Developers keep releasing new tower defense games on the iPhone and customers keep buying them. Two interesting tower defense variants appeared in the App Store last week while we were away at GDC. While neither seem to be "must haves" for everyone, one or the other may pique your interest.
ElementalMonster TD [App Store] comes from Hudson and offers a mix between tower defense and card-based strategy games (such as Magic: The Gathering).
There are 50 different cards that can be obtained and you choose five to bring into each stage. The cards represent distinct "towers" (characters) that can be placed along the path to defend against enemies. Unlike normal "towers" in these type of games, these characters move and fight the oncoming enemies.
The game appears to offer a significant amount of depth and gameplay and should appeal to more hard-core tower defense fans or those who enjoy the added card/RPG elements. A lengthy forum thread has formed discussing the game's merits.
App Store Link: ElementalMonster TD, $3.99
Meanwhile, InMotion Software's Dungeon Defense [App Store] also offers a very nicely executed take on tower defense. Like ElementalMonster TD, the game also introduces specific characters (swordsman, archer, axeman) to place onto the map. These characters actually walk up and battle oncoming waves of enemies and can take damage themselves. The goal is to protect the King who is found at the end of the map.
Whereas ElementalMonster TD has a deep system of gameplay, the primary criticism of Dungeon Defense from our readers is that it seems very light on content. There is a single map with three levels of difficulty, which can be defeated relatively quickly.
The game, however, seems very promising and there are hopes that the developers will add additional levels and deeper gameplay. This will be one to watch. See the ongoing discussion in our forums.
App Store Link: Dungeon Defense, $2.99