Bubble Tanks Tower Defense
Bubbles are fragile, ephemeral things. They float and fly high above, dancing to and fro during their short, frantic lives. But what happens if a bubble gets tired of flitting hither and yon? What if the bubbles decide, "Hey, I'd like to settle down, maybe spend some time on personal growth"? Welcome to Bubble Tanks Tower Defense from Hero Interactive, a nifty little tower defense game featuring the wildly popular bubble tanks from Bubble Tanks and Bubble Tanks 2. They're back, but this time they're letting the enemy come to them.
Bubble Tanks TD is a free-form version of a tower defense game. Use the bubble tanks to create deadly paths to funnel your enemies through, attempting to wipe them out before they reach the exit and wipe you out instead. Placement of the tanks is limited only by your imagination. Well, your imagination, the shape of the room, the path the enemies take, how many bubbles you have in stock, and several other factors as well.
A nice two stage tutorial gives you all the basic information you need, and then you're on your own. Choose stages by traveling along one of several different paths available, giving you access to levels that range from easy to fiendishly difficult. Hover your mouse over a stage and it will let you know the difficulty as well as give a quick snapshot of the room itself and the direction the enemies will be traveling. Choose the stage, place a few towers, then let the enemies fly.
Foes come in several different varieties, from fast to slow, from fragile to tough, and some nasty ones that spawn other enemies, break apart into multiple enemies, or ghosts who disdain your carefully-crafted paths and fly through everything in a direct line to the exit. Once your foes begin to arrive, your faithful tank towers will do their best to wipe them out as long as they stay within a certain range. Waves of creeps keep coming until either they or you are dead, it is as simple as that. Although gameplay can be controlled with just the mouse, there are some keyboard shortcuts that will become useful after a while, especially for experienced tower defense players.
At the beginning, you have a limited number of bubbles with which to purchase basic bubble towers. Every enemy destroyed produces more bubbles that you can spend on more towers or on upgrading your existing towers. The fun is, dear gamer, in the upgrades. Each basic tower can be upgraded to four different types: a shooter; a shock-wave type tower that damages everything within a certain radius; a ghost tower that specifically targets ghost enemies; and a "boost" tower that boosts the abilities of the towers around it. Each type can be upgraded four levels, each affecting the gameplay differently.
The best part is the mega upgrade. Place four bubble tanks in a 2 x 2 pattern (make sure they are touching each other) and upgrade each to a level 4 type (which type is up to you). Once all four have reached level 4 upgrade status, a little "m" appears in the upper left corner. Click on it to morph your tanks into a mega-tower which will have vastly improved firepower. The type of mega-tower is determined by the mix of types in your four tanks. You can even place four mega-towers in a 2 x 2 grid to create a mega-mega tower, awesome to behold in its destructive power. If you find that some tanks are just not getting the job done or are awkwardly placed you can sell them back for more bubbles for more upgrades or to place new towers in a more convenient area.
Analysis: Be warned, anyone who likes tower defense games may become horribly addicted to Bubble Tanks Tower Defense. The learning curve is smooth and easy, as are the stages, developing gradually from simple to downright nightmarish. Be prepared to spend quite some time with these charming little bubbles who have gotten all domestic. The graphics have changed little from Bubble Tanks 2, but the basic design is quite lovely to behold and makes for easy identification of your various tower and enemy types. It also makes the game easy on the eyes. Nice music and sound effects round out the gameplay experience (which can also be turned off).
Bubble Tanks TD runs quite smoothly even in the more difficult levels, which is a plus. What makes this such a fantastic casual gameplay experience, though, are the wickedly fun upgrades and the smooth learning curve. Take your time, experiment a little, play around with placement and paths, and explore all the possibilities the upgrades have to offer. You might find that more than a little time has flown in the process. That may be the only complaint there is about Bubble Tanks TD, the time suckage.
Come, join these trigger-happy bubble tanks as they hunker down for battle. With so many levels and upgrades, the player is guaranteed a wonderful, tower defending good time.
Play the entire Bubble Tanks series...