When Puppy Games released their trailer for Revenge of the Titans (below), quite a while ago now, a lot of people took notice. What we saw was a game that was obviously part of the tower defence genre but with the obvious addition of several real time strategy elements, it could have gone either way very easily. Now the game is available and we had the opportunity to see which side of the coin of fate landed face up.
The story is the main point of contention with Revenge of the Titans, as with most tower defence-styled games, and there isn't really one of note. The game essentially revolves around you building towers and general defences in some of the worse major cities and towns in order to repel the oncoming horde of invaders from god-knows-where. When you succeed in protecting one city, you move on to the next after investing some of your resources and time in choosing which area of research you want to progress, then you do it all over again in the next town or city. This idea is basically rinsed and repeated throughout the entire game. With the humour and sheer amount of love that's been piled into the game by its developers, I would have liked to have seen a more fully-developed storyline (shameless plug to our story-writing guides): something to draw the players in and give them a reason to keep coming back that's more than just the addictive gameplay. Story isn't always necessary in games, but they almost always benefit from them in some way -- by being a way of keeping focus or gaining initial interest. Revenge of the Titans could have been one of those games, it doesn't need them, but it couldn't have hurt either.
Just like any other of the tower defence games that we're all used to, the gameplay in Revenge of the Titans is central to placing different structures in different places in order to stop the onslaught of enemies that will be coming towards you in a seemingly-non-stop fashion. Some of the structures do direct damage to the enemy and some of them give the buildings you've already placed down an advantage -- like cooling them down or giving them extra fire-power. Where and when you place these structures is entirely up to you, the only thing that you can truly guarantee is that you won't get it right first time, especially on some of the levels later in the game; you'll be required to perform a little bit of trial-and-error in order to get all the structures in the right place to stop the invading forces. You can only do so much strategy though, with automatically generated maps every time you restart there'll be a new challenge, further adding to the longevity and overall enjoyment of the game.
The visuals in Revenge of the Titans are among the most appealing aspects of the entire game. Everything that you can see has a faux 8-bit look to it which, especially in children of the 80's and early 90's, invokes all those emotions and feelings we get when we look at those games we grew up with. It's certainly not 8-bit graphics though, all of the details are crisp and clean and have that high definition looks that we've all grown accustomed to now. Everything about the graphics of Revenge of the Titans screams of a development team that's still in love with the game of their youth while still wanting to make the best-looking games they can. With Revenge of the Titans they succeeded. A visually stunning amalgamation of the past, present, and future all topped off with a ribbon. Some games that are out there on the market now, and that are coming up before the year's out, are gorgeous-looking games because of the realism they bring to the table; Revenge of the Titans is a gorgeous-looking game also, but for a totally different reason, and that's certainly something that's refreshing to see in the current game climate.