Game of the Week: Revenge of the Titans

Defending tower defence.

To say that there's literally nothing out this week would be unfair to Tecmo Koei and the Dynasty Warriors series' loyal following: look out for Simon Parkin's review of Dynasty Warriors 7 yes, seven next week.

It would also be unfair to fans of Carnival Games and Brunswick Bowling, if not to fans of original and well-made motion control games. We do exist, you know, and going by Kinect sales we are growing in number, but we've got nothing to play. Sort it out.

It's not a problem, because in the lean times you can always turn to the download services, where the fun never stops. Well, if it didn't stop this week, it did slow to an amble, with Kristan finding himself underwhelmed by the Dishwasher sequel and Red Faction advert, sorry, spin-off, that Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network had to offer.

Chime Super Deluxe and a Mac version of Amanita's exquisite animated adventure Machinarium are happier incidents, but still don't really make our week. On the phones, Collision Effect hypnotised and we are always up for a bit of air traffic control, but as for Fable Coin Golf, well with all due respect to Kristan, you only need to read the game's title.

So there is, figuratively, nothing out this week. What's a poor reviews editor to do? Fortunately, there are two courses of action that never fail: get Ellie to slag something off, and turn to the "here's one you may have missed" pile that's always accumulating from the creative and prolific PC indie scene.

Revenge of the Titans

It was great to have a chance to catch up with this strategy gem, released a few weeks ago, in which Puppy Games takes the tower defence genre off its beaten track.

"While the chunky sprite graphics might suggest something simple and straightforward, in fact it's elaborate and wound pocket-watch-tight," Alec found in his review.

"Revenge of the Titans is a clever, huge and charming strategy game... While mainstream strategy largely continues to gnaw upon the desiccated husk of Command & Conquer, and so much indie strategy simply slaps new graphics on tower defence mechanics, Revenge of the Titans is, apparently quite effortlessly, doing its own thing."

It's always refreshing, if increasingly and happily common, to see a tiny indie team (of two, in this case) produce a game of genuine audiovisual polish and thoroughly-tested, fine-tuned construction. And that's exactly what Revenge of the Titans is.

But what's also exciting about this game is to see a sudden flowering of innovation and ambition in tower defence. The genre has been so popular in the accelerated world of download and mobile gaming that it has hurtled toward over-saturation and cloned irrelevance in just a few short years. But in Revenge of the Titans, we see a glimmer of how it can save not just itself, but mainstream strategy too.

If that's how the new gaming ecology works, then I'm on board.

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