Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 6, 2013
What? Another tower defense game? Seriously? That genre isn’t dead yet?
Yes, of course, I bought it. Stupid bundles.
Seriously, I need another tower defense (TD) game like I need another hole in my head. And yet…
Gah. Maybe I should admit that I have a problem.
I suspect there’s some kind of emotional correlation between whatever psychological rewards I get from playing RPGs as I get from TDs. In both cases, you are building something that must stand against a variety of opposition and emerge victorious. As in RPGs (at least the ones I prefer), there’s a layer of indirection in facing enemies. It is not (usually) your direct efforts that lead to victory, but preparation, well-chosen tactics, resource management, and a few well-timed actions.
Tower defense is a bit more unforgiving of mistakes, often requiring you to start over from scratch with a level to fix mistakes you made early on. I’m not super-keen on this aspect of the genre, but I do enjoy trying different strategies and approaches to problems. Just like RPGs.
This is probably why Defender’s Quest was a little like digital crack for me.
It also makes me muse. We’re seeing a lot of variations on TD these days, as it’s become a pretty crowded genre (or subgenre, if you consider it a subset of real-time strategy). But if my guesses about the psychological similarities of the gameplay – the stuff deep beneath the surface – there could be a ton of possibilities for other game styles that don’t resemble either TDs or RPGs. In fact, if you look at the “life sim” games (made most famous by The Sims), it has quite a few similarities with those same aspects. You build something up to see how it fares against the environment. Life-sims tend to be even more forgiving of “builds” than RPGs, to the extent of The Sims where it is more of a toy to play with than a game to win.
And yeah. Life sims can be just as addictive for me.
Filed Under: Design, Geek Life - Comments: 8 Comments to Read