Possibly one of the best tower defense games ever to grace Newgrounds! I love how you can have many combinations of towers, based on its elemental makeup. Much more variety than the usual 4 or 5 from other games.
+ Excellent gameplay and replayability
+ Many tower types for different strategies
+ Accessories to modify attributes
+ Smooth and fluid animation
+ Good difficulty curve
- Unable to switch up accessories and elements for later upgrade/change
- The drag-and-drop elements/accessories slightly clunky/slow
- Buy elements, then have to maneuver to element tab to move to gompher to use
- Sometimes clicked on another gompher while trying to level up another gompher / clicked behind the pop-up menu
- Some useless tower functions
For the most part pure gomphers are far superior to non-pure ones. Each level almost doubles the damage done per shot, so its quality over quantity because the more gomphers you have, the less optimal positions they will be in.
I always start out with two gomphers, buy elements for them, and upgrade both to level 3 ASAP. If you don't have any starter gems, go for fire and earth first. (If you already have starter gems, go build with whatever you have.) Upgrade both to level 6, then expand to a complete set of 5 level 6 gomphers, all different elements. Repeat.
Build where a gompher can reach two different paths in different places. This will double your gompher's effectiveness. Key areas are: intersections, area between two paths are close together, etc.
Levels 1 - 3:
The first three levels are impossible to lose unless you don't build anything. The money comes in fast and the first level should be spent exploring all the different combinations of gomphers (for reference later). Building ANYTHING will work (including pure gomphers). I was able to beat the first and second level with two level 6 gomphers and one level 5 - I don't understand where people are screaming difficult from!
Level 4 - 8:
Medium difficulty, go for pure gomphers.
Build 3 sets of pure gomphers, and then expand heavily in level 5 teleport gomphers elsewhere. These teleport gomphers will save your life towards the end waves. Maybe throw some life steals in there too.
This one was tricky. If you have gold medaled all the levels prior, you will have plenty of upgrades: the most important being 2 (or 3) starter gems (at least 2), 3 cash over time, 3 increase max lives, and 3 increase attack damage.
In the little loop with the intersection, start by building a full set of 5 pure gomphers. Have 4 inside the loop, one at the exit of the loop. Next, build a teleport in the center of the loop (you can fit 5 there), it'll get as many teleporting shots as it possibly can.
Expand now with a 50:50 ratio of teleports and instand deaths, mostly near the entrance of the loop (cut trees), and exit of the loop. Build a splash slow at the entrance, and another at the bottom of the loop to allow the others to wear it down.
Next, build 5-8 life steals immediately to the right of where the enemies spawn, cut tress if necessary. Make sure they cover both paths. You will NEED them to survive. (Renmants of wave 73, 74, and 75 made it to the village twice...9 damage each x 2!) This is where 125 life cushion comes in.
Expand your network of instant deaths / teleports to the bottom of the loop, and the bottom of the map directly below the gompher village. Again, have some slows at both ends so the others can get more shots in. I also built 3 pure fire gomphers there to deal some damage.
That should last you to wave 75; I ended with 49 lives left, out of 125. Needless to say, the immune to instant death and immune to teleport enemies are a b*tch to kill!
The most important accessory was the angel doll, which doubled the points. I always make sure I start a game with at least one angel doll, so I can earn gold medals.
The red bombs are the only way to down the copter. They don't hurt you.
Standard gameplay like any other adventureish stuff, with good potential but has some problems.
1) As many other have said, finding doors is seriously the most annoying aspect of the game. In the West Wing I was unable to find two of the four doors on the left hand side, so I searched the whole map available to me at the time to find a key...twice. This was incredibly time wasting and not too fun.
To fix this, please MARK with arrows or some overhead symbol for doorways. With green wallpaper and green doors and overhead view the doors are camouflaged. Other wallpaper designs also appear to look like a door but is not. Also if you're directly next to the wall, the camera angle is complete vertical thus impossible to find doors. This MUST be fixed.
2) Second, motion is awkward. Arrow keys are fine, but also could have had WASD key. He felt extremely sluggish, especially if you walked into objects and had to maneuver around. This problem was the most apparent when zombies were about and you had to AIM and squeeze off shots, or in the case of reloading, turn around, run, reload, turn around, walk backwards, aim, and shoot. Because aligning a shot is pretty hard (with slow turning), maybe auto-aim (within reasonable directional aim) would be better.
3) Third, please allow people to review instructions instead of showing it once and be done with it. A pop-up instruction box would be nice. In my encounter with my first zombie, I kept pressing s (which was actually reload), but was actually Z+X for firing the revolver. I took a lot of hits on that one. Crowbar(?) and general attack is awkward also, the Z+X combination. Would have been better for Z = general action, X = fire weapon, [SPACE] = switch weapon, and R = reload. (not sure for other commands, I died pretty early.) Or mouse aim would be nice.
4) Along with that, please give us a health bar so we know how much damage our guy can take. I think it's six zombie slashes, but I would like to know when I'm about to die.
5) Going through doors when zombie is chasing. When you enter a new room, the zombie stays in the doorway and waits. If you were to reload, and then re-attack, the zombie gets free hits on you as you try to reenter the room, because 1) he's in your way, 2) you're surrounded by black and is in neither room. This needs to be fixed somehow.
6) Still reloading issue, as others have said. This is how I lost to the second zombie in the East Wing.
7) Reading through the pages was annoying. Please fix the controls to give readers greater amounts of freedom (going back a page).
8) Map function of explored rooms. If I can guess, the whole layout is MASSIVE with lots of locked doors; might want to help out the player instead of him wandering about.
Because I died pretty early, I can't really give a critique of the storyline. The feel of the game is rather slow mostly because of sluggish movements and the search-and-find element. The time spent finding doors didn't help much either. Overall, graphics are rather nice (other than wallpaper/door lookalike), although I find it odd for a few small pieces of furniture in a massive mansion. The atmosphere is well done, as well as the 'surprise!' in the first zombie encounter. Movement and camera angle is horrid.
These few technical aspects plague this game from being suspenseful and fun to being rather frustrating and annoyed, so you earned a 6/10 for its potential. If the above points are addressed, I'd be more willing to give it a replay and go through the whole plot.
Also, I believe the word you're looking for is "colleague", not "college". This error is repeated a few times throughout the game and in the above description.
Thanks alot for the feedback.
I fixed some of the issues, the details are in the description.
Kept me occupied for a good while.
The only complaint would be the short campaign, and I've beaten levels 2,3,4,5,6 on my first try. I didn't feel like the survival mode, so I just built one tower and let the swarm overtake the castle. Level 1 took a few restarts to get the feel of the game and what the towers did, but afterwards I developed a loose strategy that was basically repeated with minimal modification. Although its certainly a challenge with multiple paths, I think the towers upgraded a bit too quickly.
A few quirks/problems about the game:
This was my biggest concern. Because I build my towers as close as possible to each other to maximize the ballista effect, most of the time was trying to find a non-RED spot on the map. This also applies to farms, training centers, and that horrid stadium landmark that took up a good portion of the map.
Also, the first few times playing I thought towers had to be upgraded manually. When I clicked the tower (which the cursor displayed a gold value), I thought that was the upgrade cost. Instead, I sold my tower! Maybe that should be included in the instructions.
It's understandable that income rate is inversely proportional with damage, but at the verge of death and earning 1 Au isn't fun and probably game-breaking. It would be better to say, at max, cut half the rate when the castle is almost gone.
Castle repair cost also seems to be very steep, and you can't repair a portion of it with whatever gold/resources you have at hand. To dig myself out of 1Au/sec I tried to repair with 400gold/res, but the cost was over 2200gold/rec, and I wasn't able to repair about 20% of the health to restore my income.
A next-wave button would be greatly appreciated.
Other things that could be addressed were more varied enemies, possibly displaying the enemy's health. My speakers were off, so I couldn't address the sound (if there were any.) Also, make a goal list for awards.
1) ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS build around the Ballista, which gives -500ms fire rate and -25ms every level thereafter. Its radius is small, but if you build it right it can affect two towers over. A good starting strategy is to have the Ballista in the middle, arrow turrets on the outside closest to the path, cannons in the back.
2) Place Sap near spawn points. They don't really need faster firing rates under the ballista, and are there only for green enemies. If they're alone they level incredibly quick. (Earning XP does not require kills!)
3) A good cluster is:
Place all your Arrow towers as close to the path as possible. Arrows grow a lot in range after each level. Put the Ballistas in the second row or in the middle of the cluster. Cannons have a lot of range.
4) For multiple paths (such as level 2), it's easier to build symmetrical configurations. As you expand initially, use arrow towers, then fill in the center with Ballista, then finish it with Cannons.
When placing Arrows initially, go for corners and expand outwards. If parallel paths are close enough, you can cover two clusters (or one large cluster) of cannons/arrows with one ballista. Build extra ballistas when you expand.
Mid-game you should be building cannons only because they do 300 damage initially or so, compared to 50 for level 10 arrow.
5) I realize that Farms aren't really all that useful and don't make too much of an impact on Xp/health. Put one or two in the remote corner so it levels up; when you're at level 5 you should be receiving 7 Au, which is fair enough. Afterwards sell them for Training - which will upgrade all your towers significantly (if you have a few of them). Mines are pretty useless IMO.
6) For landmarks, keep track of the resale value of buildings. Calculate how much resource you really need if you sell your farms/mines/training. THEY TAKE A LONG TIME TO BUILD AFTER, be warned.
Good, but could use a lot of improvement
I finally beat it after 3 sittings on 3 days. The whole conquer-the-world scenario plays out well as you're able to select which countries you want to invade with progressing difficulty, starting out at 3% and ending at 105%. The battle system works well, but nothing too groundbreaking, as it's a mix of strategy, brute force, AI stupidity, and luck. The main problem with the game is BALANCE, which forces you to switch strategy, but leads into a secondary problem: money for upgrades.
For my game I chose one of the worst races, the Orcs of the South, whose "race specialty" unit is terrible, and their whole unit inventory is subpar compared to other races. Flails and king's guard had much better kill ratios than the axe thrower's undependable and unpredictable performance. Although equal at first, as you reach into the higher percentages of difficulty, the enemy could outproduce you with superior upgraded units: it takes the same time to produce one of King's Guard as it was for me to make an axe thrower! Therefore, when I purchased new units (such as mounted spearman) with higher stats but longer times, I often found that their long production time rendered them useless in most situations on the battlefield. Plus, it was valuable money spent that could have gone to important upgrades when I found out how disappointing they were.
The growing unfairness forced me to switch strategy, which leads to money problems. I primarily utilized three strategies, while upgrading the spear, and 1 to armor and speed: initially I mass produced spearmen and unpgraded them so they did more damage. This worked out fine in the first third of the game and fared well with enemies. I mostly single-file-spammed my spearmen and forced my way through.
Then, as enemy line charges became more common (comes every 20 kills, spearmen are easy pickings), I switched to mounted spearmen which has few units but stronger. This worked well because I racked up more kills than the enemy could and could line charge more often; I found out if I kept my production on mounted spearmen when I hit the 20 kill mark I could lead a line charge of that unit type instead of the basic 3 unit types. This was effective until the enemy could outperform me, mounted, with their unmounted men.
I resorted to a third strategy when the enemy got too powerful (70%~ difficulty), which was to avoid the enemy or do single-file spam of spearmen. This was accomplished by producing many spearmen, then switching to other lanes and producing as many scouts as I could when the enemy responded to the spearmen. Most of the enemy went through, but I had more men breaking through to the opposite side and filling the bar. Sometimes the enemy didn't respond to my single file and it would be a relatively easy win just mass producing spearmen; other times I had to get creative and have scouts running everywhere. This was the best strategy against the trolls.
The third strategy worked wonderful 70% onwards, but that meant I racked in less than 20 kills per battle, which means I had no income. There should be some reward in gold for winning battles too, not just kill count. That means the last third of the battle I could not upgrade my units, further exacerbating the balance problem. The upgrades were also pricey further on.
The game could use a difficulty setting as well as some balance issues.
I love the improved graphics and physics engine. So far it's on the hard side for me, I can't get past level 12; closest I've ever gone is 200exp from filling that bar (1.7k).
I found it incredibly frustrating that homing missiles are totally unavoidable and destined to hit sooner or later; on level 12 I spent most of my time 60 feet high instead of down low destroying planes/copters because of those missiles (which come in swarms...) Also, numerous times I was in mid-air racking up a great combo but unable to land because of too many targets or the homing missiles which propelled me further upward so I ran out of fuel and exploded.
To make the game slightly easier, perhaps you could change it so that unspent fuel from a previous level could be expended in the next level (carry-over). One time I landed just in time before the fuel depleted but it took a second or two for the exp bar to max out and register the points; I exploded during this time and still lost the game despite completing the level.
A little to brag, my maximum combo was 65 (racking in 1.8k experience if i recall correctly) on level 9 and it was enough to clear the level 10 right away =P
Good mystery; I get it! =D
I wouldn't exactly call this a game, as it is more in line with a visual novel because it's not really interaction besides finding the few clickable clues which help solve the mystery of the story. The first play through I didn't exactly understand the ending, but I re-played, and I finally understood why I was shot. Even though I knew it was coming the 2nd time, it still surprised me, so good job there. I've never seen LOST either.
The major fallback is that if you did not find all the important clues, then you were basically left in the dark and confused about what the hell happened and why you died. (The first run-through I only got 3 of 4 so I didn't understand)
So, in order to help those people who were all '???' 'why was i shot?' 'who am i?' 'why the sudden death?', I DON'T UNDERSTAND, etc (and gave it a low score because the author didn't explain it overtly), I've put a little guide here. I won't go all the way; it's your job to piece together the clues.
To fully enjoy this plot, you must find all the clickable clues. The important clues are located:
#1: Enter the first stony building in the jungle and continue in for the 1st notebook.
#2: After turn on the generator, head forward to find the 2nd notebook.
#3: This one can't be missed; a notebook and a red 'User's Manual' is located next to an old computer.
#4: Right after, there is a backgammon board with a gun, and a piece of paper - read it.
Overall, the photography was excellent and really gave a sense of realism and atmosphere. It was mostly consistent so it gave a feeling of progression instead of some random images found over the internet that happened to be related to each other. The music was average but did help in the suspense / mystery. Kudos to the plot, although it seems to fall into the generic 'amnesia' category but not quite.
The gunshot crack was surprising and well done for an abrupt ending. I think most (some?) people got the plot after they were shot.
I don't really see much cons besides the one mentioned earlier. You could make it a linear progression instead of having the clues in branching paths (so everyone gets it), but that might make the game really boring. However, I don't really see the possibility of multiple endings, unless you were the Richard instead.
Maybe make the handwriting easier to read, or have some variety in the ambient soundtrack.
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