Rogue Tower: My Most Played Game

Outside of what I’ve been writing about on here, it turns out I’ve played a lot of games this year. More than I expected, in fact. According to Steam, I played 32 different games this year. And I’m a little surprised at which games I played the most.

Multiple game modes and challenges to choose from

My most played game this year is Rogue Tower. 18% of my total playtime went into this game. This is a tower defense game, but it is also a roguelike. Or roguelite, if you want to be pedantic.

The premise is simple. You have a tower that needs to be defended, and you need to build defenses that stop enemies trying to destroy it. The genius of the game is in the mechanics: each very simple, but each interacting with each other in various ways.

Starting out with Ballistae

You start on a single tile. Each tile has one or more paths. To start a wave, you select one of these paths and a random tile is generated, which may have one or more paths as well. A wave attacks and then, if you survive, you get to build more towers and choose the next path. This is the core game loop.

Within each tile you can build several towers. Each available place for a tower has a height, usually between 0 and 3. Building towers at higher locations will increase both their range and damage.

Upgrade your cards and abilities with experience

You start with Ballista, a basic tower that attacks a single enemy. New towers can be unlocked through playing the game and gaining experience in each run. Experience lets you unlock new cards containing features and abilities you can use in your games.

During the game you will be able to pick one of these cards after a set number of rounds (eventually after every round), or by defeating bosses and minibosses. This will let you buy new towers, make towers more powerful, or unlock other abilities you can use during the game.

Choosing cards during a game

There are three types of damage: Health, Armour, and Shields. Enemies will have a certain amount of each, and towers will do different damage amounts to each. For example, Ballistae are stronger against Health, but Mortars do more damage to armour.

Every enemy has Health. To damage Health you need to destroy all their Armour first. Before damaging either of these, you need to destroy their Shields first. Not all enemies have Armour and Shields, but every enemy will have Health.

A game in progress

Towers can be upgraded to do damager-over-time (DOT). There are three types of DOT: Bleed does damage to Health, Burn damages Armour, and Poison damages Shield. Each DOT will only do half damage if the current damage types don’t match (e.g. a Bleeding enemy that still has Armour will take half damage to Armour).

Add to these mechanics that each enemy and tower has its own special rules, and you have an extremely in-depth game that is still simple and easy to play. And it’s also very addictive.

Fighting a boss

The game has several different game modes. You can start with only one path, allowing you to focus your defenses. This is the easiest game mode and, at the time of writing, is the only game mode I’ve actually completed. The other game modes add more paths, cause paths to always split, or make enemies grow stronger, faster.

This is how most games end…

As a sucker for tower defense games and for roguelikes, this is a game I got heavily addicted to. While I haven’t completed many of the harder challenges, I spent a lot of my free time on this one. If you like tower defense games, this is definitely one to check out.

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