Myth Defense 2, developed by Smartpix Games, is a tower defense game with a lot of self-confidence. There are no lukewarm attempts at comedy or irony, and the concept, a bunch of tower defense enemies like orcs and necromancers defending themselves from the forces of light, is played completely straight. It takes the usual formula of a tower defense game, the waves of enemies, the resource management, and the escalating difficulty, and uses it to deliver a lot of content and a lot of strategic depth.
When you first start Myth Defense 2, you’re presented immediately with a menu that ties the game’s modes together. If you want to defend a base, your two options are Battle Mode, where you can take on waves of enemies in a standalone match on a variety of different map types, eventually unlocking the ability to generate random ones, and the campaign, where you advance through fixed levels and unlock new ones. Your main weapons in Myth Defense 2 are your towers, which you place around the battlefield by tapping the screen. Towers are customizable and paid for with gold earned from surviving each wave, destroying enemy units, or selling less optimal towers that you’ve already placed. Many of the more expensive towers are specialized, helping you fight armored and magic enemies that have high resistances to regular physical damage. With the ability to sell, upgrade, and place specialized towers, you have a lot of freedom in what you can do, which means that the game throws curveballs at you right from the start. You have a lot of chances to adjust the difficulty of the battles, even in the campaign mode, but the best way to survive is to learn how to prepare yourself against a variety of enemy types and grind for glory points to unlock better towers.
Myth Defense 2 has a few different versions: a free-to-play one, and the platinum version, which contains no microtransactions. Like a lot of games that follow this formula, the skeleton of the microtransaction structure is immediately apparent when you click “Citadel” on the menu and see a couple shops where you can spend the Glory Points you earn in battle. It costs a lot of Glory Points to buy new towers and other upgrades, but the disparity between the points you earn and the points you need isn’t as bad as in a lot of other games that use this business model. The tower defense gameplay is entertaining and replayable, so the grind to get the points you need to get the updates isn’t super tedious.
In addition to a bunch of creative units and towers, the stages of Myth Defense 2 are a major plus. Realistic terrain features like winding roads, swamps, walls, and multiple bases to defend mean that you’ll always be switching up. The simple obstacles and variations in the stages are smart, because they help simulate the real units of an army marching towards you. It’s also another element to react to when you place your towers, keeping the game interesting as you try different configurations and strategies with each new stage.
Graphically, the stages are well-drawn but the units and towers are incredibly zoomed out on a phone’s screen, to the point where everything is almost an abstraction. The small units are a pretty strange choice, but they’re way better than poorly-drawn units. Other than the size, the designs are well done: interesting while still keeping a feeling of gritty pseudo-realism.
Myth Defense 2 offers a gigantic amount of well-balanced tower defense gameplay. Fans of the genre should definitely check it out, and so should people that just want a good mobile strategy game. It’s the sort of game that works well on mobile platforms: the controls are easy, the basic rules are simple but the strategy is complicated, and it saves your place when you leave the game mid-battle. It’s not flashy, but that’s one of the reasons why it runs circles around its peers.
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Is it Hardcore?
A low-key but excellent tower defense game with serious depth and a lot of content. Random maps are a huge plus.