29 September 2011

Castaway: No Frills Thrills

Castaway Island TD is nothing fancy, in fact it's pretty much a by-the-numbers tower defence game.

As you may have guessed, the player assumes the role of a wide-eyed boy, stranded on a desert island.  Despite it not being his home, the boy has been asked by some kind of spirit to defend this island from invading monsters.  Actually it would have been more appropriate to call this game Castaway Archipelago, as the boy must defend a series of different islands throughout the game.  The player must defend the island with his highly improvisory woodwork skills, converting coconut palms into armed towers.  Inexplicably, these towers cost money to build.  Also inexplicably, the monsters dispense coins (and gems) when slain.  Apparently money does make the world go round, even on a desert island.

Vanquished monsters also drop gems which can be used to augment towers with elemental powers (fire, ice, lightning, et cetera).  The Spirit of the Island often grants new traps to the player as a reward for clearing levels.  Clearing a level entails enduring six waves of attack with the island's mystical crystal intact.

Presentationally, you'll find many more compelling contrivances for tower defence in games like Plants vs. Zombies and Ninjatown, but there is a surprising amount of polish applied when it comes to the game's interface and feel.  In my opinion, Castaway Island is a much smoother experience than Ninjatown.  When you consider the fact that Ninjatown is a full-priced DS title, and Castaway Island is a free, Flash-based game, this feat becomes that much more impressive.  There's a surprising amount of content on offer here as well, and a save feature for those with a login.

It may not be original; it may not dethrone Plants vs. Zombies, but it's hard to go past a free tower defence game that outplays some full-priced games.

Castaway Island TD is a free Flash-based game by Armor Games.  You can play the game here.

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