[Review] Over The Top Tower Defense – Nintendo Switch

Written by Derek Wright
  • Developer: SMG Studio
  • Publisher: SMG Studio
  • Release Date: 06/05/2019
  • Price: $7.99/ £5.99
  • Review code provided by SMG Studio

Turn it up to 11!

What does it mean to be “over the top”? You might not have thought about this before, but it can be a polarizing phrase. If someone is being extravagant or obnoxious, it would not be uncommon to say they are just being a bit over the top. Now contrast that with a friend or family member that is going to throw you a party and they say they are going to go over the top. This is seen as them going the extra mile and doing something great for you. Now with this out of the way, which “over the top” is Over the Top Tower Defense? Read on to find out!

OTTTD is brought to us by SMG Studio of Death Squared fame. This game was originally released on smart devices and has found its way onto the Nintendo Switch. You take control of a commander of the Herocorps as they try to cleanse the multiverse of evil or something like that… You lead a ragtag group of heroes as they fight the denizens of the Steamcrust and Nightmare dimensions, all while protecting your precious command centre.

Kick it Up a Notch

OTTTD features standard tower defense mechanics while also adding in an RPG based skill tree for your hero characters. There are seven hero classes that can be used to make your team of three and each one plays a specific role. The engineer, for example, can repair towers better than anyone else while also strengthening them beyond their normal capacity. The assault unit would be the tank of the group. He is large, in charge and can dish out as much damage as he takes. There is an option for everyone’s playstyle, and it is good for mixing and matching strategies.

Along with the skill trees for each character, you also earn gold which can be used to upgrade their gear. This is something minor, but it really does add an extra element to the tower defense formula. My complaint with the RPG aspect is that this game really requires quite a bit of level grinding. I spent a good 3-4 hours of my play time just grinding to get more money or EXP. I feel like it really broke my immersion in the game, having to go back and replay old levels repeatedly just to progress.

Over the Top Tower Defense does feature a good amount of content for such a small price. There are 28 campaign missions along with 6 survival missions. Some of the late game missions can last around 30 minutes, which can be good and bad. Good if you complete it as it gives such a great sense of accomplishment, bad if your tower is destroyed on the final wave. That feeling of soul-crushing despair when you have sunk the past hour into upgrading your characters only to lose the mission in the last few moments are the worst. Yet, I cannot describe how great the feeling of elation upon beating the final level after being stuck for a few days. I was disappointed however that you do not get an ending when beating the final level, it just takes you back to the level select.

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

I wasn’t sold on the graphic style of OTTTD at first. For a game about being “over the top”, I thought the graphics were too simple. I quickly learned why. The simplistic graphics allowed the developers to literally throw the kitchen sink at you. With a more graphically intense style, I would assume that SMG Studio would not have been able to but as many enemies on screen at one time. A less intensive style allowed for large swarms of enemies to be present. This feeling of being overwhelmed quickly made me forget the simplistic graphic style.

The music of OTTTD, while solid, tends to get lost in the action. I had a hard time getting into the music as the action tended to be too intense for me to really pay much attention to it. The sound effects, on the other hand, stand out better. When your towers are destroyed, they make a distinct sizzle sound, which is intended to alarm you to fix it. Enemies exploding into bits of gore rings of accomplishment, in the best way possible. Each hero has their own personality and spout out random lines during battle too. The assault trooper sounds like a certain Austrian Governator and while it is fun the first few hours, after a while the “OhAufhOhAuf” noises do get a bit annoying.

To the Extreme

While playing docked or in handheld mode, the game ran smooth as silk. The action tended to look better on the large screen since there were many moving pieces, but it was completely playable on the small screen. I did notice an odd glitch after completing the main campaign. As I am writing this, I wanted to go back into the game to play a bit more of the survival maps, and I noticed that my game save file is unplayable now. I am hoping this is just a weird one-off, but it is upsetting knowing that I put close to 20 hours into my team and they may be lost now.

Final Thoughts

Over the Top Tower Defense is certainly an over the top game. For fans of tower defense or strategy games, there is certainly enough content to keep them coming back for more. A deep customization system for heroes makes this game stand out from the crowd of tower defense games and the intense action keeps you focused on survival. Depending on how you feel, the excessive grinding required to progress will ultimately make or break OTTTD for you.

Pros

  • Intense Combat
  • RPG Style Skills
  • Good Sound Design

Cons

  • Excessive Grinding
  • No Ending

Verdict

OTTTD is over the top in every way, for better or worse. If you can handle the intense grind, there is a rewarding experience underneath.

3/5

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