Steampunk Tower 2 describes itself as an action-strategy game, but it actually feels and plays a lot like a pretty unique take on the Tower Defense genre. Instead of having to build a maze for your enemies to traverse through, like in most tower defense games, in Steampunk Tower 2 you play as the Commander of a Steampunk Tower, a superstructure that is dropped into the middle of the battlefield, and which is equipped with multiple turrets to defend itself against numerous waves of enemies.
The game takes place in an alternate timeline where a steampunk Europe has been waging war against the Cult and the forces of those that have fallen into their domain. The player and a bunch of other prominent characters are the last hope to fight off this evil organization and restore peace to the world. Thanks to the fact that you can drop your Steampunk Tower from the air in pretty much any place, you engage the Cult in a series of guerrilla-style tactics, striking deep and hard at core Cult facilities and retaking them for your cause.
The core gameplay of Steampunk Tower 2 revolves around managing your operations on the world map and in your secret base and obviously fighting in each mission. While the management side of the game is surprisingly relevant for a game of this genre, the combat is still where the main focus of the game is at. As mentioned previously, each battle starts with your Steampunk Tower being dropped into the battlefield, placing itself on the ground like a gigantic metal stake. As soon as it hits the ground, the tower expands upwards, making room for several platforms where your turrets will automatically place themselves.
This might sound rather simple, as one of the biggest appeals of Tower Defense games is usually the ability to place the turrets yourself where you see fit, but here, during combat, thanks to the fact that there are multiple enemy classes that are weaker against certain types of turrets, you’re forced to move your turrets around in real-time. This is done by simply clicking and dragging the turret you want to move to a free platform, which I found to be a unique twist. The ability to move your turrets around in the heat of battle really allows for some unique combinations of firepower, especially given the fact that you’re getting attacked from both sides of the tower, and having to deal with waves of enemies that feature a wide range of enemy types makes it so that you might have to constantly move a specific type of turret from one side to the other.
The enemy variety is decent enough to make it so that micromanaging your turrets during battle is a must, especially since each turret has limited ammunition and needs to reload once it runs out, and this process can be sped up by moving them to the central column of the tower. Still, while there are certain enemies that look different from each other, they still fit into one of several categories. For instance, there are standard foot soldiers and aircraft that are best handled with machine gun turrets, while armored targets and robots are more susceptible to cannon and thunder turrets fire respectively. Nonetheless, I must say that even though I would’ve liked to see more enemy types, I understand why things are such as they are right now, and I believe that most people who will play the game will feel the same way.
As for the management side of things, this is where the game changes things by quite a bit when compared to your average Tower Defense game, and in doing so it makes the whole gameplay loop much more engaging and interesting. As you progress through the main story missions, you’ll unlock new territories all throughout Europe, which will also grant you access to new side-missions and challenges that can provide additional resources to your cause. The more you territories that you liberate, the more you’ll also have to keep an eye out on the map, as the Cult will attempt to recapture territories by sending their armies, which you’ll have to fight back.
The moment I first saw our secret base was when I realized what other great twists the game had in store. Here the player will be able to upgrade their Tower by unlocking new floors, upgrade their turrets with passive upgrades but also change them entirely by applying specific items that you can find on Cult controlled factories on the map. By completing missions you’ll also gain access to new technologies, new turrets, and upgrades, new abilities, as well as new places where you can send your agents. Besides the main combat missions, there are also these agent missions which you can use to gain Etherium, one of the game’s most valuable resources, but these have don’t really require any input from the player’s part.
The more I played the more I felt like the management aspect of the game was very reminiscent of free-to-play mobile games, which I guess might have something to do with the first game, which was a free flash game that you could play on your browser. This was mostly due to the fact that things such as sending your agents on missions and getting gold rely on a real-time mechanic. However, in everything else, the game definitely doesn’t share that feeling of being a free title.
Overall, I must say that I was really surprised by Steampunk Tower 2 in terms of gameplay, as I found myself saying that I would only play one more mission over and over, and this went on for a few hours. The game has a pretty cool looking steampunk aesthetic, it seems to be a bugless experience, and you can expect to have about 20 hours worth of gameplay here, which is quite the bargain given the game’s price. Still, at the end of the day, this is a mindless game and I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of people will find it repetitive because you’re pretty much playing the same level over and over. Either way, if you’re looking for a pretty unique take on the Tower Defense genre, this will most likely be something right up your alley, as long as you don’t expect a great deal of complexity nor a great story.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.