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Desktop Tower Defense


PoisonJam
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Was reading this article about gaming when I came across a link to Desktop Tower Defense. It's a browser-based game that one of the commentators in that article named as his Game of the Year, with the following statement:

 

The triumph of Desktop Tower Defense?and the workplace productivity tragedy?is that anyone who is reading my words right now could start playing the game in less than a minute. Just follow this URL, and be sure to submit your scores to the leaderboard called GOTY so you can compare your performance to mine.

 

DTD is a simple game: Waves of little enemy "creeps" crawl from left to right and from top to bottom across a photo of a desktop. If 20 of them complete their journey, the game is over. The player has a single defense: placing different types of towers that can block, freeze, and, naturally, blast the creeps. Shooting creeps earns the player more gold, which can be spent on more towers or on increasing the potency of the towers in the field.

 

What makes this game so extraordinary is the pure pleasure of its gameplay and the impossibility of quitting. I've sent the game's URL to friends who IM me later in the day demanding a cure for their new fix. The game's appeal lies in its balance of tower-types and creep-forms, and in its ability to challenge both my reflexes and my brain to allow me to feel that I've succeeded or failed because of my gaming skills rather than some programming quirk. This game asks me to be a battlefield general, and then?after I inevitably fail at topping a high score?it compels me to try and try again. I can't help but do so. I keep believing that self-improvement?greater success through better thinking and fiercer labor?is just another 15-minute session away.

 

Once you finish your games on normal and submit your scores, you can submit them to the LCVG group that I created so we can track our scores against each other. I played about 5 times this afternoon, never cracking 800, until suddenly I had a revelation about strategy and I started getting better and better scores, topping out around 5300. Give it a shot!

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Hehe, yes, I am sorry for all of that. As far as the scores go, I posted all of mine, even the lowly 500s, but I didn't think to create the LCVG group until after those initial efforts. If that happens to have the side-effect of skewing my posted results towards the big numbers in the group, well...like I said, sorry. :P You can probably search for "DaveF" to see my dismal early scores.

 

My big revelation, btw, was not to create lots of semi-upgraded towers, but to lead my creeps down a merry garden path towards a nasty killzone of fully-upgraded towers (the squirt towers are my favorite because they hit land and air creeps and they upgrade quickly). Once you upgrade a squirt tower fully, it fires at an incredible rate, and can often take out entire waves on its own. So my mazes look like long lines of regular pellet towers, and then little pockets of death where my nasty towers are. I focus mostly on squirt and bash towers, which are deadly against most ground troops.

 

The problem for me are the flyers right now. On one of the waves there are two flyer bosses (somewhere in the 40s)...my most recent maze had three fully upgraded squirt towers and two fully upgraded anti-air towers and didn't manage to bring either boss down. Those flyers are cake the first and second time they appear but after a while they become my nemesis.

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Flyers are tough, because they require a separate strategy than everything else... I haven't played this in a while... got hooked about 6 months back...

 

You want to go really nuts? try Multiplayer Desktop TD... different strategies required there... because it's all about speed, and when someone finishes a round, the next round comes out for everyone, so if you fall behind you get overwhelmed... http://www.casualcollective.com/games/ [You have to sign up for an account to play] I set up an LCVG group there too, if anyone's interested...

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