Showing posts with label Atari. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atari. Show all posts

Tower Defense Games: From Atari to the iPad

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Tower Defense Games From Atari to the iPad
Tower defense has been a popular game genre for decades. In this article, we'll present a fascinating rundown on the history of the tower defense game, from Atari's Rampart, to the ever-popular Plants vs Zombies and Angry Birds. We'll also discuss the new games coming out soon for tower defense game enthusiasts.

Rampart - First Tower Defense Game

TD games are one of the earliest strategy-based games dating back to 1983. A familiar classic that pioneered the tower defense genre is Rampart by Atari. Rampart is an arcade game that merges the puzzle and shoot 'em up genres. As it's widely ported, it has versions for most modern systems. In this game, you as the player have to defend a set of castles by alternately shooting and attacking enemies, and repairing damages to the castle within a time limit. To survive and gain victory, you have to protect and maintain your territory throughout the game. Involving strategic actions of attacking and repairing, the game quickly gained popularity worldwide.

As the game became a phenomenal success, it became ported into a number of gaming platforms such as Super NES, Game Boy, Gamecube, Xbox, PlayStation 2, and most recently PlayStation Network which offers multiplayer action.

It was originally released in 1990, and it was the first ever popular tower defense game. Atari is considered by many gaming enthusiasts as one of the key ideas behind the creation of Final Fantasy and Fort Condor. The first wave of hit tower defense games include Star Craft, Final Fantasy, War Craft and Age of Empire. By the new millenium, TD games started to appear in user-created maps for games like Starcraft, Warcraft III and Age of Empires II.

Introduction of Adoble Flash to Games

The advent of Adobe Flash has brought forth significant changes to the tower defense gaming experience. Independent game developers used Adobe Flash to enrich graphics and speed. They created stand-alone TD browser games leading to the influential launch of Desktop Tower Defense in 2007. Over the last few years, there have been hundreds of new themes and gameplay variations including medieval and space settings. There have also been child-friendly game versions such as those games where players protect a picnic from ants or pop balloons. In late 2007, Protector was released, and it was ranked as one of the best TD games that offered classes and specialization upgrades.

In 2008, mobile phone versions of various games were also introduced online. Some of the most outstanding games which have taken the gaming world by storm are Plants vs Zombies, Gem Craft, Protector, Immortal Defense and most recently, Angry Birds.

Plants vs Zombies is a thrilling and addictive zombie-themed tower defense game. It was originally developed by PopCap Games for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. The gameplay involves a homeowner placing different kinds of plants and fungi to stop the zombies from eating the resident's brain. It was first released on 2009, and upon massive success, it became available on iOS, Android, Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation. The game received much critical acclaim from players and critics.

Another well-liked TD game is Angry Birds. The original version of the game was released on iOS in 2009. The game has been widely popular because of its unique combination of addictive gameplay, comical design and affordable price. It's now available on gaming consoles as well as PCs. With a staggering total of one billion downloads among all platforms, the game has been considered as the largest mobile app success today.

Different Versions of Tower Defense Games

After 2008, a lot of game consoles started to make their own versions of various tower defense games. Xbox 360 made a version of Defense Grid; PlayStation did versions on two games named Pixel Junk Monster and Savage Moon; Nintendo DS released a hand-held version of games called Lock's Quest and Ninja Town. Today, there are numerous mobile phone tower defense games available in the market.

Upcoming Tower Defense Games to be Released in 2013

The popular zombie-themed TD game Plants vs Zombies has an upcoming sequel, Plants vs Zombies 2, which will be released in late spring of 2013. Other games that you should watch out for next year are Sentinel 4: Dark Star which is currently being developed by Origin8 for Android and iOS devices, Nightmare Guardians which is set to arrive on tablets, and Lovers in Dangerous Spacetime which is going to be introduced in both PC and Mac.

Ryan Thomsen has been extensively involved in game development. He enjoys sharing his tips and insights on various games blogs. Visit for more games.
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