Sunday, September 19, 2010

Freeware Flash-Based Tower Defense Review - Cursed Treasure

So I got hooked to this tower defense demo that I downloaded from Steam.

Defense Grid: The Awakening is a sci-fi TD game that pits you (and a talkative AI) against hordes of aliens bent on stealing "cores." Fail to stave off the invaders and the defense grid shuts down. I got so addicted to the concept that I searched the Net for the best Flash-based tower defense game.

>>>Strategy games not your thing? Click here for freeware PC FPS games

Almost all sites agree that one of the best is Cursed Treasure: Don't Touch my Gems, a free-to-play strategy game developed by Iriysoft. And while its Flash-based nature renders it unable to compete with Defense Grid: The Awakening, the game does pack enough features to hook anyone into beating all its levels.

I did. After two gaming sessions.

The review of the freeware strategy game---and a gameplay video---after the jump.

The tower defense niche is a saturated one. No Flash developer would expect his game to attract a significant following if it doesn't have features that elevate it from the competition. In addition to sporting graphics that make it tower (no pun intended) above its peers, Cursed Treasure does have innovative features:

- Three types of towers - while this is nothing new, the skill point system (see "Skill Point system",
below) brings a twist to the usual tower defense. Orc towers ("Dens") throw projectiles. An orc tower can be upgraded either to increase its critical chance or become a ballista (slow; splash damage). Undead towers ("Crypts") unleash spirits to harry invaders. They can be upgraded to cause fear or to generate mana (see "Mana-based skills", below). Demon towers ("Temples") incinerate foes by emitting a continuous beam of eldritch energies. They can be upgraded to become spires that reduce the armor of creeps or towers that abandon the focused beam for a more devastating (but slower) explosive attack, which damage all within its blast radius.

- Skill point system - you can assign three skill points after each level. These grant you incremental improvements like gold generation, lower mana consumption, and critical chance and damage improvements.

- Mana-based skills - you have three of these. The first one clears trees, allowing you to build towers on otherwise unavailable terrain. The second one greatly increases your tower's rate of fire for a brief amount of time. The last one calls down a volley of meteors, killing all but the most hardy of minions within an area.

- Minions with skills - Cursed Treasure features minions with skills. Bards have haste spells, priests heal themselves, warriors have damage reduction attributes, and rogues have a 5-second invisibility skill.

This freeware strategy game wraps all these with an impressive user interface. The art style is distinct and the music and the sound effects are powerful --- my wife got creeped out by the demonic laughter every time I upgraded the temples. The minions---warriors and bards alike---bawl out like newborns every time the undead towers strike fear into them, drawing out sadistic chuckles from me.

The amount of time I poured in the two gaming sessions it took to finish the game however, was nothing to be amused about.

Play this addictive game. On a weekend. Yes, a weekend.

>>>More freeware strategy games HERE
>>>Play Cursed Treasure: Don't Touch my Gems here