EntwicklerX, developers of Dodge the Balls, are now offering Swamp Defense over at the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Swamp Defense is a tower defense game that pits you against mutant swamp creatures.

What makes this Windows Phone game apart from other tower defense games is that your towers are family members. Swamp Defense is a multi-level each with endless waves of monsters to crush. To read more on Swamp Defense and the family members there to help, just slide on past the break.

Keeping it in the family

Unlike other tower defense games that use armaments, towers, and other buildings to defend your interests, Swamp Defense takes advantage of distant relatives to battle the mutating swamp monsters.

The family and their specialties includes:

  • Old Flint: Slows Monsters, minimal Damage, and weapon of choice is denture adhesive.
  • Hank: High damage, shoots trough enemies and weapon of choice is the electro beam.
  • Maggie: Splash damage, much damage inflicted and weapon of choice is the kitchen appliance.
  • Buster: Moderate damage, middle range with rapid fire rate and weapon of choice is the pistol.
  • Little Joe: Long range, incredible and wide spread damage with the weapon of choice being the rocket launcher.

Each family member will cost you to put into place and you can have multiple family members of the same type (distant cousins? clones?) on the playing field. You start each level with a pre-determined amount of cash and as you take out monsters, you earn more cash.

The monsters parade across the screen on a winding path (as if monsters would never stray from the designated path) and you job is to place family members along the path to prevent the monsters from making it to the other side. If a monster makes it across, you loose a heart/life (indicated at the top of the screen). Lose all your hearts and the game is over.

Setting up the defenses

To set up your defenses you simply tap and hold an area next to the path and a menu will appear with icons for the various family members with the cost needed to enlist their help. Tap the icon and the family member will be firmly rooted in place.

At any point in the game you can re-position or upgrade your family members. Tapping a family member will pull up a menu giving you the option of cashing in on the member (partial refund on services rendered) that will allow you ot re-position them or giving their weapons of choice a boost (naturally at a cost).

As the monsters come into range, the family members will automatically fire upon the creatures. Swamp Defense has eight monster types that vary in speed and strength. In placing your family members, keep in mind that certain family members match up nicely with certain monsters. For example, place Old Flint in a position close to where the monsters enter the screen. He'll slow down the faster moving monsters with his denture adhesive so the others will have a better chance of taking them out.

Game Play

Swamp Defense was fun to play. The animations and graphics are nicely done with no glitches or bugs experienced once the game gets running. I did have an occasional crash while loading Swamp Defense but the frequency wasn't enough to have me throw in the towel.

The key to Swamp Defense, as with any tower defense game, is properly placing your towers/family members. Once you earn enough cash, spend it to build up your defenses. The further you progress in the level, the faster the monsters storm the screen.

Overall Impression

Swamp Defense grew on me. My first impression was "oh no, not another tower defense game!" but after playing Swamp Defense for a while, the game developed an addictive quality to it. It's not a game that I'd seek out to kill an hour with but one that will easily make a fifteen minute wait more enjoyable.

Settings are minimal (mute symbol on the main menu) and there are plenty of levels to keep this game from getting stale. I like the twist with using family members as towers. All that is missing is the hootin' and hollerin' when the family members take out a swamp monster.

If you like tower defense games or are just looking for a game to pass the time with, Swamp Defense is worth checking out. Swamp Defense is a free game is running $.99 with a free trial available.  You can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.