What is Tower Defense? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]

Video games are very unique in the sense that there’s always something different to do from game to game. In some titles, your objective might be to save damsel in distress, while in another game maybe it’s to defeat all the bad guys. Then there’s the idea of protecting a base by fortifying the area around it preventing baddies from overrunning it. That objective leads to a game being considered a tower defense title. Never heard of tower defense? Well we here at Honey’s Anime are going to enhance your gaming knowledge as we describe What is Tower Defense?

Below us will be several examples of games that can be considered tower defense titles. As always, we here at Honey’s Anime will make sure to go step by step so you can fully understand the gaming term and become a master of it. At the end of this article you will be able to tell what constitutes as a tower defense game and the reasons why. Plus unlike other lessons in life, you won’t even need to take notes or worry about a surprise quiz. We’re confident that you’ll fully understand What is Tower Defense by the end of this article. Now then let us get this gaming lesson underway with our first example.

Defend that base!

No matter what type of tower defense game you’re playing, the main objective is usually the same: defend the main base. The idea is that somewhere on the map you must defend a central point from invaders or various threats. The main base has a set amount of life though meaning that if it takes too much damage it’s game over. As you survive the waves, the amount of threats increases and your main base has a higher chance of being overwhelmed by invaders.

Luckily though defending your base isn’t impossible. Like the example below, tower defense games give you various ways of protecting your main base. Sometimes you may be given guns or weapons and it’s up to you to place them in optimal spots to keep your base from taking too much damage or any damage whatsoever. Let us now show a prime example of defending your base in a game called Defense Grid 2.

1. Defense Grid 2

  • System/Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
  • Publisher: 505 Games
  • Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
  • Release Date: Sept 23, 2014

In Defense Grid 2, your goal is simple: protect your bases. Bases will come in the form of either small colonies or even space stations and the aliens wish to destroy them by any means. Build your defenses in the form of towers to protect your base as well as weapons to fight back the various alien threats. Players will need to adjust their strategies to take into account the various alien types as each has different pros and cons making no one strategy work for all situations. Defense Grid 2 will test your tower defense skills just like the first title so be prepared for an alien onslaught like no other.

Defense Grid: The Awakening was one of the best tower defense games we’ve played here at Honey’s Anime and that same love is seen in this epic sequel. Developer Hidden Path Entertainment didn’t change much about Defense Grid 2—aside from a multiplayer aspect as well as new enemy types and bases—but that’s a good thing as the tower defense element wasn’t changed much and shows the best examples of how a modern tower defense game looks. Players will need to create their defenses all while upgrading them when they can. As the player reaches higher waves more enemies and tougher threats will attack the player’s base and thus you’ll need to be able to change up tactics on the fly and always be aware of what’s going on in battle. Tower defense games always get harder as you progress but that keeps them from ever becoming stale or boring as you’ll constantly need to be upgrading a base or selling one to move it somewhere else.

Defense Grid 2 PAX East Trailer (Official Trailer)

Different Means of Gameplay

For our last two examples, we want to point out that not all tower defense games play the same. Unlike the older free to play tower defense games on various websites, more modern tower defense games give players unique twists to defend their towers or bases. With our two games below in the form of Crystal Defenders and Dungeon Defenders, these tower defense games give unique spins on the formula by adding RPG-like elements as well as some cool other gameplay mechanics. It’s very important to note these tower defense variants as they are more relevant in today’s modern day gaming than back in the early 90s or 2000s. Now then without any more delay let us talk about our last two examples, shall we?

2. Dungeon Defenders

  • System/Platform: PC, XBLA, PSN, iOS, Mac OS X, Android
  • Publisher: Reverb Triple XP
  • Developer: Trendy Entertainment
  • Release Date: Dec 15, 2010

Get ready for a truly unique take on the tower defense genre in the form of Dungeon Defenders. Players will either go alone or with friends to defend the Eternia Crystals from various threats such as goblins, ogres and orcs. Unlike most tower defense titles, Dungeon Defender gives players classes to choose from that each have their own unique traps and skills. Players will need to defend their crystals from not only small threats but occasional large boss like enemies. Get ready hero, you’re skills are needed in Dungeon Defenders.

Dungeon Defenders is our first example of how a tower defense game from this generation can be very different than past alliterations. Players will find the RPG elements of Dungeon Defenders to provide many ways to play that give each of the several missions in campaign mode a unique feel than just watching bases shoot at waves of enemies. We really love the co-op aspect of Dungeon Defender as well which means you can have a great time with friends and ramp up the difficulty to see if you can beat the forces of evil. If you want a tower defense game that is truly unlike any other we’ve ever played here at Honey’s Anime than go and download this incredible game as soon as you can. Plus don’t worry if you’re a beginner in the world of tower defense games as Dungeon Defender has many levels of difficulty that you can adjust prior to each level.

3. Crystal Defenders

  • System/Platform: iOS, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS Vita, Android
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: MSF/Winds
  • Release Date: Jan 1, 2008

Crystal Defenders is a tower defense game that uses elements from not only other tower defense games but also the world of Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. Players are tasked with protecting their crystals from various enemies. This is done by choosing from one of several job classes and placing them on the map having them use their powers to defeat the different enemies. Each class has their own strengths and weaknesses so players will need to use the best job classes for the best situations. If the enemy takes 20 crystals from their base then its game over.

Crystal Defenders is another tower defense title that infuses the concept of RPG mechanics but this time taking from the legendary Final Fantasy Tactics series. Besides amazing art and fun tower defense gameplay, the idea of using different job classes as the means of defense was a brilliant idea from developer MSF/Winds. We here at Honey’s Anime found Crystal Defenders an easy to learn but very deep game with a lot of means to master making the best means of defending a base but also with a lot of challenge to ensure no one run is the same as the one before. With so many consoles to play on, Crystal Defenders can be played on the comforts of a couch or on the go which makes this a perfect tower defense game for those who have different ways of enjoying their gaming sessions.

CRYSTAL DEFENDERS Trailer (English) (Official Trailer)

Final Thoughts

Tower defense games are a pretty fun subgenre of video game. What’s great is that regardless of your gaming levels—maybe you aren’t very well suited to the RTS genre for example—tower defense games require very little knowledge and usually are pretty simple to learn. However, like the titles we mentioned above, tower defense games may start off very simple but eventually they end up becoming very tough so make sure to learn the ropes early so you can survive later waves. Now then our gaming lesson has been completed and we hope you indeed learned a little bit more about tower defense gaming. If you loved this article and want more of them, feel free to comment down below and let us know of any other gaming terms you want us to explain. As always we here at Honey’s Anime are working up our next gaming lesson to strengthen your gaming knowledge so don’t stray too far from our hive.

CRYSTAL-DEFENDERS-game-300x300 What is Tower Defense? [Gaming Definition, Meaning]


Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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