Saturday Morning Gaming: Tower Defense Distilled


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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10 Responses

  1. Silver Wolf says:


  2. Dan Miller says:

    Thanks for the tip. I need some light entertainment after going back-to-back on The Last Of Us and TLOU 2. They were amazing games with great voice acting and writing (I actually cared about the plot, which is rare for me) but they were hard to get through.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Dan Miller says:

      Gemcraft is probably psychically safer.

      Orcs Must Die! has you kill hundreds (maybe even thousands) of Orcs. As you’re plowing through the hundreds, the voice actors are saying things like “Just one day until I retire!” and the like. In Gemcraft, the monsters look like bugs. If you bother reading the text, you’ll see that they’re not bugs, they’re demons.

      Guilt-free, compared to the contemplation of the ripple effects of violence that The Last Of Us asks you to do.Report


    Black Mesa.

    I am stuck and frustrated because I’m at the part where I rescue the scientists from the robot autopsy/surgery room in Questionable Ethics, “It’s too easy, you go first” then a shitshow with HECUs. I survived, and now there’s a parking lot full of HECUs and there are fucking sentry drones as well?

    Fifteen times. I can’t get through.

    Been told on Twitter Black Mesa is supposed to be more difficult than the original Half Life, but I’m playing on easy.Report

  4. DensityDuck says:

    What’s always interesting is how there hasn’t seemed to be a really good mobile-app version of O.G.R.E. which I think is the original tower-defense game.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:


      My bête noire. I first heard about it in the 80’s. Since then I’ve been looking for a version that came *CLOSE* to what I imagined.

      Closest, ironically enough, is now a free game on Steam: Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves.

      You’ve got an invincible juggernaut coming your way. Stop it.Report

  5. jason says:

    I’ve played the Plants vs zombies tower defense game. I liked it, but it was frustrating in that as soon as I had a good defense going, the level would usually end. I get how not everybody would want to spend a lot of time on one level, but some kind of free play would be fun. I should play some other games in this genre.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to jason says:

      Orcs Must Die 2 has an “endless” mode where you can set up traps exactly the way you like and, eventually, it won’t do any good.

      But for, like, 15-20 levels there in the middle, it’s perfect.Report

  1. August 8, 2020

    […] Defense is one of those genres that I keep coming back to. Most recently with Gemcraft (which eventually became waaaay too frustrating). In comments there, Silver Wolf told me to check […]Report