Steampunk Tower 2 – Switch Review

Review code provided by Drageus Games.

A New Breed of Tower Defence?

When I was but a wee crumpet I spent my days annoying my IT teacher. Instead of doing work, I was gaming. Instead of mastering Publisher, I was slapping Newgrounds into my browser. I was hooked on tower defence games, and they stole plenty of school hours. Who needs Excel anyway? Screw syntax errors. 

Many years have passed since those blazer wearing, tie toting days. Yet I still find myself dabbling like an inpatient and undeniably bored artist. This is what brought me to Steampunk Tower 2 by Drageus Games.

Unlike your traditional lane-based tower defence game, Steampunk Tower 2 has only one tower. Instead of hordes of enemies navigating a complex, interconnecting pathway of doom, they are mindlessly charging your phallic symbol of militaristic superiority. This isn’t a reinvention of the wheel, this is setting fire to it and building something new atop its still-smouldering ashes.

Roll Out The Big Guns

Your metallic chub can be packed with a variety of turrets. These range from your basic pew-pew guns to the more kerblamish. Each shooter begins its life as nothing more than a wet-noodle dispenser. With enough time and dedication, however, they can harness the destructive power of a stick brandishing toddler after digesting one too many McVitie’s.

Your inability to relocate your thunderously erect gun platform is circumvented by the ability to move each individual turret. Enemies will swarm you from both sides, with each enemy type being weak to a certain kind of turret. Battles never feel stale as you are constantly rearranging your defences to better combat the oncoming horde. This is complemented by the equally stress-inducing overheating mechanic. Every now and then you will be forced to move your turrets away from their handy-dandy firing positions, to a comparatively useless central location to cool down. Ideally, you’ll want to do this between waves, but as you might imagine, this rarely happens. This leads to frantic structural rearrangement on a regular basis.

Mobile Gaming Without The Catch

Defending your gun-shaft isn’t the only thing you’ll be doing when playing Steampunk Tower 2. No, you will also have to make frequent journeys to your home base. Time ticks by in real-time, with resources and technology rolling in from various liberated locations. You can use these materials to upgrade your base and turrets allowing you to go on more missions. This slice of heaven is pulled directly from free-to-play mobile games. Thankfully, it has very little to do with the whaling commonly associated with those electronic dispensers of bullshittery.

Steampunk Tower 2 keeps things spicy by having a theme to die for – providing you like steampunk and World War 2. Everything just screams clunky, tooty, brassy goodness. There is a story to be had here, but it’s largely forgettable and is more of a delivery mechanism for more missions than anything remotely engaging. It’s a shame that this wasn’t fleshed out a tad more. The core gameplay, whilst fun, does get quite samey, so having more of a grounded reason to play may have helped to stave off that monotony.

Whilst it has the theme nailed, it is a shame that the game fails to deliver graphically, as everything is a tad lacklustre. Sure there is some decent artwork scattered here and there, but ultimately it all just falls a bit flat. Enemies are little more than silhouettes, your dingus tower is exactly that, and environments are bland. The sound design doesn’t fare much better, being a strategic mix of passable and forgettable. Thankfully everything runs smoothly in docked and handheld, which at least makes the game pleasant to play.

The Final Verdict?

When all is said and done, Steampunk Tower 2 is a decent game that tries to deliver a unique take on the tower defence genre. While it might not blow you away with its visuals or sound design, it will certainly keep you on your toes. What really lets it down, however, is the lack of variety. This is a game that is perfect for short play sessions over a long period, but falls apart if you invest too much time, too quickly. 

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