Defense Technica

6.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 7/10
Story: 2/10
Presentation: 5/10

The Stabber

Towers Not Called The Stabber

Written by on October 30, 2013 in [, , ]

Several years ago the Tower Defense genre had so few entries that you’d be forgiven for not even knowing what “Tower Defense” was. But since the advent of the smart phone more and more people are looking for things to tap on, and there has been an explosion of bite-sized games offering strategic challenge with minimal user interaction – the sorts of games that just kind of work when the player otherwise has their hands full.

Entering relatively late to the scene is Defense Technica, a new TD game originally released on the iOS back in June, and this past week on Steam. Despite having some time to learn from its predecessors though, the game still has some fundamental flaws that hold the entire experience back.

The story itself, if it could be called that, is nothing more than text explaining why you have to fight off aliens in a particular level. There really isn’t much to make the experience engaging, and you’ll likely just skip through anything presented in favor of getting to the action. Sadly though, the action is where Defense Technica really starts to fail.


The game has the basics of pathing and setting up towers to intercept in-coming aliens down, but while there is supposedly a system of effectiveness between towers and attackers, nothing is ever really explained. You may know that a particular tower is great versus “bio” enemies, or poor versus “heavy,” but what type an alien is seems entirely left to guesswork. Perhaps that trial and error of learning what works and what doesn’t wouldn’t be tedious if the enemies themselves had some sort of variety or clear visual distinction – like a color system, or unique markings. But everything that crosses your screen looks just as bland as the thing before, which really just leaves you scratching your head.

As a consequence of this lack of information, the stages in the game quickly shift from relatively easy to frustratingly impassable, which is not really the sort of experience gamers look for. Though a challenge can be good (particularly in the TD genre) here your failings never feel like poor execution or unplanned strategy. It feels like you don’t stand much of a chance.

Technica has some good ideas which make a few moments shine through. As in most every TD game you have a core you need to protect, but here you have an amount of “ether” which you can use to drop a bomb on a group of enemies, or repair your core if it has been attacked. It sounds great in theory, but in practice, holding down the button to repair your core is broken to the point where I found myself checking the controls in the menu just to make sure I was pressing the right key. You do have to hold the button down to achieve the desired results while the core “charges” up the action you want it to, but even knowing that, there are times where holding the “R” key down just simply doesn’t work. And considering how few key inputs there are, there’s really no excuse.


At least one of the towers (called “The Stabber”) has some personality to it, as the tower looks like a giant robot with metal spikes which it thrusts into nearby creatures. But sadly this is the only real instance where you towers take on any life of their own. Even when you reach the point of earning medals through good performance, and then using those medals to upgrade your towers, the difference between the basic machine gun and the next level of is virtually nothing more than the gun sitting slightly higher in its base. You can reset your upgrades at any point between levels if you decide you don’t like your decisions and want to try something new, but really you’ll just feel hampered by limited options and stick with something you know works well. That’s assuming, of course, that you stick with anything at all.

If there’s anything that comes back to hurt Defense Technica the most, it’s the fact that it really just doesn’t stand out well in regards to other games. There are plenty of greater options out there that you really ought to be playing in lieu of this one, and if you have any interest in the genre then it’s likely you’ve played those and won’t help but make constant comparisons. Even if the interface looked a little more impressive, the story were more engaging, and the strengths and weaknesses of units was actually explained, what it comes down to is that this game just doesn’t have the critical elements necessary to compete in a world where all it is trying to do has been done better before.

A Steam code for Defense Technica was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.


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Author: Patrick Cassin View all posts by
Patrick has been playing games since the days of Pong. To support his video game habit he got his BA in English. Then he cut down some trees, put out some fires, rescued some dolphins, got paid to go to prison, and arrested someone's horse. Now he writes the things he imagines that you LOL at.

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