The tower defense genre is a popular mainstay of mobile gaming and titles can be found all over the App Store. With that said, trying to find a high quality game with fun factor to match is a bit of undertaking. One of the newest tower defense titles is from Crescent Moon Games, who modified one of their most popular series to fit the genre. Is Siegecraft TD the tower defense games to end all tower defense games? Or should we just bypass these towers and head towards greener pastures?

The aim of Siegecraft is to defend your castles filled with precious sheep from the ravenous Lizardmen. These scaly foes pour out from portals and other constructs and make their way across a tiled field in order to ransack your goods. It is then your job to build up a defensive line made out of towers and walls in order to withstand their attacks and whittle their numbers down.

There are 15 towers in all, ranging from ballistae, druid towers that shoot spiderwebs to slow enemies down, and even towers that pour hot lava from a cauldron. You'll have to place these towers down on the field by using up coins. Each enemy you kill yields a coin, therefore the more enemies you kill, the more towers you can erect. While you can place towers nearly anywhere you want, you still have to make sure that the Lizardmen have a path, otherwise it'd be cheating. Or maybe they'll all just pile up with nowhere to go and explode, I don't know. Either way, don't do it.

But even though you can block the Lizardmen in, you can place towers in a way that can strategically funnel them down a path of your choosing. I prefer to place druid towers at the very start of their paths so that they're slowed down at the outset, with a corridor of ballistae leading them towards some lava cauldrons. I'll upgrade my ballistae to their max level so that they shoot faster and kill quicker. This setup usually makes for some easy money during the first few waves, ensuring that I have what I need to fortify my defenses during the last couple of waves, when the Lizardmen get really tough.

The best part about the battles is that the camera allows you to zoom, pan and rotate as much as you want, giving you the best view of the action at any time. Of course, you could always choose to stick to a fixed top-down or isometric view, but being able to move around corners can provide some strategic advantages, especially when it comes to the placement of certain towers.

There are 20 levels in total, each with an Easy and Hard mode, that will have you trekking across caves, rocky mountains, frozen hills and lush forests. The campaign is pretty expansive, but it shouldn't take tower defense nuts too long to defeat the Lizardmen.

And, if nothing else, the game is ridiculously pretty to look at. I've never seen a tower defense game with graphics so beautifully-rendered, even if the character designs are rather cartoony. This is a game that begs to be played on a Retina display, so use it if you've got one.

Should you breeze through the campaign, a multiplayer mode is available for you to try your strategies on other players. You'll be put on a map with other tower defense strategists, tasked with either getting the highest score or being the last person standing.

The game plays out asynchronously, so you'll make your moves during your turn and wait for others to make theirs. Each round has two phases: one in which you survive two waves of Lizardmen in your region and one in which you choose an action to take. You can train up knights in order to attack another region and take it for your own, mine gold or simply view your terrain. But you shouldn't dally for too long, lest your lands get taken.

There's so much to do in Siegecraft TD that you could be occupied with placing towers around grounds for quite some time. The presentation is also top-notch, so you're definitely getting your money's worth, especially since the whole package is only $2.99. Cresent Moon Games has done the impossible and made me excited to play tower defense games again. The only problem I have with it is that I have to find ways to keep my iPad's battery from dying while I protect my sheep from Lizardmen.


App Store Link: Siegecraft TD for iPhone & iPad | Crescent Moon Games | Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.0.1 | 220 MB | Rating: 9+

9.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating