by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
TD in 3D
I first started playing Tower Defense (TD) games back when they were being made as custom maps for Warcraft III, and I have loved them ever since. There is just something so satisfying about building little turrets and watching them mow down enemies as they try to get to their destination. If one of them gets through, it only serves as an incentive to keep playing and stop them next time around. Terrorhedron brings the addictive wave-based style of game into the third dimension in a big way, and after spending many hours with the game, my head is still spinning.
Usually in TD games, you place your turrets along the path the enemy is going to run, and they shoot until they get out of range. In Terrorhedron, you are trying to stop 3D shapes from reaching the end of the track. As you would expect, you can place turrets in specific places, and they shoot at the shapes, slowly reducing the number of faces they have until they disappear altogether, giving you some cash with which you can buy more turrets. However, if they go round a corner, or over a ledge, your turret will not be able to shoot at them any more. Gravity does not affect things in this world, as the ever-persistent shapes follow paths that go up walls, and even upside-down. As the shapes are damaged, they shed their skins, slowly becoming more basic shapes. The amount of lives you lose if one of the shapes reaches the end of the track is based on how complex they are when they arrive.
Unlock as you go
To begin with, it is tough. Actually scrap that, the whole game is tough. I barely got beyond easy difficulty, even after I started unlocking the higher tiers of turrets. How anyone can hope to tackle the highest difficulty of ‘Mathematically Impossible’ I do not know. Although the extra dimensions take some time to get used to, the turrets themselves are fairly standard for the genre. The first time you play the game, you only have one turret, and it fires a single shot at a single target. As you play, you slowly begin to unlock new turrets and upgrades for them. You get your slow turrets, your splash damage turrets, turrets with higher rates of fire, and so on. These unlocks are persistent, so once you have unlocked a new turret, it is available at the start of the next game you play.
The same goes for the maps themselves. When you begin, only one level is available, but by playing you unlock more as you go. There are six different levels in all, each one more confusing than the last. Each time you start a new level you have the mind-bending task of figuring out where the shapes are going to go, and where the best place to put your turrets is. It is not always simple, however, as there are designated connectors to which you have to attach them, and each level takes a few tries to get used to. It is not a case of trial and error either, as I have not yet revealed the main mechanic that sets Terrorhedron apart from normal TDs.
Addictive gameplay. A twist on the classic format, and really puzzles your mind.
Unlocking new turrets and maps takes a while when you first start. Simplistic graphics and music.