Chatting Up Tower Defense Games in Tweet Defense

Tweet DefenseIf there is one type of game that seems to circulate more often than any other around the web and mobile devices, it’s tower defense. For the most part, these games are a dime a dozen, but every once and a while, a developer does something interesting with this tired genre. This time, it is a quirky, $0.99, iPhone app called Tweet Defense from the Promethium Marketing Group and GrinLock Limited.

As far as tower defense games go, Tweet Defense is still fairly standard. Players choose from 10 different maps and construct various towers to try to take down enemies before they get from Point A to Point B. As expected, towers vary in strength, abilities, and cost: Some are cheap with high rates of fire, some do area of effect, some are short range, but powerful, and others boost whatever defenses you have currently up. However, each tower has a unique, garage-built look that adds a bit of flare to this basic gameplay.

Conversely, the enemies, in this case, zombies, come in their own odd shapes and forms. This includes the basic Sneakie zombie that attacks in hordes, the hard to kill, and overweight Blubberbie zombie, and borderline uncouth Mombie that spits out two baby zombies (called Zuppies) when she dies. Unfortunately, there are only five types of zombies, but with a zany, cartoon style, they are all amusing to watch.

Strange PathsBeyond visual style, Tweet Defense also increases the difficulty of the game through the maps themselves. Most of the time, these types of games have a set path that the player can easily see, with towers placed around it. In this app, harder maps have no such luxury, and towers can be placed anywhere. Normally, this might not mean anything, but in Tweet Defense, should a tower be in a zombies way, they’ll just plow right through, destroying it in the process.

Quickly, the app becomes a game of strategic placement and money management. In regards to the latter, it works like virtually any other tower defense title. Towers can be upgraded or scrapped, and money is earned for each enemy slain. And don’t think upgrades are optional, as even though the game starts off easy, things can quickly get out of hand and the player even more quickly overrun.

With all this talk of the game design itself, it is easy to forget the main gimmick of Tweet Defense. Per its title, the game is actually connected directly to Twitter. No, this isn’t about tweeting achievements, but rather, a user’s social activity on the network itself, influencing gameplay. Once a user logs into their Twitter account, Tweet Defense actually picks up on your friends, followers, and the number of tweets you have made in order to grant users significant bonuses in the game.

Twitter BoosterTo break it down, the more friends you have, the faster rate of fire your towers get. More followers will give you greater range. And the total number of tweets increases damage. In addition to this, there is a daily Booster that will grant random bonuses such as cheaper towers.

As unique as this use of Twitter is, Tweet Defense also incorporates the social platform OpenFeint to improve longevity with standard leaderboard rankings, and a fairly sizable list of achievements for players to earn and boast about.

Without a doubt, this iPhone app has one of the most curious and unique social integrations we have seen to date. Moreover, the game is actually fun and more than just a gimmick. Could Tweet Defense do more as a tower defense title as a whole? Absolutely. Even a little more variety in the zombies would by prudent in improving overall quality; especially considering the game’s visual style. Nonetheless, this is an app that show that, in game design, just looking at something in a different way can lead to more creativity.