SweetWater Defense is a solid fixed path TD game in a crowded space

Posted: May 29, 2009 in Tower Defense

Anyone who has been in the iTunes store knows of the overabundance of tower defense games each with their own unique styles and gameplay, requiring practical and not so practical strategies. It’s becoming more difficult for devs to rise above the others, let alone consumers to make an informed buying decision. The latest entrant is SweetWater Defense which combines traditional TD gameplay with 3D graphics and animation.

Right off the bat, the one thing that catches my eye is the total number of maps—25. I’ve played all the other TD games, and lately, the initial releases have been fortunate to include even 4 maps. The maps are categorized by easy, medium, and hard regions on a map—6 maps for easy, 11 for medium and 10 for hard. From that perspective, SweetWater easily beats other TD games. The maps are all self-contained meaning any money earned in one map cannot be used in another. Also, all the maps are unlocked, and I think it would have made more sense to lock most of them to provide an additional objective to beating previous maps.

SweetWater Defense has a distinctly Far East theme when it comes to the music and the overall presentation. Visually, the 3D graphics are more than adequate if not better than I would have expected. Zooming and in and panning, the details are well done. I hope the devs consider using different backgrounds in the future because this would easily add to the variety and even brighten things up. But all in all, the graphics should be appeal to everyone.

You have a variety of towers to work with, each with its own set of strengths and each upgradeable 4 times:

Enemy ships are as varied as the towers you have to work with and each gets progressively more difficult to sink:
Ship of the Line

And on top of that, a seafood bonanza awaits if you can defeat the bosses:
Giant Crab
Sea Serpent

Don’t worry about remembering all this because a guide can be accessed from the opening page and during the game. Regardless of what you think of TD games, SweetWater Defense has a diverse range of enemy ships and bosses. Depending on how well you do for each map, a gold, silver and bronze medal are awarded based on the number of lives remaining after completing the attack waves. Also, a nice feature is the Time slider and rewind feature which allows you to speed up the game or rewind without penalty without having to start over. The function comes in handy for the more difficult levels, but whether or not the rewind is a plus or minus will vary based on individual tastes.

Right before an attack wave starts, a drop down tab appears showing the next wave and a countdown timer until the next attack. A Start button is included to bypass the timer and begin immediately, but honestly I find myself tweaking the towers as much as I can. At bottom of the screen are the various towers which light up when enough gold is available to purchase.

SweetWater Defense follows the traditional TD game in that enemies attack and the more you destroy, the more money earned to buy or upgrade defenses along with selling them if you wish. Buying, upgrading and selling are done by tapping on the appropriate tower. Even in the easy in levels, the game is challenging and volume of towers does not help. In fact, upgrading a few towers will work just as well if not better, and while this may sound basic, other TD games tend to be a little forgiving if you use the volume strategy.

To sum up, based on its own merits, SweetWater Defense is a solid TD game that provides a fair amount of content and replayability. Its main problem is rising above all the other TD games available for the platform. If you enjoy the TD games for what they are or are relatively new to the genre, SweetWater Defense is really no brainer and compares favorably with other TD games. For more experienced players, SweetWater Defense may not offer anything significantly new than what they’re used to.

Albie Meter: 4 Stars (this is based on its own merits and for what it offers in terms of content and gameplay—25 maps; recommended for those new to TD and to experienced players who just enjoy the genre)


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