Pokemon Tower Defense Game

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Pokémon Tower Defense – The best browser-based incarnation of Pokémon yet 

Mystery Dungeon’s got nothing on this

Try as some may, you cannot possibly deny the success of the Pokémon franchise. I’d even go as far as to say that it would be difficult to argue against the fact that the love for Pokémon in general has infiltrated and captivated audiences across multiple generations spanning the entire world. With the main series on its fifth generation and with the much-anticipated Pokémon X and Y in development, the franchise continues to burn with a ferocity that any other series would have lost after its second or third release. With this resounding Pokémon-based success, it seems remarkable that there exists no abundance of browser-based Pokémon games out there for fans to lap up like a thirsty Meowth in the summertime. Pokémon Tower Defense from Sam and Dan is one of these few and far-between titles that takes the Pokémon sentiment and wraps it around a framework of the tower defense genre. It carries this amalgamation of two distinctly separate genres with confidence, resulting in an incredibly addictive title that makes it stand out as of the greatest unofficial Pokémon titles of all time, and that’s including the console-based spinoffs.

Like Pokémon, but more Tower-y

Making Pokémon into a tower defense title may sound like an unusual move, but the marriage of the two actually results in a perfect harmony that the chance of divorce is slim to none. Split into separate ‘stages’, story mode involves meeting certain criteria/requirements for winning. In Pokémon Tower Defense, the Pokémon themselves are the towers that must be placed in pre-designated battle zones which litter the screen during each battle. The turn-based element of the original Pokémon titles takes a back seat here in favour of the Pokémon automatically attacking any enemy that is in range on a repeated basis. Different moves are learned as you level up (though levelling up can  be purchased instead of happening through experience alone) and can be selected at will during battles. Pokémon capture also follows the same line as the original title, with Pokéballs being applied to creatures with a red health bar. You can even catch all of the original 151 Pokémon, which everyone knows are far superior to any Pokémon that followed.

Type Matchups: Let’s Rejoice

The strategy of the game rests partially on the positioning of your Pokémon on the screen, but to the delight of all Pokémon fans out there, the effectiveness of your Pokémon (or ‘tower) is still heavily reliant on the type-matchups and levels of your Pokémon. The true strategy of the main-series of Pokémon games therefore remains: fire melts steel, water quashes fire, grass destroys water, and higher level Pokémon are all the more formidable an opponent.  This is why this game is so ridiculously moreish on the Crunchy Nut cornflakes level.

Those that are unfamiliar with the Pokémon mentality and all particulars of the series such as the evolution process, levelling up, type weakness/strengths and the status-type moves may feel a little out of their depth, which is really the only criticism I can think of when evaluating Pokémon Tower Defense. It is unlikely that you would be playing the game if you weren’t originally a fan of Pokémon anyhow and the inverse of this information gap doesn’t really apply since I was completely unfamiliar with tower defense when I first began, and I have been all but transformed into a lover of the genre.

Until Next Time...

My descriptionof Pokémon Tower Defense in the introduction doesn’t really do the game justice. To speak more accurately, the game actually takes the genre of tower defense and carefully integrates every aspect of Pokémon that makes the franchise such an incredibly addictive and wonderful experience. Everything from the nostalgic game-boy graphics of a pixelated nature and the classic first-generation music down to the type-matchups, moves, evolution and battling is true to the Pokémon name, creating a home away from home for long-running fans of the series.  The younger generations that have only experienced Pokémon on the Nintendo DS/3DS may be a little perplexed at the simplicity and general visual style of Pokémon Tower Defense, but it is in this simplicity and adherence to the Pokémon games of yore that the game has managed to capture the attention of so many Pokémon fans. This is a fantastic game for lovers of tower defense, and a brilliant piece of browser-based nostalgia for Pokémon fans. It made a tower-defense convert of me, anyway.