Over The Top Tower Defense has only recently launched on Nintendo Switch, five years after it graced PC and mobile.
We don’t actually get a lot of tower defense games these days so it’s exciting to see that Australia’s SMG Studios are giving us this. Is it a good fit for the little handheld? Let’s find out.
The Nintendo Switch has been a great home for some games that just wouldn’t work on other platforms. It’s a good option for bridging the gap between mobile and console gaming and often I’ve found myself desperate for something like Kingdom Rush. Since I started playing OTTTD it’s almost been a revelation, the console is ideally suited to small, pick-up and play experiences. Being able to just play a mission or two then tuck the console away is fantastic. In terms of art design, it’s excellent, the cartoon violence and even the (optional) gore really pops on this screen.
There’s a story here which puts you in charge of a HEROCORP squad. You’ll select commanders from different classes and defend your headquarters from evil alien beings. There’s a seemingly unlimited amount of these beings, the task is monumental. There’s an interesting philosophical aspect to the story as well. This is a peaceful world and it’s HEROCORP that’s choosing to open the rifts in order to give their soldiers employment and purpose. It’s a nice and easy way to set up gameplay but it’s also a clever study of capitalism and the human cost.
OTTTD has a voice, much like Death Squared, that keeps humor front and centre. Everything about the game just oozes charm and is completely eponymous of the title: Over The Top. Imagine Michael Scott was scanned into a video game. Then prepare for a relentless onslaught of humor, some will drastically miss the mark whereas others will be bang on the money. You’ll laugh, cringe, groan, smirk and generally have a good time thanks to the humor here.
The gameplay won’t set the world alight in any way, it’s very standard for tower defense. Purchase and place towers and stop enemies from progressing along a predetermined path to defend your base. Finish a mission and you’ll get a score of up to three stars as well as skill points and money. Level up characters, unlock new skills and weapons and generally strengthen as your progress throughout missions. You will feel a sense of progression as you go from level to level and develop your resources.
Luckily the game is a challenge. You’ll have to and even want to replay missions to improve your team and you might even build a bond with your characters as you play. Your competitive nature will drag you in and you’ll really want to overcome the challenge. It never feels genuinely insurmountable. However, one issue that does feel impossible sometimes are the controls. The Switch can be quite awkward at times leading to you accidentally pressing the wrong option.