Pokemon Tower Defense 2

Johto's Shadow

Pokemon Tower Defense 1

Pokemon Tower Defense 1 was created by Sam and Dan games and was officially sponsored by PlayTowerDefenseGames.com.

The game features characters from the popular pokemon cartoon and allows you the opportunity to defeat them through tower defense means in order to capture and use them against more pokemon invaders! It is a hugely popular browser game that has amassed a very loyal and passionate following, so much so that a second game is currently being developed by Sam and Dan.

The first game includes a trading facility where you can do deals with other players in order to obtain more powerful pokemons instead of having to grind for too long in order to get the character you desire.

You can play lot's more exciting tower defense games at PlayTowerDefenseGames.com. Such games include Warzone Tower Defense and Super Mario Defense.

More in-depth Review

If you just gotta catch 'em all, there is no way you should miss out on the franchise's fan-made tower defense spin-off. Pokemon Tower Defense is filled to the brim with your favorite monsters, humorous tidbits from the series as well as lengthy, challenging game to back it up. It even has several modes that cater to both game soloists and hardcore multiplayer fans alike.

The Story Behind PTD

The story starts out with Rattata attacking Professor Oak's lab. In order to get to the bottom of things, you set out on a grand adventure, following the footsteps of the famous Ash Ketchum.  Along the way, you get to expand your Pokedex, earn all of the Gym Badges by beating all eight formidable Gym leaders and even meet familiar characters that either help or hinder your progress along the way. If you have been a fan since the days of yore, you will be glad to know that all of the original Pokemon are available to be caught and trained just like the old days.

Unfortunately for those who have no clue about the Pokemon universe, the game spends very little time introducing basic lore. Elements such as the characters, type affinities and inside jokes are blended together in a giant mish mash of information only a true Pokemon fan would grasp on the get-go. In short, if you really want to be in on the jokes, you will have to do your own research or pop in a retail Pokemon game or two.

On the other hand, if you are not one to care about the actual storyline, you will enjoy the game just fine outright. At least the tower defense aspect (or the reverse of it in later stages) is a pretty simple concept that fans of the genre will be able to adapt to quite easily.

How the Game Works

The Pokemon-human relationship master, Professor Oak, kicks off your monster collection by letting you choose between three starter Pokemon. To be specific, you may opt to go for the water Pokemon Squirtle, the fire-based Charmander or the grass-type Bulbasaur to be your first monster partner.

Depending on your choice, the initial Gym Leader battles will either be really hard or too easy. As with other, same-genre titles, patient leveling and an ounce of strategy in terms of your monster combinations will ultimately help you progress regardless of who you start out with. In order to make sense of the trading aspect of the game, you are also given two options with regards to your Pokemon game version. This then determines the set of available monsters you can catch. If you choose the Red version, Ekans, Growlithe, Oddish, Scyther and Electabuzz Pokemon are exclusive to you. The Blue version also has its share of exclusive Pokemon, namely the Magmar, Sandshrew, Vulpix, Bellsprout and Pinsir.

If you are ready to go off on your own Pokemon adventure, you better have the time to spare. Unless you are alright with leaving things hanging, the game will surely eat up a lot of your time. Not only will the versatile stages keep you busy, there is just so much to do outside the storyline.

Challenge Maps give you special rewards to help you get the most out of your game. In this mode, you will be given special requirements to fulfill, ranging from surviving a stage with only self-destructing Geodude to get things started  to beating tougher versions of the already-hard-to-beat Gym Badge battles.

Multiplayer gives you the chance to link up with another Pokemon trainer who happens to be online at the time. You either go battle with this trainer or try to survive a hectic co-op map. It is a nice concept but a tad undercooked for our tastes. At the moment, there is no way to determine who you are playing with so if you want to co-op play with a friend, you will just have to cross your fingers and hope you get paired up.

If you really want to catch 'em all, you will have to head to the Pokemon Center. Thankfully, due to the straightforward system, if you can navigate a menu, you can swap your Pokemon. Trading acts much like online auctions. You simply search for the Pokemon you want, look at the listings and check what people are looking to trade for the monster you want. If you are lucky, someone put it up asking to trade for a Pokemon you are willing to give up. People can put up to six prerequisite trade Pokemon in exchange for one of their monsters. In case you meet all of their requirements, you get the Pokemon outright. If not, you will have to send an offer and wait if it has been accepted.

Not All Things are Shiny

While browsing the Pokemon Center is certainly not rocket science, there are a few minor quirks that could improve the system if addressed. More search parameters for instance, may help eliminate already stagnant listings from being displayed. It would also be nice if there was a way to sort the legit monsters from all those Hacked Pokemon as well. Actually, any way to trim the listings further would be a great help because unless you are looking to get a rare kind of monster, browsing through hundreds of listings can get pretty tiring. While treasure hunters may appreciate this, other players who see the Pokemon Center as a simple sidetrack may not have the energy to go through them one by one.

Lastly, the Pokemon Center could use a better notification system for trades. While the "Your Trade Request" review page does work well, it takes too much time to browse your advertised Pokemon one by one when you reach 25 listings. If there was a sort of notification up the top of the page informing you of an offer, it would save a lot of effort and perhaps be more encouraging for non-tradeaholics.

Speaking of monsters, a feature that fans will surely love is the fact that the Pokemon in this game evolve the same way as their handheld counterparts. Not only that, but a few rare and legendary Pokemon make their appearance as well.

Understanding the Game

In general, there are three versions of each Pokemon. There is a regular version, a shiny version and a shadow version of each type. Shiny Pokemon gain EXP faster than their regular counterparts and have a few differences in terms of coloring. These have a very low chance of appearing in the wild and display a red life bar when they do. Shadow Pokemon have the ability to use shadow type moves and only are obtained through either the Mystery Gift feature or through the Pokemon Center.

The actual game play is easy to understand. The tricky part lies in coming up with an effective team combination in order to defeat or withstand a level's monster types. The best part about this game is that you never know what to expect from a level. There are times wherein the stage requirement is pretty straightforward. Waves of enemies will come rushing from various directions in order to steal candy from you. You will have to defend these sweets and finishing up with even just a lone candy to spare is enough for you to proceed to the next level.

Sometimes, you will be the one doing the defending, making those status boosting skills a whole lot more useful than offensive ones. Prerequisite skills also play a part in progressing certain stages. If you are the type to skip dialogue, you may end up missing a vital clue or even lose your chance to get an event reward Pokemon. Just when you think your Pokemon setup is unbeatable, a new element is introduced in a stage –definitely an effective way to keep you on your toes.

Though it is nothing really game breaking, the menu layout may be a bit confusing for new players. For starters, stages vary in size so the zoom feature is pretty much vital in order to see the whole map. Unfortunately, at 25% zoom, Pokemon icons will look like tiny dots, making identifying and catching specific monsters near impossible. The huge Pokeball icon can also get in the way when zoomed out as well as your Pokemon team icons.

With regards to the menu icons, there is a shortage of name labels for the icons. Again, it would have been nice to have this as at least a toggle feature for those who are not familiar with the game lore. Knowing that a Bulbasaur is a grass type monster may help give new players a clue on who to use him against on the fly.

We have no gripes with the overall design and feel of the game. After all, the sprites cannot be any more true to the Pokemon franchise. The best part is that these are used thoughtfully, making Pokemon Tower Defense's visuals polished as a whole. Basically, playing the game will surely be a déjà vu for die-hard Poke-fans.

Delivering a Classic in New Ways

It is quite apparent that the developers are die-hard Pokemon fans who really love the series. Plenty of care went through ensuring that details of Pokemon Tower Defense stayed true to the official game. The evolutions stay true to the series, as do the skill sets and story-driven situations. Even the availability or rarity of certain Pokemon was thoughtfully planned in order to give tribute to the core mechanics. This spin-off is your closest bet to experiencing Poke fever outside the confines of a Nintendo console.

The Verdict

With several modes to choose from, this is truly a massive game. For both Pokemon and tower defense fans alike, there is no reason to pass this game. Play it for its diverse stage challenges, take part in the ever growing community or just give it a try for its blatant Pokemon humor. There are so many ways to enjoy the game. Of course, the awkward controls do take some getting used to, but that is really a small trade off compared to the perks. The best part is that with a little patience, you will be able to experience all that Pokemon Tower Defense has to offer even if you are only willing to spend virtual cash.

With this game, it is easy to see that the pros outweigh the cons. With the Kanto region covered, and more updates on the way, the future is looking bright for PTD. In short, if you have steered clear of the Poke fever thus far, fire up Pokemon Tower Defense and get ready to become a true blue ace trainer. We give this game a shiny Scyther's 97/100.

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