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Defense Grid: The Awakening and why it’s my video game comfort food.

September 11, 2013

I’ve been playing tower defense games ever since a co-worker told me about this flash game he’d found on the net. The scene when I look back over it reminds me of the seediest of drug deals that you see in films. A shady character with a product that is so good that he’s taken to passing it on to his friends, knowing full well the depths that their friends will sink to once they have a taste. The game was desktop tower defense. It was so addictive that I probably lost days at a time trying to complete this game as I made small progress with each try. I later found out, after searching through youtube for tip videos, that the game was impossible to beat. As soon as I found that out my interest disappeared thankfully and I was able to cast aside this addiction and get back to work.
I’m getting cold sweats just looking at this.

My interest in this genre persisted though. A flash game here and there but it wasn’t until I downloaded geoDefense on my phone that I felt the addiction creep back in. This game was everything I wanted in a tower defense game. Balanced game play and a huge sense of satisfaction with every completed level due to it’s harsh difficulty spikes. It looked amazing and the achievements were achievable so I’ll always look back fondly on it and its sequel geoDefense Swarm. I think you can pick it up on all phones so if you have a spare month to give up of your life in search of a gold star in each level, buy it now.
It’s sooooooooo Shiny!

Since then I’ve only played plants vs zombies which doesn’t really count. So when Defense Grid: The Awakening came up as a free game to download through XBL I jumped at the chance. Firstly the game looks amazing. It’s an old XBL game from 2009 and the level of detail is massive for a game that could feasibly have dozens of characters on screen at the same time. I didn’t experience any slow down in my run even during some of the more hectic levels. The best thing about the game is how difficult yet achievable it is. You can blast through each level and not care about your ranking and score fairly easily. If you want to perfect each level then it could take hours per level and that might not even result in a gold medal. Nothing is handed to you at all. You have to earn your wins and I love that about it. The story won’t grip you despite some excellent voice work by Jim Ward lends some humanity to the story (Even though he’s playing a robot.). It’s serviceable and helps move from level to level, but really, it’s not needed. Tower Defense games are about the puzzle and the balance which Defense Grid does excellently.
The detail when you zoom in is incredible.

It also has the ability to open up a time portal and make hours disappear. You will convince yourself to have one more go and you will do it often. Thankfully my wife understands when I get into bed at 1am due to a game getting into my head but if you don’t have hours and hours and hours at a time to commit then you may not get as much out of this game as you should.

For me it’s perfect after a hard day at work. Put on some music really loud and start blowing up dozens and dozens of Aliens. It’s so satisfying in the best way possible.
Many people laughed at Defense Grid when it was announced as the first free with gold game. After playing through the game I can’t praise it enough. It you haven’t given it a chance yet but downloaded it as it was free, play it now so that it’s done by the 22-11-13.

XBL, PSN and Twitter @Urbundave
Ouya Urbandave


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  1. Top 10 2013 | Why didn't I complete it?

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