TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘2112TD: Tower Defense Survival’

TouchArcade Rating:

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

2112TD: Tower Defense Survival

Tower defense titles used to be all the rage at a certain point in mobile gaming’s history, and it got to the point where I just couldn’t stomach yet another one being released seemingly every damn day. Which is a shame because it’s a genre that’s perfectly suited to mobile and the touchscreen. Thankfully we moved past that fad phase where everyone and their brother were releasing generic tower defense games en masse, and while there are fewer of them released nowadays they tend to be of much higher quality and much more interesting than during the genre’s peak. That is most certainly the case with 2112TD: Tower Defense Survival($1.99), the debut game from developer Refinery Productions which launched on iOS and Android this week.

The first thing to note about 2112TD is that it’s a premium game with no ads or IAP. This is important I think because in general tower defense games are free to play, and due to the nature of how these games are set up mechanically you just can’t help but feel like maybe you wouldn’t have been beaten in that super hard level if you had just forked over some real cash for that fancy IAP tower. You will most certainly get your butt kicked in 2112TD, but you can be sure it’s because you need to try a different set of strategies rather than the game nudging you towards spending money on IAP.

The second thing that jumped out at me about 2112TD is how bad ass the visuals and presentation are. Refinery Productions were going for a late ’90s/early 2000s PC sci-fi strategy game homage (think old Command & Conquer or Starcraft games) and they hit the nail squarely on the head with it. The plot involves fending off an alien invasion and saving the entire galaxy as we know it, and features all the cool space military weaponry and freakish alien designs you’d expect from something like Starship Troopers. I love it.

Gameplay-wise, 2112TD plays things mostly straightforward and I don’t mean that in a bad way. This is solid, old-school tower defense design where each and every map will cause you to sit back and think about what the best strategy might be. The in-game economy and tower upgrades are balanced in a way that you can’t just brute force your way through, you have to strategize. Besides micromanaging your towers, there’s also a handful of real-time special abilities you can trigger like an air strike, a fortification wall, or a drone so that you always feel like you’re actively participating in the battle rather than just setting up a bunch of towers while you kick back and watch everything unfold like in some games. There’s also Normal and Hard difficulty options for each level, as well as unlockable Survival versions of every map. Coupled with the extensive upgrade system there is quite a lot to keep you busy here.

2112TD doesn’t reinvent the tower defense formula, and that’s actually what I admire about it most. It’s a straightforward, well-designed tower defense game with a cool aesthetic and no free to play shenanigans. If it’s been a while since you indulged in one of those, this one is an easy recommendation.