“Terrorhedron.” I love the name. It’s like something out of Godzilla, or maybe a bad Power Rangers episode. It may even be named after a Pokémon that was banned for being too destructive after missing its daily dose of Xanax. At any rate, it’s the next tower defense game I’m going to be touching on today. I know, I know…I’ve done plenty of those as of late, but this one has some unique qualities that deserves our attention. Before we take a closer look at this particular tower defense game, I’d like to thank Dan Walters for sending me a free review copy.
The main menu gives the user a few options. You’ll be able to participate in a tutorial, play both single and multiplayer games, view achievements, and set game options. In regards to multiplayer, you’ll have the option to host or join via IP address. Selecting the host option allows you to select a difficulty and one of the six maps (assuming you’ve unlocked them), just like in single player mode. There isn’t any sort of lobby that players can congregate in, so those who wish to play multiplayer will need a way to advertise their IP address to parties interested in joining their game. The options menu covers your basics, though there isn’t a screen resolution option. Rather, you can disable fullscreen and adjust the game window as necessary.
First, it’s important to mention that this game offers a three-dimensional playing field. You’ll be able to zoom and pan the camera around a three-dimensional environment, reacting appropriately to the enemy mobs (three-dimensional polygons) that try to make their way from “Point A” to “Point B”. Around the path the polygons use to get to their destination (called a track) are platform discs, which is what you’ll be utilizing to build defenses and platforms. Tracks twist and turn all over the place, forcing you to be creative in your turret placement strategies. The polygons themselves come in different shapes and colors, mainly indicating their strength and how many hits it takes to defeat them.
While there are static build points, multi-faced platforms allow you to expand beyond them assuming you have the money to do so. It’s like a cross between “Defense Grid’s” static tower points and “Sol Survivor’s” freeform tower mechanic. Some platform discs are in unfavorable positions and you’ll need to utilize multi-faced platforms to get your turrets within range of their targets. Think of these platforms as multi-socket adapters that you’d plug into your electrical outlet.
Turrets themselves have their own cone of attack, which you can view by selecting them. A turret’s cone of attack is primarily determined by the direction of the platform in which the turret is placed. This adds another strategy element to the fold, as it isn’t enough to just get your turret within range…they’ll also need to be facing the appropriate direction. Since multi-faced platforms can be connected to existing platforms, you’ll have the ability to create some pretty unique designs that will turn a useless platform disc into the base of a monstrous turret fortress. What’s more, and this is refreshing to see, turrets can be told what to attack. Selecting an individual turret not only gives you the option to upgrade it, but you can assign a target priority. These orders vary, but you’ll generally be able to tell them to attack the closest target, farthest target, weakest target, strongest target, and etc. It’s not often that I see programmable turrets in tower defense games, and I applaud the devs for including it in their game.
When you start the game for the first time, you’ll notice that you won’t have many options available both on the map selection screen and during the play session. You’ll have only a basic turret to fend off waves of polygons, but you’ll unlock more as you gain XP. Leveling up is simple…just keep disposing of those polygons. If you’ve taken Geometry or Trigonometry in high school (and hated it), you should have no problems with the moral implications of doing so. Eventually, you’ll be able to select from quite a few turrets and have the ability to upgrade them. Maps are unlocked in this manner as well, so no matter how many times you get defeated on the first map, you’ll eventually unlock the second and so on and so forth. As you may have deduced, XP does carry with you from game to game and even when you quit the program.
With all of the above in mind, you have at your fingertips a game that offers a lot of replayability. For one, the XP mechanic will force you to develop strategies with the resources you have on hand, mainly the turrets that you’ve unlocked thus far. As you progress and unlock new turrets and abilities, you’ll find new ways to approach maps you’ve previously played. Assuming you have friends with the game, the product description boasts an impressive eight player cooperative mode. I personally haven’t had the resources or opportunity to try this out with others, but I can see where this would be a great team exercise.
I did hit a few snags, though they were minor. For one, the tutorial seems to bug out when I’m tasked with creating a four-faced platform as I’m unable to select it from the build menu once I select the platform disc. I had a crash to desktop once, though the XP I had earned for that game seemed to save so it’s not like I lost anything in terms of progress. While the options menu gives you the ability to name your player, I would like to see the ability to create multiple profiles and delete them as I see fit. I suspect that there are those who like to reset their profile on occasion, and I’m sure there are families out there that are touchy in regards to others in the household messing with their progress. I also feel that the “easy” difficulty could be taken down a few notches as I had a difficult time keeping up, even after I got used to the gameplay mechanics. This would serve to attract those seeking a casual experience…those seeking a challenge have plenty of other difficulty settings to choose from.
Overall, “Terrorhedron” is an excellent addition to the tower defense genre. Despite how vast that family of games is, it remains unique enough to set itself apart from the rest. The three-dimensional environments and turret mechanics will keep you coming back for more, especially if you are the type that HAS to beat their prior score. The inclusion of multi-faced platforms will ensure that you have plenty of different strategies to try out. Based on the game’s content and replayability, I can easily say that buying this game would be $9.95 (as of 12/6/12) well spent.
Final Verdict: 7/10
You can learn more about “Terrorhedron” by visiting the official site here:
You can help bring the game to Steam by voting for it on its Greenlight page, here:
You can view video play sessions here: