491616jpgLimbic Software's previously announced TowerMadness game has arrived in the App Store [link]. TowerMadness is an open map tower defense game that offers a zoomable 3D camera that lets you follow the action from various perspectives.

Like all tower defense games, the objective is to defend your base (in this case herd of sheep) from the waves of enemies (aliens). TowerMadness offers 16 different enemies consisting of aliens, bugs, and flying vehicles of varying sizes and strengths. Each enemy destroyed provides you more money to buy new towers and upgrade existing towers. If you let too many enemies through the game is over.

The 3D engine allows you to easily view the action from overhead or pinch all the way down for a first-person view of the action. So you can literally watch aliens walking down the path and get a close inspection of the weapons. Visually the 3D engine works well and played smoothly on both the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G, and the character graphics were adequate. While the zoomable 3D landscape works well, I'm not sure how much it really adds to gameplay. I suspect most players will simply find a comfortable zoom level and stick with it throughout the duration of the game.

[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

The game comes with 4 maps categorized by difficulty (Easy, Medium, Hard, Madness) as well as the potential for additional downloadable content. Limbic Software has already included one additional downloadable map called "Sandbox" which allows you to test different strategies with practically unlimited funds. None of the maps, however, include an "unlimited" mode which may limit replayability once you master the included levels.

The game's controls are demoed in the above video by the developer and worked well in practice. Tapping on a location brings up a menu that allows you to select which towers to buy. Limbic also includes an extensive "Towerpedia" reference in the game which details all the attributes of each tower and their upgrades. Meanwhile, tapping and holding on a tower in-game will bring up a quick-reference. The game includes 9 different towers with 5 upgrades each, but only a subset of weapons may be offered depending on the map.

Aside from the 3D viewpoint, one somewhat unique feature the game offers is the ability to replay the games of others on the online high score list. (We've previously seen a similar feature in Jason Rohrer's Passage game.) The system works quite well with the ability to playback games at up to 8x speed. For a game like this, however, I would recommend not watching the replays, especially on levels you haven't solved yourself. Knowing the optimal solution to a map basically ruins most of the fun of playing an open-map tower defense game which tends to involve a lot of trial and error.

TowerMadness offers a somewhat fresh perspective on the tower defense genre which has become a very popular genre on the iPhone and iPod Touch. While the 3D engine is nice, we hope that they are able to somehow take more advantage of it in the future, as we're not sure it adds much to the gameplay at this time. The game, however, is well put together and for only $1.99 may be hard to pass up for tower defense fans. The feature I think that's most compelling is the fact that TowerMadness is an open-map design akin to Fieldrunners which requires you to create your own path. Most competing games offer a fixed-path map structure which some players may not find as enjoyable.

Game Details
Name: TowerMadness (v1.0) Price: $1.99 [Buy]
Developer: Limbic Software Size: 4.8 MB
Device: Tested on iPhone 3G and 2nd Gen iPod Touch
TowerMadness offers a somewhat fresh perspective on the tower defense genre with a 3D engine, downloadable content and online replays. In particular, the open-map design may particularly appeal to those who have been looking for Tower Defense game that plays more like Fieldrunners. While the 3D engine is quite nice, we're not sure how much it adds to the gameplay, but for only $1.99 it's certainly worth a try.

Big Albie also contributed to this review.

TouchArcade Rating

  • SalsaMD

    It would be interesting to use the 3D perspective in different ways, eg, to allow limited first person shooting when an enemy is escaping the towers, or to repair a damaged tower. This way the user actually becomes a part of the game offense/maintenance.

  • SalsaMD

    It would be interesting to use the 3D perspective in different ways, eg, to allow limited first person shooting when an enemy is escaping the towers, or to repair a damaged tower. This way the user actually becomes a part of the game offense/maintenance.

  • http://picasaweb.google.de/silviantrius diabolus

    Really great game with winderful graphics!

    Better than all other TD games.

    Even better than Fieldrunners and Sentitel!

  • http://picasaweb.google.de/silviantrius diabolus

    Really great game with winderful graphics!

    Better than all other TD games.

    Even better than Fieldrunners and Sentitel!

  • Dudehuge

    I'll wait until Stardefense is released before buying this, with sentinel and geodefense, I already have my TD fix.

  • Dudehuge

    I'll wait until Stardefense is released before buying this, with sentinel and geodefense, I already have my TD fix.

  • 2kitties1cup

    I like it a lot, but its damn hard. You can fast forward but you cant pause and place towers?

    The graphics could be better. The towers need more visual variance to set them apart from each other.

  • 2kitties1cup

    I like it a lot, but its damn hard. You can fast forward but you cant pause and place towers?

    The graphics could be better. The towers need more visual variance to set them apart from each other.

  • Adams Immersive

    The 3D seems to be just for fun... but then again, that's what graphics are for :)

    If you can't place towers during pause, that reminds me of geoDefense, where it adds an arcade element, encouraging you to just keep going without stopping. If so, I don't mind that, it creates a fun play style a little different from the usual pause-heavy TD.

    I'll find out in a minute :) I assume $1.99 is a temporary sale price?

  • Adams Immersive

    The 3D seems to be just for fun... but then again, that's what graphics are for :)

    If you can't place towers during pause, that reminds me of geoDefense, where it adds an arcade element, encouraging you to just keep going without stopping. If so, I don't mind that, it creates a fun play style a little different from the usual pause-heavy TD.

    I'll find out in a minute :) I assume $1.99 is a temporary sale price?

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/silviantrius diabolus

    It is one of the HARDEST games in AppStore.

    Here you cannot win in map 4.

    I needed 6 hours NON-STOP playing for winning the 3 map.

    But 4-th map is IMPOSSIBLE.

    You don't believe me?

    Try yourself.

    I won in "Sentitel" on Medium.
    But this is hell.

  • http://picasaweb.google.com/silviantrius diabolus

    It is one of the HARDEST games in AppStore.

    Here you cannot win in map 4.

    I needed 6 hours NON-STOP playing for winning the 3 map.

    But 4-th map is IMPOSSIBLE.

    You don't believe me?

    Try yourself.

    I won in "Sentitel" on Medium.
    But this is hell.

  • Johnny

    Defenetly the BEST TD game for the Ipod ever!! I love it sooo fun! I've played a lot of TD games on the ipod but this one cuts the cake, defenetly worth the $1.99!!

  • Johnny

    Defenetly the BEST TD game for the Ipod ever!! I love it sooo fun! I've played a lot of TD games on the ipod but this one cuts the cake, defenetly worth the $1.99!!

  • Wulfsige

    Love this game so far, just hoping they either give up a editor or continusly release maps with the addon program! If either of these this game has a lot of potential!

  • Wulfsige

    Love this game so far, just hoping they either give up a editor or continusly release maps with the addon program! If either of these this game has a lot of potential!

  • Adams Immersive

    I'm enjoying it too. Especially once I caught on that the FFW button at bottom right makes waves spawn sooner.

  • Adams Immersive

    I'm enjoying it too. Especially once I caught on that the FFW button at bottom right makes waves spawn sooner.

  • rozetta

    Unfortunately, it only took me a couple of hours to finish all the maps. Aside from trying to make a better score, there's not much else to do. No infinite mode or other modes. Also, the laser turret seems to be, in the end, way better than anything else, meaning that once you have a foothold, you can simply place and upgrade those.

    Shame, since it was a really neat idea. I hope there are more downloadable maps, weapons, modes and so on coming.

  • rozetta

    Unfortunately, it only took me a couple of hours to finish all the maps. Aside from trying to make a better score, there's not much else to do. No infinite mode or other modes. Also, the laser turret seems to be, in the end, way better than anything else, meaning that once you have a foothold, you can simply place and upgrade those.

    Shame, since it was a really neat idea. I hope there are more downloadable maps, weapons, modes and so on coming.

  • johnny

    Just to let everyone know there is a downloadable sandbox mode that is an add-on download. In it you can sort of create your own map by placing towers where ever, and you start out with 9999 money which is plenty. This game rocks, I beat it already but it's still fun to mess around. IMO i beleive it is the best TD game out there so if your looking for a nice fun TD game buy this one it is WORTH the money DEFINETLY! :)

  • johnny

    Just to let everyone know there is a downloadable sandbox mode that is an add-on download. In it you can sort of create your own map by placing towers where ever, and you start out with 9999 money which is plenty. This game rocks, I beat it already but it's still fun to mess around. IMO i beleive it is the best TD game out there so if your looking for a nice fun TD game buy this one it is WORTH the money DEFINETLY! :)

  • dustin

    Diabolus: here is a shot of me beating level 4. Maybe the strategy will help you. The first four weapons and the slow down beam upgraded all the way. all the rest of the weapons just there to keep the aliens in range of the first four. Build the ground to air weapons just close to the sheep and upgrade them quickly. The air ones will take you down. I wasn't able to stop any of the last 5 bosses but still had all the sheep, so all was good.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11014829@N07/4103191971/

  • dustin

    Diabolus: here is a shot of me beating level 4. Maybe the strategy will help you. The first four weapons and the slow down beam upgraded all the way. all the rest of the weapons just there to keep the aliens in range of the first four. Build the ground to air weapons just close to the sheep and upgrade them quickly. The air ones will take you down. I wasn't able to stop any of the last 5 bosses but still had all the sheep, so all was good.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11014829@N07/4103191971/

  • mouwer

    Secret to level 4 is to start building from the sheep upward, not from the aliens backward. Create a path they have to run along both sides.

  • mouwer

    Secret to level 4 is to start building from the sheep upward, not from the aliens backward. Create a path they have to run along both sides.

  • David

    they have unlimited mode now, at this moment my phones going and its on wave 631. Im still not able to beat the 4th one, get very close but just not enough. unlimited is nice because you can see just how far your set up will get you but once you get all the towers maxed its a little dull, nothing to do but set it down and check once in a while to see what wave youre on.

  • David

    they have unlimited mode now, at this moment my phones going and its on wave 631. Im still not able to beat the 4th one, get very close but just not enough. unlimited is nice because you can see just how far your set up will get you but once you get all the towers maxed its a little dull, nothing to do but set it down and check once in a while to see what wave youre on.

  • Jimi

    I can't believe people complain about level 4. I didn't think it was any harder than most of the other basic levels. I just snaked the creeps from the top down, and went mostly used the base towers, with a few mortars. When upgrading, always upgrade the base towers, up till the 40pt cost. That will almost always keep up with creeps as they increase in strength. It will keep things under control till you can start building nukes.

    The impossible level for me is Giza. Crap. I've tried all kinds of things, but can't keep ahead of the creeps strength. Doesn't seem like I get enough points to keep ahead of them, and can never keep the flyers at bay. I've about given up it.

  • Jimi

    I can't believe people complain about level 4. I didn't think it was any harder than most of the other basic levels. I just snaked the creeps from the top down, and went mostly used the base towers, with a few mortars. When upgrading, always upgrade the base towers, up till the 40pt cost. That will almost always keep up with creeps as they increase in strength. It will keep things under control till you can start building nukes.

    The impossible level for me is Giza. Crap. I've tried all kinds of things, but can't keep ahead of the creeps strength. Doesn't seem like I get enough points to keep ahead of them, and can never keep the flyers at bay. I've about given up it.

  • Hagakure

    I can't beat Infinity. I saw someone's static screen shot of a very simple defense they used for a perfect score, but without knowing their build order, it hasn't worked for me. It was just two slow towers, two flamethrowers, two rocket towers and maybe 16 level 200 base towers. I always lose at one of the same several points no matter what order I build/upgrade in: phase 32, 40, 50, 72 or 82, usually when cockroaches come running out under cover of a boss that is drawing all the fire. I've been at it for a week and it's driving me crazy, I've actually let it affect my mood! 0_o