Tower defense games are always fun and addictive. I’m not sure if it’s the simple formula or the act of killing enemies with an arsenal of weapons that draws people into these games. Sol Survivor, an indie game on Xbox Live, captures this addictive nature
At the beginning you’re given a three-level tutorial that includes a quick view of the controls. You control the movement of the battlefield with the right stick and an advanced view with the D pad. Movement is seamless, especially when enemies arrive at three different points on the battlefield; you’re able to zoom in and out quickly and effectively. In addition to the fluid movement is the radial menu system like that in Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars for the Xbox 360. The radial menus allow you to choose weapons on the fly and place them within seconds. This helps when multiple waves of enemies bombard your early defenses.
The characters and weapons are closely related in Sol Survivor because the weapon loadout depends on which character you choose. You start off with a low-ranking officer with not much flexibility, but as you move up in rank you’re given a couple of executive officers to choose from that offer different weapons ranging from lightning and lasers to cannons and machine guns. In addition to your ground weapons you have orbital support that offers an array of secondary weapons such as a giant laser, tornadoes, toxic gas, and more, which also depends on the character you choose. Although the characters aren’t memorable, the weapons make up for it.
The level design is what you would expect from a tower defense game. Your enemies follow a certain path to your base, and your objective is to defend it at all costs. At the start of Sol Survivor, your enemies arrive at only one platform, but soon they begin arriving on two other platforms, creating a cluster of foes all heading toward your base. The simple level design, accompanied by great battlefield movement, allows you to place a turret at one end of the map and call in orbital support on the other side within seconds.
Given Sol Survivor’s cooperative and competitive multiplayer for up to eight players, and its array of weapons and levels to choose from, you’d be missing out on a great demo and full game. You can try out the demo, or you can purchase the entire game for 800 Microsoft points. It’s located at the Xbox Live Marketplace under the indie section. You can find more indie games like this at the GameSpot Downloads page.