THE BEST TOWER DEFENSE GAMES

 On the Steam platform, you can find a lot of titles for everyone who wants to try something new in their favorite genre.

Tower Defense (aka TD, aka castle defense) is a genre with universal gameplay balance for all players. The balance of power during a standard TD match is constantly changing: you can click on opponents in a relaxed way, feeling that the situation is under control, and after a minute your base may be in ruins. These two situational extremes are the yin and yang that underlie all games in this genre.


This is the secret of the popularity of the TD genre. Since the gameplay in such games is built on well-established mechanics, their development is noticeably simplified. Thanks to this, they are sold for mere pennies - some can even be picked up for free on Steam. However, free does not mean poor quality. This is confirmed by the following 15 castle defense games that you can add to your collection on Steam for free.


Ninja Kiwi Archive

Ninja Kiwi Archive

No, this is not a pirated Fruit Ninja mix with elements of the TD genre, but a complete collection of classic games. Hence, in fact, the word "archive" is in the title of the project. All the games in this collection were released during the era of Adobe Flash's popularity when hundreds of browser novelties appeared every day.

In this collection, you can find many outstanding representatives of the castle defense genre, but listing them will require a separate article. One way or another, everyone will be able to find a game to their taste in this collection. Some of them look quite good even by today's standards, which can be considered a serious achievement for titles from a bygone era.

Zombie Defense

Zombie Defense

If indie studios have taught the industry anything, it's that hybrid genres are practically a win-win strategy. A striking example of this approach is Zombie Defense, which combines the features of RTS and TD (even if these genres are similar to each other).

Zombie Defense gives you the opportunity to once again survive the zombie apocalypse, but now with a view from above. We have to fend off the waves of the undead that have risen from the dead, at the same time managing the resources of our base. The project also has a mobile version for anyone who prefers to play on the go.

Sang-Froid – Tales of Werewolves

Sang-Froid – Tales of Werewolves

Continuing the genre hybrid theme, it's worth mentioning Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves, which should appeal to all fans of the Left 4 Dead and Warhammer Vermintide franchises. This is a quality mixture of action and TD, in which players will have to defend a cabin in a snowy forest from wild wolves and werewolves.

With its visual style and aesthetics, the project subtly resembles the movie "Van Helsing" (perhaps it's a weighty crossbow that can be hung with upgrades). Sang-Froid's gameplay is built around resource management, including a variety of weapons and numerous traps to help you deal with waves of rabid monsters.

The Defender: Farm and Castle

The Defender: Farm and Castle

Before us is a simple and unpretentious project, which is made according to all the precepts of the old browser games. Thanks to minimalistic graphics, you can run it on almost any computer, and it's quite easy to get used to it. We have a fortress that needs to be defended from monsters slowly approaching it.

At the same time, we play the role of a lone archer, whose weapons and skills can be upgraded as you progress through the levels. The Defender: Farm and Castle is done in classic 2D, so all side-scrollers should feel right at home.

FrankenStorm TD: Prologue

FrankenStorm TD: Prologue

Fans of old horror should definitely pay attention to FrankenStorm TD: Prologue - a project in the castle defense genre in which we, as Dr. Frankenstein, have to fend off annoying townspeople who are trying to destroy our fortress. To do this, we will have to build intricate labyrinths and set ingenious traps that will help scare away intruders.

And in between attacks, you can focus on reviving the famous Frankenstein monster. The nice art style, lots of comedic elements, and constantly evolving gameplay - these are perhaps the main advantages of FrankenStorm TD: Prologue.

The Riftbreaker: Prologue

The Riftbreaker: Prologue

If you have reached this paragraph, but still have not decided on the game for the evening, then we recommend that you go to Steam right now and download The Riftbreaker: Prologue. This is perhaps the best TD title in the last couple of years, and its main trump card is that it does not limit itself to one genre.

This is a revolutionary mixture of action-RPG, strategy, and, in fact, TD, in which players will have to fight off hordes of aliens while extracting valuable resources along the way. Throw in intense action scenes and amazing graphics and you have an almost AAA game that, by some happy misunderstanding, is still being given away for free.

Prime World: Defenders 2


Prime World: Defenders 2

This is an exemplary sequel that improves on everything that the original Prime World remembers - something that rarely happens in the TD genre. At the same time, the main gameplay in Prime World: Defenders 2 has remained the same - we will again have to fight endless waves of ordinary monsters and fight off tenacious bosses.

Here, as in Riftbreaker, you can see echoes of other genres. The title uses elements of the TCG in the gameplay - for example, to protect their base, players need to get and use cards with different values. Unfortunately, a serious minus of the game grows out of this - its monetization system. Since Prime World: Defenders 2 is a free-to-play game, you need to either grind hard or be willing to shell out to get good cards.

Bloons Adventure Time TD

Bloons Adventure Time TD

Is it possible to pass by a TD game based on Adventure Time? Or rather, not so. Is it possible to pass by any game based on this animated series? His bright style and colorful characters are ideally transferred to the virtual format, and regardless of the genre. So the authors of the famous TD-franchise Bloons decided not to stand aside.

We have to manage Finn, Jake, and their friends, defending the Candy Kingdom from evil balloons. And the main plus of the title is that it was possible to attract all the voice actors of the animated series to work on it, thanks to which what is happening on the screen is perceived as a full-fledged series of Adventure Time.

Vectorio

Vectorio

The basic mechanics in TD games are so simple that they can be implemented even in a project with modest vector graphics. The result is a very exciting Vectorio, which, although it is currently in early access mode, already has several ready-made levels.

It may seem that Vectorio is not much different from Tetris or Dwarf Fortress, but it quickly draws you in with its smooth and hypnotic gameplay. As our bases grow in breadth, and with them our defenses, the playing field begins to look like complex circuit boards.

GunsUP!

GunsUP!

The project is a curious hybrid of tabletop strategy and TD, the gameplay of which is built on familiar principles - the need to develop your military bases and try to destroy enemy command centers. In order to win in each match, you need to competently develop the infrastructure of your troops, build defenses and upgrade the skills of soldiers.

Artificial intelligence of your wards in Guns UP! automated - just set the direction in which your troops will follow. The main focus of the match is mining and the strategic distribution of various resources. And if the enemy copes with this better than you, then sooner or later his army will begin to besiege your base, where the classic TD gameplay will begin.

Guardian Chronicle

Guardian Chronicle

TD games don't have to be dark or serious. Take, for example, the Guardian Chronicle, which is made in a deliberately cartoonish style. It helps to calm down after especially intense matches, which are more than enough in the current Guardian Chronicle meta.

It uses a number of mechanics from collectible card games - for example, the grind, unloved by many, is necessary to open new base defenders. You can avoid it with the help of in-game purchases, but this option, of course, is not suitable for everyone.

Dungeon Defenders 2

Dungeon Defenders 2

The main concept of this project is quite simple and somewhat ironic because in games it is customary to clear dungeons, and not to protect them. Before the start of each match in Dungeon Defenders 2, we need to assemble our team of heroes and prepare to defend the location from waves of opponents.

The title also includes multiplayer elements, which means that players can show off their squads of heroes in front of their comrades during cooperative matches. The project has a nice visual style designed for a casual audience, and this aesthetic works very effectively in tandem with TD gameplay.

Bloons TD Battles

Bloons TD Battles

As cute as the Adventure Time character game is, it still falls short of the original Bloons TD Battles. This is the best of modern analogues of Tetris, which boasts a convenient split-screen mode, where opponents can watch in real-time which of them manages to defend their base more effectively from evil balloons.

You can also test your abilities in single-player mode, tailored for offline play. The gameplay and graphics of Bloons TD Battles are identical to what we saw in the Adventure Time version, but here the genocide of the balloons is explained in a completely different way.

Minion Masters

Minion Masters

This is one of the best competitive TD games at the moment, which is able to attract fans of various genres. Minion Masters looks like an interesting mix of Rocket League, MOBAs, and TCGs. Particularly noteworthy is the miniature game arena, in which the opponents' bases are located at arm's length.

The visual style of the game evokes pleasant associations with the titans of the MOBA genre like League of Legends and modern TD projects with low-poly designs. KKI-mechanics also turned out to be appropriate, motivating them to rush into battle immediately after the end of the next match.

DOTA2

DOTA2

Purely technically, DOTA 2 can be considered a representative of the TD genre due to the structure of the game map and the abundance of TD elements on which the original version of the project was built. Think of it as a kind of reverse TD where we control waves of monsters in an attempt to destroy the enemy stronghold.

And if we lose the advantage during the match, then the game will turn into a classic TD, where we will have to defend ourselves with all our might from an endless enemy army. Thanks to this dual gameplay, DOTA 2 has managed to achieve popularity among fans of the MOBA and TD genres, as well as become one of the main esports disciplines.

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