Tower defense games have been a staple in the gaming world since games have been around — remember Space Invaders?
While the "towers" in the games can take on many forms, the act of defending something by using your cunning wit and excellent strategy never cease to be entertaining.
Here are my favorite tower defense games available on your iPhone and iPad!
Kingdom Rush, and its collection of sequels exemplify fine-tuned, slick design found in the tower defense genre. Although the medieval aesthetic doesn't stand out from the crowd, this game buries a lot of complexity under the hood, allowing for a diverse range of tactics rather than just one winning strategy.
Although there are plenty of Kingdom Rush games out there, the "OG" Kingdom Rush is still my favorite.
Star Wars: Force Arena
I know someone named Luke recommending a Star Wars game may seem cliché, but even I was skeptical of Star Wars: Force Arena when it was first released. However, after playing it — a lot I may add — it quickly changed my mind.
The objective in Star Wars: Force Arena is pretty straightforward. Using a deck of six different cards — plus one leader — you spawn different units onto the battlefield in hopes of taking down your opponent's "towers" — three turrets and one shield generator. Each round lasts three minutes and whoever takes out the most towers wins, unless someone takes out the opposing shield generator, which causes them to win the match, regardless of how many turrets they have destroyed.
The leader cards are all famous characters from the Star Wars universe — Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Jyn Erso, and Orson Krennic to name some — and they honestly give this MOBA a different flavor than you find in other titles.
With a ton of different cards that you can power up and a vast amount of leaders to choose from, you can have hours and hours of fun regardless of what side of The Force you prefer to use.
Green the Planet
In all my years of gaming, I still have yet to find a game as charming as Green the Planet.
The cute setting makes for a compelling spin: You play as a band of aliens fighting to terraform and protect a planet, fending off meteors and decomposing comets in order to keep your future home (or humanity's future home?) safe from preemptive destruction.
Its much lighter and slower paced game than a lot of others in the genre, making it actually claiming to play, which is a nice change from the frantic battle-heavy themes most tower defense games have.
Plants vs. Zombies
It's hard not to give credit to Plant vs. Zombies for the popularity of tower defense titles on the iPhone and iPad, because Plants vs. Zombie is so massively popular and iconic for good reason.
Zombies slowing shuffle towards your house and you'll need to plant, flowers and other vegetation to fight them off. Don't let the cartoony graphics and bright and cheery visuals throw you off, this game can get fast, frantic, and difficult in the later levels.
Once again, Plants vs. Zombies has spawned multiple sequels and spin-offs, but the original is still my favorite.
If you've grown tired of Clash of Clans gameplay but still love the characters and world that the folks at Supercell have created, you should definitely check out Clash Royale. Unlock and upgrade troops, build your battle deck, and take on real-life opponents in real-time battles.
Join or create a clan and share cards and strategies with friends from around the world. You'll need to employ quick thinking and genuine strategy to win, so you'll be compelled to keep tweaking your decks by working in new cards. In-app purchases will be tempting and are essentially required to reach the upper echelons of the leaderboards, but there's still tons of fun to be had playing Clash Royale without spending a dime, and Supercell has done a great job supporting the game with updates and balancing.
Much like Star Wars: Force Arena, Clash Royale is a MOBA, meaning you play against real players!
Of course, my list can't cover all the great tower defense games out there, so let me know what your favorites are by commenting down below!
Updated May 2018: Completely revamped the list with newer titles and familiar classics!
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