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Sol Survivor

October 13th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

There’s no shortage of tower defense games on the web…though if you’re like me, you’re not complaining.  Whether you play them for the challenge they bring or because you have a crippling micromanagement addiction, they can cause the entire day to slip by without you even noticing.  Sol Survivor turned out to be no different.

Sol Survivor

Sol Survivor (PC, XBox Live)

Sol Survivor is a tower defense game that has a space-esque theme to it.  The player will be in charge of protecting colonists from different kinds of aliens, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.  Like most tower defense games, the player will be placing various towers in between the enemy spawn points and the main base in the hopes of staving off their advance.  Before I go any further with the review, I’d like to thank Dylan Barker from Cadenza Interactive for sending me a free review copy.

Sol Survivor Options

Options Menu.

When I first loaded up Sol Survivor, I was presented with a few options.  One thing I was surprised to see was that the game features multi-player, something I don’t normally see when playing tower defense games.  The only other tower defense games in my collection that have this feature are Sanctum and Dungeon Defenders, both of which I enjoy playing because of their co-op friendly nature.  As the host, I had a lot of different options and modes to choose from, which is always a bonus when determining a game’s replayability.  I was also surprised to learn that up to eight players can participate in a verses match…an amazing feat when compared to other tower defense games out on the market.  While the versus mode supports eight players, cooperative mode features a maximum of six and co-op survival supports a maximum of four, just to name a few examples.  I applaud Cadenza Interactive for throwing in so many ways to play with other people.  I was disappointed to see that there wasn’t a lot of activity under the “Join Game” feature…though there’s still plenty there for a group of friends or guild mates to have fun with.

Sol Survivor Multi-Player

There are quite a few modes to try out in multi-player.

Besides the multi-player element, there is a lengthy, meaty campaign that helps put the player through their paces.  The player starts off with only the most basic of towers, but as the levels progress, they will earn themselves a bigger and badder arsenal.  I found it a unique approach that a player’s weapon loadout is based on the character (executive officer) they choose before the level begins.  Each character has their own appeal and what seems like speciality (lasers, conventional guns, etc)…I was drawn in to try each one to see which character would suit my play style best.

Sol Survivor Executive Officer

How can I say no to lasers?

In terms of towers, the game boasts twenty-six different ways to support your cause.  Each one has their own range and type of attack, giving the player something to think about when sizing up the current level’s design.  The levels are fairly simple but still make the player think about how best to place their towers.  I liked how I could place my towers almost anywhere and not be locked in to certain spaces on the map, like in Defense Grid.  Those twenty-six towers are incredibly varied indeed, ranging from pill boxes, cannons, and shotguns, to tesla coils, flame throwers, and lasers.  There are other towers available that play a support role (utility turrets)…some like the slow goo tower slow things down while others boost the effectiveness of other towers in some way.

Sol Survivor Cannon

Some towers have a minimum range, like the cannon.

Sol Survivor Napalm Silo

The napalm silo is expensive, but has a huge attack radius.

Sol Survivor Towers

Lasers, goo, and drones…yes please!

On top of having all of these fancy towers to play with, you’ll be able to wreak some havoc of your own with various weapons that aim and fire via your mouse cursor.  While you’ll be busy managing mass (which is used to buy towers), you’ll have an energy pool that allows you to activate these special abilities.  Think of these weapons / abilities as fire support from orbit.  Some of these abilities like flare, focus fire, and overdrive play a support role while the nuke, laser, and artillery weapons are purely offensive in nature.

Sol Survivor Laser

Calling down the laser is pretty cheap in terms of cost, but it isn’t as powerful as some of the other abilities.

Sol Survivor Nuke

While the laser might not have that extra “oomph”, the nuke most certainly does.

Sol Survivor Mines

Mines are an excellent, “set it and forget it” weapon.

Survival mode, achievements, badges, and an in-game encyclopedia round out the rest of the game’s features.  Survival mode is just what it sounds like…beating wave after wave of enemy forces that increase in difficulty with the sole purpose of getting the best score / time.  The game does allow you to custom design your own character, allowing you to save up to four different loadouts. As someone who can’t get enough in terms of customizing (AKA nitpicking), this feature made me extremely happy.  The rest of the menu options are just icing on the cake, though I found that the in-game encyclopedia was useful in helping to keep all of the different towers and enemy mobs straight.

Sol Survivor Encyclopedia

Knowledge is power.

Sol Survivor Survival

Survival mode lets you experiment with all of the available towers and abilities. It turns out that I really, really like drones.

Sol Survivor Survival

You’re in for quite the challenge at the fifteen minute mark.

The bottom line?  Sol Survivor is an excellent tower defense game that has a lot of replay value.  The ability to customize your loadout, the plethora of towers and weapons available, the freedom to place towers where you want, the various multi-player modes…all of these things serve to keep me coming back for more.  It’s definitely worth its $9.99 price tag (as of 10/6/12), though there’s a demo available via the Steam link below if you still aren’t sure.

Final Verdict: 8/10

You can learn more about “Sol Survivor” by visiting the following website:

http://cadenzainteractive.com/games/sol-survivor/

You can find the game on Steam here:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/45000/

You can view play sessions here:

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