Pikachu is probably one of the most widely-recognised names of all the fictional characters of the modern age, which is almost certainly a direct result of the immense popularity of the Pokémon franchise. Trading Cards, Movies, long-running cartoons, and a hugely successful video game series: you name it, they have it.
It is probably this success, and also Sam Otero’s love for the game, that inspired him to create ‘Pokémon Tower Defense’, a Pokémon-based tower defense game that itself became extremely popular, so much so that the sequel, Pokémon Tower Defense 2: Generations is now in existence and is more popular than ever. The game is a hugely-addictive Pokémon experience that takes you back to its GameBoy days, and incorporates the tower defense format into the heart of the battles.
The idea of Pokémon Tower Defense 2: Generations is primarily based around its story mode in which you must battle with and capture a huge variety of Pokémon from all of the different generations that the main series games currently have on offer. This huge range of Pokémon is one of the many features that make the game so addictive and also so consistently entertaining. You battle with opponents (both wild and other trainers) by placing your Pokémon (which are the towers) in the different battle squares on the screen where they automatically use one of four of their possible attacks. They become stronger and learn different attacks as they battle by gaining experience points. Your Pokémon progress in an identical fashion to the main games, and this is perhaps why the game has such wide appeal.
The Pokémon level up, learn different status-changing and damage-dealing moves, evolve, get stronger, and even have different abilities like their main-game equivalents. The most important aspect of the Pokémon also dictates the likely outcome of each battle, and that is the particular type of each of your Pokémon in relation to its opponent. Pokémon fans will be familiar with the concept of water beating fire, electric beating fire types and psychic types being vulnerable to bug-type Pokémon. All of the 17 types have their different levels of effectiveness and weaknesses against one another, making much of the strategy focused on your choice of Pokémon type, rather than the positioning and upgrading of your towers as is the case in standard tower defense games.
The game also has a number of other features that enhance the experience such as 1 vs 1 mode where you get to go up against a variety of different Pokémon trainers and their Pokémon by using a limited selection of creatures and items as you go. There is also a Pokécenter where you can breed your Pokémon to produce offspring, and also a trading section where you can swap out your Pokémon for ones that you desire from other players. The weekly mystery gift giveaway also allows you to pick up a shiny Pokémon every week. The game truly has an online community that brings the whole experience together, and because the game is updated on a weekly basis, there is always something new to experience.
Pokémon Tower Defense 2 is quite simply a master class in how originality can flourish in the tower defense genre. The huge range of Pokémon up for grabs as well as the frequent updates means that the gameplay is never in danger of stagnating, and the 8-bit graphics and chiptune music give the whole game a stylish dimension that very few titles have these days.