M.A.C.E Tower Defense for Nintendo Switch
Nintendo eShop has become a treasure trove of indie games for the Switch. I stumbled across a couple of decent ones last year – Dawn of Survivors and Mad Carnage to name but a few. After spotting M.A.C.E Tower Defense on the eShop over the Xmas break, I decided to give it a try. I must admit to having a bit of a soft spot for tower defense type games. Especially that brilliant browser flash game Warzone Tower Defence. I spent absolutely ages strategically laying out mines and placing cannons to direct the enemies movements. Loads of fun!
M.A.C.E Tower Defense was created by indie developer EntwicklerX. The game was originally released in 2014 for mobile devices, later released on Steam and ported to Nintendo Switch in 2019. The setting of the game as described by the developer is;
“Military Alliance of Common Earth – Founded after the first alien invasion on earth in the year 2054. M.A.C.E. is the epitome of the new cohesion of all peoples of the earth to fight against the aliens to serve life on earth in a military path.”
M.A.C.E Tower Defense takes the standard approach to the tower defense genre. Enemies attempt to bypass your variety of defensive towers, which you purchase and upgrade with each wave of aliens increasing in number and strength.
Enemies follow a fixed path from map entry and aim towards the exit. For each enemy that successfully passes though your defenses, one of your 10 lives are lost. Usually it is sufficient to allow the towers to auto aim at the waves of enemies, however this often means weaker aliens are targeted when densely packed. In these situations it is beneficial to manually select the tower and control the aim at the more powerful enemy within range. Mines and ‘road blocks’ can also be placed on the path to damage and slow the enemy progress.
Although it is not exactly clear within the shop menu, most individual towers are able to be upgraded in terms of base range, power and fire rate. Additional items can be unlocked which can further increase the power and range of nearby towers, however these can be expensive to purchase, especially when attempting to manage the oncoming attacks.
Sometimes a useful strategy is to sell an earlier placed tower to fund an upgrade or purchase a stronger wepon. In earlier waves you must pay close attention to your available money. Starting with $300 allows for two machine guns to be placed on the map, and working towards fully upgraded rocket towers seems to be a tactic which work well. You will end up having to grind some of the earlier levels to build up money for upgrades however.
I’m not usually one to complain that loading screens are too short, however gameplay tips that pop up between screen flash across so quickly its very difficult to read them. A few other small issues are spelling mistakes in menus and description texts, plus it would also be useful to have a little extra information about the different enemy types.
The sound effects for tower weapons work well, even when multiple different types are firing simultaneously. Slowly building cinematic style background music fits well with the game setting, however abruptly restarts at the end of its loop with a poor transition before the track begins again. One aspect of the sound design which I found strange was a ‘Steam Train Whistle’ type sound that indicates the wave of enemies contains a larger boss alien. This just feels out of place.
Despite some negative aspects, M.A.C.E Tower Defense is a fun game to pick up and play, each level last approximately 10 minutes, which is ideal if you’re wanting to play on the go. It’s got some decent replay value too if you try and fully upgrade and unlock all weapons. There are no microtransactions, which is always a nice thing to see on a budget game.
The game is lacking in some areas which I’ve mentioned, however these are quite minor things which could be improved upon. Unfortunately M.A.C.E Tower Defense didn’t quite scratch the tower defense itch I was hoping for. I’m away to find the Warzone game to play online.
More information about the game can be found at developer EntwicklerX website.
M.A.C.E Tower Defense is available to download from Nintendo eShop:
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