is that it's too easy to accidentally sell towers. Move the sell button, or put up a confirmation when I press sell. I like that you get interest on your remaining gold and are thus rewarded for playing efficiently. The game calculates the interest rate correctly, but the displayed % number never gets updated (that's pretty minor, tho, and easy to fix). Both my BF and I wish there were an option to play the game at double speed. We don't like that you need to press "Continue" at the end of every level, but that's where the ads are displayed, and given that the game is free, we also think it's reasonable. I do wish that when you press "Continue," the next wave would start instead of having to press "Continue" and then "play," especially since I can always press "pause" if I need to at that point. Oh, I do wish the Help would tell you how the scoring works--how are people getting 41,000 points?? And please get that website (tapjoy.com) up and running soon! :) The one thing I would actually add to the game is to add more levels, or at least some different maps to choose from.

    I've never seen what the big deal is with FieldRunners. And it's certainly not worth what they're charging for it. I'll take TapDefense or Mote-M any day over Field Runners. Thanks again!

  • riceman

    agree 100% with davidtoc re:
    interest% bug, sell button (ARGH), more maps.
    BUT i like the continue button, and i like Fieldrunners (perfect compliment to this game)

  • riceman

    what determines when you get a halo (research point) in this game?

  • Stoyan

    Hi guy!
    It is a great game, indeed. But has anyone succeded in passing level 30? And if yes, could you please let me know of the trick?
    Thanks a lot.
    St.

  • riceman

    1) ignore the "loops" at the top right and bottom left. the best places to put towers is actually in the areas between two long sections of path so that you can have 2 exposures to a long train of enemies as opposed to 1 longer exposure.
    2) save as much money as possible. if your last few towers are continuously unused, you've spent too much and those funds could have been in the 'bank' earning interest.
    3) go for the interest researches first

  • http://web.me.com/rhaining/TapDefense_Strategy/Welcome.html rhaining

    Nice write-up!

    I've started a strategy guide for TapDefense here: http://web.me.com/rhaining/TapDefense_Strategy/Welcome.html .

  • Chris

    i am really obsessed with this game. i dont want to think of life before i found this game... it was dark.. and now there is light... this game is awesome. i cannot pass level 30 on easy LOL but i have never used the earthquake option either so i will try that out...

    if there is a way you can have it save once you reach a certain level or something that would be great cuz it sucks having to start all over from level 1... the first 10 levels are so easy they need to be skipped once you have defeated them.

    anyways great game... change the "SELL" button i almost threw my iphone after pressing it once...... ok thanks again for this game!

    oh ya.. when you dont touch the screen.. it dims... when you go back to touch it again it seems to be dimmer than it was before it dimmed... idk if this is common or what but ya... bugsss

  • http://web.me.com/rhaining/TapDefense_Strategy/Welcome.html rhaining

    Chris, riceman, et. al.: I've got some detailed strategies for getting past level 30, here:

    http://web.me.com/rhaining/TapDefense_Strategy/Welcome.html

    If people are interested, I may add an analysis page to explain why some strategies work better than others. (e.g., it's better to spread out your towers rather than group them, so you don't overkill the same monster and waste power).

  • riceman

    wow, after finishing easy level, which was a steep learning curve, i did medium on my first try :)
    anyways, to reiterate easy: stick 1 or 2 arrow towers on the top right and bottom left loops, and concentrate all your cannons+ices in the middle left and middle right areas between the two path parts. this doubles your exposure to long enemy trains. don't level up ice till the end when you got more $$, but level up arrows and cannons.
    research interest 3x before anything else. and don't buy anything you don't need. you get reaearch halos at levels 7,10,11,14,21,25,28,33,36. the first 6 go to interest. level 28 is for ice towers, at which point you'll buy a whole bunch (with all the money you should have saved).
    you can bypass magic and get storm next (level 34), at which point you put a couple at the beginning of the path(maxed). by now you can max out your ices too. after level 34 i didn't even need to build or level up, and the money was piling up. you'll end up with like $80,000+.

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  • http://tapdeftips.com TapDefTips

    Fully described first level for all you guys, http://tapdeftips.com

    Another coming soon.

  • gr8sho

    For a R1.0, it's pretty darn good. Evidence enough is the amount of time I've spent trying to beat the easy mode, and after not being able to get past 31, I admit resorting to rhaining's website. :D Trying to follow the breadcrumb tips doesn't seem to be a good strategy, at least not for a few of us.

    On my iPhone 3G, this is a battery killer so I need to play it teathered if I want to go at it for a more than 90 minutes. This is not a compaint, just an observation.

  • frankcullen

    I've spent 6 halos for higher interest rates, but it still stays in 10%.
    any help?

  • sean

    frank i saw the same thing...even though it says 10, it is still giving you 15% or whatever you have gotten up to (at least 15% because that is all i have used). you can check the math when the end of level screen pops up

  • awesome

    I love this game

  • frankcullen

    What if the towers can be placed to another spot?

  • Jared

    One word, ICE. You can beat the first 20 levels with less than 6 towers if you use and upgrade the ICE towers correctly. Build ICE as soon as possible, mix with some level 2 cannons early on and then you're off to the high interest collecting heavens. First halo goes to ice, next 4 should go to interest and always upgrade exisiting towers vs buy new ones. Levels 12-20 should be completed with out hardly buying anything new. ICE ICE ICE!

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