You’re the commander of the defense forces working to stave off armies of the undead as they advance upon the city. The game takes place over long stretches of fictional time, with each invasion lasting several levels and introducing a succession of opponents, weapons and pickup bonuses.
There are three campaign modes; the gold campaign, a bonus campaign, and a silver campaign. They say the bonus campaign is for experienced players only, and they’re not kidding. I got through the first several levels of gold pretty handily, but the bonus campaign tore me to shreds in no time flat. Silver is locked at the start and I have to confess I haven’t managed to unlock it yet.
I enjoy a good tower defense style game; Defense Grid: The Awakening is my gold standard to judge against. Grave Defense HD is somewhat different in scope. In Defense Grid you often run into levels where you yourself can define the path the enemy must take by placing your towers to block their movements. There don’t seem to be any such levels in Grave Defense, but it does make extensive use of a different type of variable path mechanic.
Quite often when a new wave of enemies is unleashed, you’ll be given an advance look of the path those enemies will take. If you don’t, it means they’ll use the same path the previous wave used. The paths are sometimes quite different, which adds an immense amount to the challenge. If you’re the type of player (as I am, sadly,) who tends to stack defenses along key routes, you may find yourself in a sudden scramble to build enough force up to defend a route you didn’t know existed. This leads to some frenetic and fun game play.
The enemies are varied, and range from slow moving walker-types like zombies and mummies to really fast air units like ghosts and even Dracula. Different weapons will work against different types of enemies, so you really have to keep your options open until you’ve gotten comfortable with the arsenal at your disposal. The weapon line up changes from level to level.
That, I think, is the thing that makes this game the most fun for me; you’re constantly pressured to re-evaluate the state of the game and the options you have at any given point. I had intended to write this review yesterday, but I was having so much fun playing that that simply didn’t happen.
Have you played Grave Defense HD? If so, on what platform? Let us know in the comments!
(The author was given a copy of the game for review purposes.)