Given the plethora of TD games (Tower Defense to the uninitiated) currently available through the App Store, there can be considerable hesitation in the purchase of a new game within this genre. In the midst of some original and unoriginal ideas, The Creeps is more than able to set itself apart from some of its more mundane brethren.
For those who have not played a TD game, the objective involves waves of enemies that go from point A to point B. Your goal is to use “towers” of a varying kind to destroy each wave before your hit-points run out. There are two kinds of TD games. One involves the creation of your own path through the building of towers. The other involves having each wave go through a predetermined path depending on the map you are on. The Creeps is of the latter kind. Each map has both a regular mode you need to beat to unlock more maps and an unlimited mode as well.
The game is played by touching the empty spaces on the map to build towers and consequently touching the towers to upgrade them. These towers affect the units, such as the fast moving bats, slow but powerful zombies, or the average ghost unit, by either damaging them or slowing them down. The range of towers include a basic laser that, when fully upgraded, causes weak but fast damage. There is also a glue gun that only slows down enemies. The boomerang tower causes splash damage, and the flashlight tower causes massive damage when continually hitting the enemy.
What sets the Creeps apart from all of the other TD games I played is its unique usage of accelerometer controlled “Super Towers” and destructible landscape. Only the UFO causes damage. The rest are designed to slow down the progression of the waves. The use of the “Super” towers are needed when dealing with “Boss” units. They can be used once before needing to recharge.This helps to create another level of strategy and interaction that is sometimes missing in the TD genre.
The unfortunate aspect to the game is the unavailability of all towers for all maps. Each map only allows certain towers for usage. This is for both the normal and super towers. While this creates a certain level of challenge, it mostly limits the maps I play in unlimited mode. (I need my flashlight gun)
Another detraction from the quality of the game is the size of the maps. Though not cramped, they do leave the player with a feeling of confinement. All of the action takes place on such a small scale. Yet, this is mitigated by the clean and crisp graphics and animation. The sprites in The Creeps are more detailed and significantly larger than most other TD games. This does much to enhance the overall cartoony/nightmarish tone. This can definitely be seen in the attention paid to the “Boss” units. Most are larger representations of the regular units, but there are a couple, like the giant mummy, that are unique.
While I did enjoy the overall presentation and gameplay of The Creeps when it first came out, the biggest complaint was the lack of sound. The experience ran parallel to shooting fish in a barrel… all visuals, no sound. With the 1.1.0 upgrade last week, The Creeps included more maps, sound, and a couple more boss units. The sound effects themselves, though simplistic, does much to mitigate my complaint. Also, while there is a lack of in-game music, you are able to listen to you own.
With the gamut of TD games ranging from severely shallow to complicatedly involved, The Creeps stakes its claim in the middle ground. It is not shallow enough to dismiss after a few minutes. Yet, it is not so engrossingly involved that your eyes will dry out from the lack of blinking. The Creeps, as said before, also has a few unique wrinkles in its gameplay that make it worth keeping on your iDevice even if you do have 4 or more in that same genre (I am guilty of this). In the end, there is enough in this game to more than justify it current price of $1.99 (limited time). With the promise of improvements and with the current improvements done, $4.99 (the regular price) is also a fair deal. Despite the plethora of TD games available, The Creeps is one that I keep coming back to time and time again.
Just some food for thought:
In an App Store era where there still an inconsistency of support and upgrades, where promises of improvements are broken like the hopes and dreams that those same promises inspire, it is comforting to know that Super Squawk Software did come through on their promises. They have made an enjoyable game even more enjoyable.
|Title:||The Creeps!||Developer:||Super Squawk Software|
|Price:||$1.99||App Size:||6.2 mb|