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Tower defense games are commonplace on the iPhone, and it can be very difficult for a good game to stand out from the crowd, but Tower Defense: Lost Earth does a mighty fine job of it. It’s a good, simple tower defense game with solid graphics and sound.
Lost Earth takes place in the future, after humanity has run the Earth completely dry of resources. We set out into the far reaches of space and eventually find a planet much like our own, but inhabited by lots of mean looking things that aren’t happy to see us. Throughout the campaign you continue exploring the planet, looking for a safe place to call home.
The gameplay is tower defense at its purest and best. There is a good variety to the units you can deploy and dozens of combinations that will all play out differently. As you kill enemies, you gather resources and continue building. Many of the maps are populated with destructible objects that yield resources, or even tiles that you can plant harvesters on for a continuous flow of resources, much like a Real-Time Strategy game. There are also special abilities that you can bring into a mission with you in case things get hairy, like carpet bombings or a nuke. There is a special challenge mode with stages that you unlock by playing the campaign, and they force you to change the way you think to succeed. I think the challenges really set this game ahead of many of its competitors in that way.
The story is basic, and there are no characters to speak of, but it gets the job done. The art pieces shown during story sequences are gorgeous, though. The game has a holistic art style that works great, from the menus to the gameplay to the story pieces. The game will cost you $2.99, but the weird thing is that the HD version of the game is actually iOS Universal, and will cost you $4.99. I’ve never seen a game do that before; it’s kind of odd. I don’t know how much better the visuals of the HD version are on the iPhone, so I don’t know if it’s worth it. Still, this is a solid entry into the genre, so pick it up if you need to scratch that tower defense itch.