by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
You know the drill
If you have played any sort of tower defence game, you will know the drill – place various towers around a path to destroy attackers before they reach their target. Defend the Bits is no different.
In Defend the Bits, players start with three varieties of towers – a Viking axeman with a strong melee attack, an Archer with less powerful attacks, but with more range, and a rocket launcher who has more range and can hit multiple targets at once but is slower to launch. These three towers must defend the exit against an ever-increasing barrage of enemy attackers.
Enemies, as you would expect from a tower defence, start off quite basic, with one hit being enough to destroy the initial small blue cube-shaped attacker, but as each wave progresses, slightly stronger cube-shaped enemies appear, with each requiring multiple hits. After several waves special enemies begin appearing that are invulnerable against certain attacks. For instance, a helicopter that can only be attacked by ranged towers, or a tank that can only be attacked by melee towers. These enemies ensure that gamers must select a range of towers to defend their base rather than relying on one specific tower type.
Missions are broken up into 60 waves culminating in defeating an enemy boss type. However, if players complete this target with points to spare, players can continue until they run out of points. As each new enemy unit is added, a small description of their prowess and weaknesses is displayed, enabling gamers to create a strategy for defeating them.
However, players have limited funds with which to spend on towers, and as such, Defend the Bits requires a certain amount of strategy. Towers can be upgraded during the course of the missions, and will improve range, power or add a damage-over-time effect such as fire. These upgrades become exponentially more expensive with each upgrade, and so there is often a decision to be made whether you add a cheap tower or upgrade existing towers. Players do gain funds throughout a mission though, as each enemy they destroy will gain them funds, and each level will provide a small bonus.
As players complete each mission, they will gain access to new tower types. These towers will cost more than the three basic tower types, but have either a greater range, be more powerful, or are better suited to specific enemy types. Each of these towers can be upgraded during the mission. As the game has been developed in Australia, some of the towers have an Australian slant, such as the koala tower that has a boomerang being thrown at enemies.
Cute and vibrant
From a visual standpoint, Defend the Bits is reminiscent of Shooty Skies, with the towers and enemies having a cubish, retro feel. Everything is set out wonderfully, with each of the towers easily distinguishable from the other towers, with their bright colours and various designs. And when upgraded, players will be able to tell at a glance what level they are on. Likewise, the enemy types are varied, and come in a range of styles, starting from a small blue cube, through to a large black cube and then a series of boss units that require a heap of hits to destroy.
All this takes place on a vibrant playing field. Overall, there are fifteen settings to play, enabling players to formulate new strategies for each level design. Indeed, some of the later levels only have limited space for players to place their towers, ensuring that planning is required to combat the deluge of enemies as they approach.
Defend the Bits can get a little monotonous, especially during the mid-game period where players have a good mix of towers that can take down most enemies. The developers have taken this into account, by adding the option of fast-forwarding the gameplay, enabling players to skip through the less entertaining portions of the game. This is particularly important to players who are re-attempting a level to try and gain the maximum three stars on offer for each mission.
Defend the Bits doesn’t add a whole lot new to the tower defence genre, but the bright visuals, fun sound effects and the variety of towers and enemies certainly make Defend the Bits an enjoyable experience. Unlocking new towers gives the game added replayability, as gamers can go back to completed missions with these new towers and attempt different strategies. And with players aiming for three stars on each mission (which requires no enemies to get through to the exit), some of the missions will need to be played on multiple occasions until players find a plan that works. If you’re a fan of tower defence style game, Defend the Bits will definitely be right up your alley, whilst for other gamers, the game offers a quick break from your usual game. But be warned, that quick break can turn into hours of addictive gameplay.
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Nice range of towers and enemies, vibrant visuals
Combat can be somewhat monotonous