Autobot Stronghold: Transformers Tower Defense

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A Well Derived Story - Autobot Stronghold

The main plot for Autobot Stronghold is pretty straightforward; you (nameless player) command the Autobots and will have to defend the stronghold against the enemy Decepticons. In case you have no clue what those things mean, the Autobots are big giant transforming robots (they transform from giant humanoid robots to regular sized vehicle forms), also, they are the good guys. The Decepticons are also giant transforming robots just like the Autobots, only they are really evil and they want to take over the world.

As to what is inside the base that the Decepticons are exactly after, we do not necessarily know, but since it is common enough plot staple for the antagonist to attack the base of a protagonist, we really are not going to argue against the sensibility of this plot. Now that we have discussed that, let us get on with the heart of the game.

A Tower Defense Game by any Other Name

This is a tower defense game in its truest and simplest form. Take away all the advertising layers, the branding, and the fancy names: you have a base, you set up defenses, and you blow every single opponent that comes through into tiny little bits using massively powerful explosions. The game is raw, hardcore tower defense, and no matter if you love the movies or not, this is a solid game to play.

Enemies stream in from a variety of locations from the right side of the stage –most of which converge into a single ground based path towards the stronghold. The only path is through the skies –which is a straightforward path but is only exclusive for flying enemies. As one would expect, you would need to provide defenses for both the ground the sky above. Your defenses come in the form of robots like Bumblebee and Ironhide –each with their own attack powers and specialties, while you can always do a bit of trial and error, know that this game can be very unforgiving with players who experiment.

There is only one main stage in the game, while you do have to fend off 50 waves worth of enemy robots of varying shapes and sizes, in the end, this is a game that you will need to finish in a single sitting, though it may be one long sitting at that (we certainly do not recommend playing this game during your lunch break since it usually takes more than an hour to finish).

As we said, the game is unforgiving, the resources you use, sparks –are pretty scarce. While enemy units do award them upon destruction, you only earn a few, this means that every Autobot that you place and every upgrade that you purchase has to be carefully planned. The worst part is that this is not evident during the first 20 waves of the game or so, which means that it is possible to be at near the last few waves and still have an enemy setup infiltrate the base due to bad planning. This actually takes a way a bit of fun from the game since it also means that there are only a few combinations that will actually get you through the entirety of all 50 waves with the best record possible. With that said, those with a competitive streak in their blood will find that the global ranking system has some rather close-matched top scores. If this is the kind of thing you enjoy, then this game should be worth a whirl.

Looks Like the Movies

The design of the game closely matches that of the movies, with plenty of the torn up urban landscapes and the pseudo-organic machines that are the Transformers serving as both the defense towers and also as the attackers. Surprisingly, there is a serious lack of human military presence in the game (which is a surprise since they play such vital roles in the actual movies). Since we are not fans of the movies, this is not much of an issue, though those who actually liked the movies may find this lack of consistency a little striking.

Anyway, it all looks actually good from a game perspective. Each tower type looks unique and representative of the actual robot. And the addition of some rather well made animations for turning and attacking help add to the fun of the experience. The enemy units, on the other hand, are given nicely detailed movement animations –and each one is distinctive of the character being portrayed.

Speaking of details, players will certainly appreciate that the game is actually easy to figure out from a visual perspective. While some of the text details when upgrade are a little hard to read from the really small text, the rest of the interface is actually pretty decent and functional. The stage layout seems to have been made to be intentionally confusing, but we have to admit that the quasi-randomness of enemy spawn points makes for a good game (though after you play through 50 waves a couple of times, the directions start becoming predictable).

The music is a little better –that is, for a single stage game. It does not get in the way but it is still fun to listen to during the game. The sound effects on the other hand are fun to listen to. Sure, some of the explosions and beam effects sound a little campy, but it all comes together as a cohesive piece that makes up for an enjoyable reason to keep the speakers on.

The Verdict

While the base material of this game, the Bayformers movies, are hardly anything to rejoice about; the actual game is rather good. So the bottom line here is that tower defense purists and fans of the movies alike will certainly have something to like about this game. Casual players might want to take a pass however since the challenge level of this game has an unnervingly brutal curve near the last ten waves. Putting that aside however, it certainly makes for a pretty good TD title. The graphics are efficient and well designed, the music matches the game well, the actual gameplay makes for a solid tower defense title and the control are as simple as they could possibly be. Autobot Stronghold may not be for everyone, but you should at least give it a try before passing it up. We give this game a high flying Starscream’s 85/100.