Tower Defense games have been hit and miss over the years. There have been a handful of really successful titles though and had great success. Although when you consider it, most don’t vary the game model, they don’t try something new. X-Morph Defense is one that does dare to break the bounds of regular gameplay and I’m keen to find out how it plays.
Although X-Morph Defense was release in August 2017 in the US, it still has not reached the Australian store and I’m really disappointed that other Australians have not been given the opportunity to play this game. And to be honest, I was unaware of the game’s existence prior to the review copy being offered.
X-Morph Defense is a tower defense game set in a number of locations across Earth where you, as the alien species X-Morph, are set to invade Earth one region at a time. In order to take over the world, several spires are launched from the mothership and impact certain cities. This spire forms your base tower and the local surrounding area is covered in alien technology. This base will soon be the target for the local military and your task is to protect it.
Although the base does have some defences, you will need to set up extra defences in the form of turrets. Thankfully, the paths of the enemy are shown and so planning for each stage is easier to conduct. Initially, these turrets have basic weapons which will destroy or at least damage the convoy of militia. You have a restricted amount of energy that is used by the turrets so quantities and locations will need to be strategically planned between waves.
Unlike other tower defense games, you do not have a magical cursor that controls or creates objects, X-Morph Defense has this attached to a spaceship. This ship doubles as an additional defense for your base. You can fly it around the map and attack the enemy with the right-stick of your controller. So now the game becomes a combination of tower defense/twin-stick shooter. During the waves of other games, the waves themselves don’t usually require a lot of player input aside from adding extra turrets. Clearly, the waves in this game are much more exciting and “hands-on.” This is especially true for the Boss machines that are released for each level’s final wave. These bosses are giant machines which will take a lot of damage. This is a great time to destroy tall buildings to either drop in their paths or on top of them directly.
Progression throughout the game grants the player with a lot of upgrades for the ship, base and turrets. Each has their own advantages for you to select from during the game.
As part of the growing support of the base game, the first of the Premium DLC has launched in the form of European Assault. This expansion adds 3 new cities/levels that occur during the original campaign’s timeline. They add new offensive assaults from the enemy that you will have to learn and defend in order to complete each level.
On top of this is the new Survival mode. As you would guess from the name, this is an endless mode with time-limited intervals between each wave for you to set up or alter your defensive strategies. Also, the enemies and paths will vary each time you restart a level adding to the complexity, your tactics as well as adding extra replayability.
Audio & Visuals
I really like the art style of X-Morph Defense. The locations look great and the destructible buildings are well animated. They really add the character of the game along with the sound effects that emulate a futuristic/alien war scene on familiar locations.
X-Morph Defense can also be played via couch co-op. This means that the screen is split in two vertically and both you and your companion can work together, share resources and obliterate the forthcoming enemy. We really enjoyed this in particular although being able to play on separate screens/consoles would have allowed a better scope of the area during this mode.
As a fan of tower defense games, I really enjoyed the new gameplay mechanics which add to the whole experience that I was familiar with from other games. X-Morph Defense really stands out from the crowd. Each upgrade and level brings something extra to learn and use. The new Survival mode and the new levels in the European Assault DLC are great additions for more gameplay. I recommend this to fans of tower defense games and other players who are interested in the genre. I just hope it won’t be too much longer before they are available in the Australian Xbox Store.
Thank you to EXOR Studios for providing a copy of X-Morph Defense for review purposes.