Today's game is another Tower Defense styled flash game. However this one is incredibly unique in both it's extra elements as well as the way towers are actually built. I have to say, tho fairly complicated, GemCraft really does do flash games everywhere justice.

Man, what a game this is. Normally I never play through tutorials, but I opened a level almost right away to jump into what I thought was simply another defense game. Boy oh boy was I in for a huge surprise. This game revolutionizes TD games in a totally different way than anything before it that I have played. This game incorporates a totally new style of building towers, RPG elements that don't get in the way, and extra features galore that will make you want to keep playing. I really feel as if this is a game changer when it comes to TD games. After over 15 million plays, this game seems to still be going strong with regular updates from the author. You need to play this game, and I am about to tell you why.

Most tower defense games incorporate a few extra features, perhaps they have unique bosses, or the ability to sell towers. A few offer RPG elements and more than one map. Well this game has everything and more.

Users are to defend a wizards tower from various creatures that try and invade you. This is done by building or using towers. Towers can be used of course by adding gems into them to give them an attack as well as other important properties. Sounds complex? Well it is. This has to be the most in-depth game I have ever played. you see it takes Mana to do almost everything. From building towers to combining gems to make more powerful ones, everything takes mana. This becomes a very interresting balancing act.

Lets start at the beginning. Gems are of different colors, and can be created with varying degrees of strength. I won't discuss all combinations here, but there are gems that do everything from give you more mana per hit to poison gems. When a gem is created you have no control over the type it is... of course this is map dependent (only certain gems appear on certain maps), so you never know what you are going to get. This can become very frustrating at times, but adds a level of complexity that means you must be flexible. The next step is combining two gems of the same grade or level into one gem. The new gem will be one grade higher and have a combination of properties from the gems below it. This means the combinations can be huge.

Another interesting feature that is totally new is traps. Traps can be placed on the track of monsters, and then loaded with a gem. The gem trap will do a lot less regular damage, but will have an increased special attack. I tried never to use traps, I hate complexity for the sake of complexity, but found it was near impossible at certain levels to do that. Traps can make or break your entire defense.

The next feature this game has is small objects that control different features of the map. There are ones to prevent you from placing a turret in a given space, some will heal monsters when they reach a point. Other will discharge lightning when a gem is dropped into them. These are also very important to pay attention to as they can heavily influence the course of the game... Sometimes you can be about to face defeat and then release a static wave only to save the day.

And then there are the RPG elements. Upon completion of each stage, you gain experience towards a wizard level. Each level you get grants you more skill points to spend improving your abilities. Maybe you want more mana at the start of rounds, perhaps a cheaper way to build towers or better traps. The wide range of flexible skills really does lend the game to be multifaceted with play going a lot of different ways.

And this game gets challenging. Don't get me wrong, the first few levels and painfully easy. However after maybe 5 or 6 the game will get a lot harder and you might find yourself losing once or twice. If you get stuck on a level you can always go back and complete a previous stage over again for more experience. And most stages offer more than one mode, so for sudden death if you finish it you get triple the experience; however if one enemy gets to your tower its lights out.

Speaking of getting to your tower, that's another interesting feature. You see, instead of having a finite number of lives, this game is flexible in that each monster has an amount of mana to banish it. What that means is that when it gets to your tower, that mana is taken away from your pool and the monster cast back to where it came from. If you don't have the mana to banish it, then it is lights out.

Overall, this game has an insane amount of play depth to it. Something that can entertain for hours and hours, and with such complex play, it really is spectacular. I'd have to recommend this game to anyone, because if it's 30 minutes or 3 hours you will still enjoy the game alot.


Longevity: 5.0/5
Interface: 3.5/5
Addictiveness: 3.5/5
Sound: 3.0/5
Simplicity: 2.0/5

Overall: 3.4/5