Born as a sub-category of strategic in real time, tower defense games have experienced a real explosion on iPhone and touch, becoming in a few months one of the most popular and populated genres on the App Store, a trend that will continue on iPad too. The reason for such success to be found in the hardware characteristics of iPhone OS devices as in the style of play, perfect for the so-called casual gamers.
The multi touch screen of the iPhone, touch and now also of iPad combined with the ability to manage fluid and complex 2D and 3D graphics allows developers to create immediate tower defense-style games to be managed by users and often spectacular to see. A game of tower defense can take several hours to complete but the game style is more simplified and linear than the real-time strategy, a factor that makes them perfect for casual gamers. With iPhone and touch and also iPad it is possible to play tower defense for a few minutes and then pause to answer a call or go back to work, conversely it is also possible to dedicate an entire afternoon to the game when the weather permits.
Below you will find the best tower defense games available for iPhone, touch and even iPad. Several of the most famous titles have two separate and ad hoc versions, which can be purchased separately to play on iPhone / touch or iPad in HD version. In most cases, even titles available only for iPhone and touch can be fully enjoyed on iPad thanks to the 2x magnification.
Plants vs Zombies The first title that we report Plants vs Zombies a game that had already bewitched millions of players in its first Flash incarnation on the Web. Compared to the version to be played in the browser, the game for iPhone, touch and even iPad completely managed with fingers instead of mouse and keyboard making the title even more immediate and captivating. In Plants vs Zombies we must intelligently use all the plants at our disposal to block the advance of the zombies who march in our garden to conquer the house. Unlike other tower defense in Plants vs Zombies, the enemies follow a series of predefined paths thus reducing in part the strategic element for the positioning choices of the defense towers, in this case represented by the various plants in our repertoire. In any case, the game action requires a careful selection of the plants to be brought into battle and then also for their positioning on the paths. Added to this is an irresistible demented humor and an impeccable technical realization. Plants vs Zombies is perhaps the most arcade tower defense title of all those selected here but it is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and fun.
Plants vs Zombies available in the iPhone version for 2.39 euros or also in the HD version for iPad for 7.99 euros. The latter apart from the improved graphics offers few additional content, despite those who have been enchanted by the first version for iPhone and touch, then buy the HD version only to be able to play again in this game that can create real addiction.
Fieldrunners No player can call himself a tower defense enthusiast unless he has played Fieldrunners at least once. Since its first appearance, this game has been critically and critically acclaimed: graphics, audio and entertainment are equal if not superior to the best games available for portable game consoles. Over time the developers have introduced new levels and new schemes further enriching the original title, a true masterpiece but perhaps with the only flaw of being a little too short. Now this problem has been remedied and Fieldrunners can offer hours of fun both for a quick 10-minute game and for a nonstop marathon of hours and hours. In addition to the technical realization comparable to the titles for Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, Fieldrunners has the merit of being one of the first of its kind to introduce the open game field. Here the player not forced to place only his towers along an established path but the strategy choices also come with the possibility of creating a real path that the enemies are forced to follow. Brilliant and very, very funny.
For those who own iPhone and touch Fieldrunners it costs 2.39 euros. Also for this title, apart from the mandatory graphic improvements, the iPad version does not add much from the point of view of gameplay therefore the version for the tablet at 5.99 euros remains advisable only to super Fieldrunners fans.
geoDefenseAmong the "historical" tower defense on iPhone and touch geoDefense occupies a special position in the list of enthusiasts. Among the first quality titles to be released on the App Store, geoDefense hides behind a stylized but effective graphic representation one of the most demanding and compelling games of the genre. Here enemies, defense towers and scenarios are rigorously 2D and made with a graphic style reminiscent of Tron, the science fiction cult film of the 80s. This does not mean that geoDefense is not beautiful to look at: the simple and minimalist graphic style combined with particle effects made with care for the spectacular explosions. In any case, the real strength is a series of challenges of ever increasing difficulty that will put a strain on the skills and ingenuity of the most experienced tower defense players.
For those who have never played geoDefense remember that the first title available for iPhone for only 1.59 euros, represents an excellent opportunity to get your hands on a historical title. The geoDefense Swarm sequel is also available on the App Store for € 1.59.
Sentinel – Mars Defense and Earth DefenseAmong the most spectacular tower defense to be seen Sentinel offers a series of scenarios with photorealistic graphic quality. In the first title we are called to defend the terrestrial installations on Mars, while in the following the action moves directly to Earth. In addition to the positioning of the turrets and the inevitable upgrades, Sentinel offers further tactical ideas thanks to the possibility of repairing our installations using special drones, collecting resources to increase the possibility of defense, a system that rewards funds not used by the player with interest. If we add to this the possibility of exploiting the defenses positioned in the scenarios, we obtain a mixture capable of intriguing any fan of the genre.
The first Sentinel: Mars Defense can be purchased for only € 1.59 on the App Store, while the following Sentinel 2: Earth Defense proposed for € 2.39 on the App Store.
Defender Chronicles – Legend of the Desert King This game published by Chillingo offers a different approach to the tower defense genre: in addition to the fantasy setting with orcs, wizards, archers, undead and so on, there are also some elements borrowed from role-playing games. The game pattern develops vertically: from below the enemies that face the climb that leads to our castle start. We have the task of placing the various defense positions, over 20 different types, along the way to wipe out the enemies before they reach the castle. A hero who can use hundreds of objects and special powers also fights on our side, an element that together with the story and the background voice offer an additional and more adventurous touch, usually absent in tower defense.
Defender Chronicles can be tried for free thanks to the lite version, while interested users can buy the full version for 2.39 euros now on offer with 40% discount.