stardefTouch Arcade visited the offices of ngmoco today for a hands-on preview of the company's upcoming 3D tower defense game Star Defense.  Stephanie Morgan, the game's producer, walked us through the features of this upcoming title and gave us a chance to try our luck at their fresh, new spin on the tower defense proposition.

Star Defense is a path-based tower defense game set across various planets in a far away starsystem.  A footpath meanders its way around each planet, ending at a valuable mineral resource facility.  Hovering above the start of each path is the spacecraft of the sinister, invading aliens, which beams wave after wave of creatures onto the path where they slowly advance towards the mineral resource.  The player's task is to defend the resource by placing various defense towers along the path, rotating and zooming the planet in and out as needed (swipe, spread, pinch) to find the ideal placement.  40 waves of aliens destroyed unlocks the next planet, 60 waves destroyed wins an achievement, and 80 waves destroyed is a perfect win of a planet.  But if 10 aliens manage to withstand your defenses and reach the mineral resource, it's game over.

A few details:

  • 7 planets available in the launch version (5 spherical, 2 cubic)
  • 5 different tower types inflicting various types of damage: electrical, physical, fire, and reduced speed
  • 10 types of invaders
  • Limit of 30 towers placed on a given planet
  • 3 levels of difficulty

We spent considerable time with the game and found it to be very playable with natural controls and great responsiveness.  The planetary graphics and accompanying galactic backdrops are impressive and the overall play mechanic feels very solid. Make no mistake, tower defense fans are in for something special.

Ngmoco was kind enough to allow us to capture footage of Star Defense gameplay during our visit.  Note that the developer build we were playing was basically a "God mode" build, with all towers enabled, cash levels set to maximum, etc. and so the gameplay shown does not represent the balance or typical play strategy of the upcoming release version.  This video simply serves the purpose of demonstrating the game's features.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Morgan indicates that the game is currently undergoing subtle game balance tweaks and is close to release status.  Star Defense will hit the App Store sometime in April.

  • Brett

    Looks like a great app and I'm sure it will be, coming from ngmoco:)

  • Brett

    Looks like a great app and I'm sure it will be, coming from ngmoco:)

  • http://apprelease.com RaiderRich721

    Looks really fun. I like the whole star galaxy type theme although more colors would be nice. Compared to Field Runners this is a little bland. Still it's looking like a buy for me so far.

  • http://apprelease.com RaiderRich721

    Looks really fun. I like the whole star galaxy type theme although more colors would be nice. Compared to Field Runners this is a little bland. Still it's looking like a buy for me so far.

  • Presnter

    Yes it looks nice, and I love fieldrunners--it's my nightly sleeping pill. You know what's nice? A spherical world with grass and trees and stuff.

  • Presnter

    Yes it looks nice, and I love fieldrunners--it's my nightly sleeping pill. You know what's nice? A spherical world with grass and trees and stuff.

  • Adams Immersive

    I like the cube idea too. Why not? Anything for variety.

  • Adams Immersive

    I like the cube idea too. Why not? Anything for variety.

  • fastlanestranger

    I love what I've seen so far. Looks great and should be an interesting challenge.

  • fastlanestranger

    I love what I've seen so far. Looks great and should be an interesting challenge.

  • SalsaMD

    Game complexity would be increased if the creatures actually fought back, shooting at the towers and perhaps temporarily attenuating their strength/function...

  • SalsaMD

    Game complexity would be increased if the creatures actually fought back, shooting at the towers and perhaps temporarily attenuating their strength/function...

  • http://nodpad.com No DPad

    Still looking great! Glad to hear it's soon to release. I'll be looking for something to replace geoDefense soon.

  • http://nodpad.com No DPad

    Still looking great! Glad to hear it's soon to release. I'll be looking for something to replace geoDefense soon.

  • yacoub

    novel idea for a TD game but content-wise Besiegement and 7 Cities offer a bit more content. i wonder how they'll price it. their games don't seem to be as good deal-wise as most other games out there, and while they look very pretty, one wonders if the gameplay will be up to snuff.

  • yacoub

    novel idea for a TD game but content-wise Besiegement and 7 Cities offer a bit more content. i wonder how they'll price it. their games don't seem to be as good deal-wise as most other games out there, and while they look very pretty, one wonders if the gameplay will be up to snuff.

  • Michael

    Wow!
    I take back anything I previously said about Star Defense. After seeing this video I absolutely love the 3D solar system idea -especially the cube :)- and the gameplay looks fantastic. This turned into a first day buy from a first ngmoco NON buy (what?). Fantastic job Stephanie!
    Michael

  • Michael

    Wow!
    I take back anything I previously said about Star Defense. After seeing this video I absolutely love the 3D solar system idea -especially the cube :)- and the gameplay looks fantastic. This turned into a first day buy from a first ngmoco NON buy (what?). Fantastic job Stephanie!
    Michael

  • http://www.toucharcade.com Yaril

    Looks amazing. Will definitely buy it the first day it comes out if the price is right of course ^_^

  • http://www.toucharcade.com Yaril

    Looks amazing. Will definitely buy it the first day it comes out if the price is right of course ^_^

  • 8bitgeorge

    Looks pretty sweet.

  • http://www.thealienheads.com majormauser

    Please no more Defense games come on..... man

    • f e a r l e s s

      They're just getting better... More please!

  • 8bitgeorge

    Looks pretty sweet.

  • http://www.thealienheads.com majormauser

    Please no more Defense games come on..... man

    • f e a r l e s s

      They're just getting better... More please!

  • David Galvan

    Looks nice. A 3D version of fieldrunners with a space theme. To be honest, the only real novelty of it is the 3D nature of the path, but that's novel enough to hold my interest. If it's priced higher than $3-5 I'll probably wait for the price drop, but otherwise I'd be on board.

  • David Galvan

    Looks nice. A 3D version of fieldrunners with a space theme. To be honest, the only real novelty of it is the 3D nature of the path, but that's novel enough to hold my interest. If it's priced higher than $3-5 I'll probably wait for the price drop, but otherwise I'd be on board.

  • Kris Jones

    Why wouldn't they produce a Tower Defense game? They seem to sell very well.

    Once people are done with their field runners, they have something else to grab onto and spend a couple of weeks on before they forget about it completely.

  • Kris Jones

    Why wouldn't they produce a Tower Defense game? They seem to sell very well.

    Once people are done with their field runners, they have something else to grab onto and spend a couple of weeks on before they forget about it completely.

  • http://www.kotodama.net zak

    Does the planet concept add anything strategically other than an inability to see the entire map at once? And is this inability a feature or a bug? :)

  • http://www.kotodama.net zak

    Does the planet concept add anything strategically other than an inability to see the entire map at once? And is this inability a feature or a bug? :)

  • Moff

    Doesn't look good in my opinion, gameplay wise that is. It simply looks boring and slow. Def not a Fieldrunners/geoDefence killer in my book.

  • Moff

    Doesn't look good in my opinion, gameplay wise that is. It simply looks boring and slow. Def not a Fieldrunners/geoDefence killer in my book.

  • http://www.alex-hardy.co.uk Alex

    Is it my imagination, or are the graphics on the cube level reminiscent of Homeworld on PC?

    ... no bad thing :)

  • http://www.alex-hardy.co.uk Alex

    Is it my imagination, or are the graphics on the cube level reminiscent of Homeworld on PC?

    ... no bad thing :)

  • GodSon

    Comparing it to all the other defense games this one definetly looks the most promising all around. I just hope there are more unit dypes for both the Aliens and Defense units.

  • GodSon

    Comparing it to all the other defense games this one definetly looks the most promising all around. I just hope there are more unit dypes for both the Aliens and Defense units.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Interesting to see the variety of reader comments. We quite enjoyed the game. It's certainly a unique approach.

    It was great to spend so much time with the folks from ngmoco throughout the week. They're a great bunch.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Interesting to see the variety of reader comments. We quite enjoyed the game. It's certainly a unique approach.

    It was great to spend so much time with the folks from ngmoco throughout the week. They're a great bunch.

  • ryoi

    i might get more stylish just by having this on my iphone

  • ryoi

    i might get more stylish just by having this on my iphone

  • jayRkfc

    I played this game at an iphone game testing in san francisco, its extremely fun.

    if this game came out for 20$, id still buy it.

  • jayRkfc

    I played this game at an iphone game testing in san francisco, its extremely fun.

    if this game came out for 20$, id still buy it.