Mar 10, 2014
Yes, Solar Swarm is a tower defense game… but it’s a tower defense game with more than a little bit of attitude, mean-mugging its way to gameplaying relevance.
It’s comfortable in its dual skin, as it moonlights comfortably as a space shooter without skipping a beat. In this one, the background graphics are not overly eye-popping, but to be fair, they probably don’t have to be; the visuals are simple in representation, and do the job of conveying the tale of a structure under attack. The animations are smooth, and do their part to move and prove the action. The overall design depends on a soft darkness, with enemy craft and power-ups clearly denoted.
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a game delve faster into the action. I tend to prefer tutorials, but I kinda dig how this game grabs the player and chucks the player unceremoniously in the deep end of the pool. The first swarm comes with a quickness, and it is fairly easy to discern how to control the defense mechanism, which is a rotating gun set in the middle of the playing area. Narrowing in on the central unit from offscreen are creepy floating objects reminiscent of the sentinels in the Matrix movies. The general idea is to prevent these troublemakers from reaching the center unit by firing on the incoming enemy by tapping on them. The first few swarms are somewhat easy, but then it gets quicker, and soon, it is an all-out tapping frenzy.
To help defend the onslaught, there are some arcade type power-ups that can be initiated via gestures and replenished: shielding, bombs and barriers. For folks wishing to get a better selection, in-app purchasing is available.
It’s a surprisingly fun game that cleverly offsets monotony with simple, fast=paced, competitive sequences. It’s free to play, so take a deep breath first.
Trust me on this.