Megaglope Studios' sole developer Ivan sat down with me this week to let me try his upcoming game, Tower Rush. Tower Rush is a tower defense game where you summon a series of units as you slowly accrue currency and have to try to fight back the ever-spawning waves of enemies from your opponent's tower. If you're familiar with these types of games, then you'll likely have a good idea of the basics of how Tower Rush will work, but there's also plenty that has been added to make the experience stand out.
The main gameplay for Tower Rush takes place in any of the 35 (currently planned) stages. It's your primary goal to summon units that will walk from left to right across the battlefield and do enough damage to your enemy's base to reduce its health to 0. Along the way, there's a constant tug of war as either side creates different creatures trying to be the more overwhelming force.
As time passes on the battle screen, you'll begin earning money up to a certain limit. This money can be spent on a variety of things. The obvious use of money is in summoning any of your available troops, you can also use the money to increase the limit of how many troops you can have on the field at a time, purchase artillery that does extra damage against your opponent's tower, or if you completely fill your money bar, you can upgrade it to increase how much money you can have at any time and how quickly it accumulates.
It's hard to just double down on any one of these as all are so crucial to surviving the onslaught of enemies that will begin heading your way. Tower Rush is a constant juggling act where you can weigh up your troop's progress, how many are out there, and how comfortable your side of the battle is at any point in time that will force you to decide where to spend your money. You can also summon your own Guardian, a super troop of sorts, that can help hold enemies at bay while you upgrade some of your non-offensive skills, but your opponent also has their own super monsters. While playing, the rate of side swapping in battle was extremely chaotic and even that short time with the game reinforced how even when you're feeling safe, you don't know what's coming next and you can very quickly lose your lead.
Completing combat will earn you player experience, Unit Tokens, Guardian Tokens, and Crystals. While the player experience is self-explanatory—with each level your character gains your entire army also gains some strength—Ivan even made a point to stress that you're going to feel that difference in power between a level 1 army and a level 2 army. The Unit Tokens can upgrade units specifically, while the Guardian Tokens upgrade your Guardian. As you level up, you'll also be unlocking more powerful units; it's also just another cost to be keeping an eye on during battle. The Crystals allow you to reset where you've spent your tokens; no matter where you are in the game, this will allow you to completely take your army back to the drawing board and respec them for a different strategy. It's a reassuring feeling going into a game with 18 units that you'll earn over 30 levels and plenty of units with different abilities, knowing you don't need to second guess any upgrades in case you lock yourself out of something down the line.
The most interesting feature that was highlighted was the Talent system. Completing a stage gives you the option of picking a new Bronze Tier I talent and a chance to upgrade a random Bronze Talent you already own into a Silver Talent, which increases the power of the base ability. Talents include buffs like starting each round with two free units or support units hiring cost is reduced by 14%. You only get the chance to get these new Talents the first time you complete each level. The Talent system almost adds a refreshing deck-building element to gameplay where the skills you pick can work together to build towards an army that focuses on magic users.
You could get synergy between Talents where spellcasting units have a 10% chance to double cast, while they're also purchasable at a reduced cost. Much like how you could use the crystals to reset your tokens, you can also use crystals to randomly re-roll one of your Bronze Talents, but as soon as you've upgraded a talent to Silver Tier II level you can't reroll. Once you've found that strategy that fits your playstyle best you can then double down. While in my gameplay I had access to six different kinds of troops, I mainly focused on spellcasters and ranged units due to my talents, and then would spawn a healer every now and then for support.
While this game is looking for a 2022 release, I was extremely surprised with the level of polish and that alternate game modes like the Arena, where you play until all your units die, were already implemented and fully fleshed out. Even getting dropped in 1/3 of the way through the game, the UI and controls are extremely intuitive with each of the six summonable units mapped to the 'qwerty' keys freeing up your mouse pointer for getting info on enemies, and increasing your income levels and recruit limit.
Tower Rush was previewed on Steam with a code provided by the publisher. It's projected to release sometime in 2022 on the PC via Steam.