Posted: April 23, 2014
Tower Defense crossed with a Card Collecting game; an unusual mix that strangely works well together. You have a set campaign of around 20 quests to complete before you, with some side quests you can do between main quests to gain further experience. There is some backstory to the whole game but its not overly interesting only appearing after winning certain levels. You use the drops, silver & stars earned from each win to upgrade your towers & magic, increase your deck size & obtain other perks.
Initial levels in the game are very, very easy to complete, making me think this might be a 'one session to complete' kinda game. Once you hit around level 10, the levels get much harder though. If you have been unlucky on the drops or have put your upgrades into tower cards you shouldn't have you can find yourself grinding out upgrades to get through the next level. This isn't overly frustrating though as the maps are randomly selected for each difficultly level & can have random modifiers to block certain tower squares from use. This adds new challenges for existing maps. There are also some unique boss levels where you have a set amount to build & take down a large enemy - those are fun!
There are a LOT of different towers you can build up in your deck. For tower defense veterans, most of the common suspects are there in some form (guns, flamers, slowers, long range), plus some other more unique configurations. Not sure exactly how many tower types there are but would estimate at least 20. The quality of the card determines how far you can upgrade, with each upgrade generally improving DPS/Range/Efficiency etc.
For those who like a strong mazing component to their tower defense, then this game might not be for you. There is some maps with a smaller level of mazing but most have a set path design. The strategic importance in PW:D is with your card selection to match the incoming enemies & what you put your limited upgrades earned towards. Better choices will make moving up the levels much easier (unlike my poor effort of a play through lol!), & bad choices will make the game feel next to impossible to beat.
The HD support (or lack of) I found a bit disappointing. Running PW:D in full screen ends up stretching the desktop down to 1280x720 - windows like the Steam window open in the background always get shrunk down & I need to resize. It looks fine at the lower resolution just a minor frustration. Again, a minor frustation I found was the menus between games. There is a lot of going in and out of different sections to get your upgrades done, check your towers etc. This could have been simplified to fit more cards on one page, and have main functions and browsing together to save going back and forth.
Overall, I have really been enjoying this one. Its a challenging & addictive tower defense game with a card twist! Lots of achievements & one that is well suited to load up for a quick 10-20min TD session.