Broken Universe Tower Defense might have you sitting on the wall at first, notably due to the interface/controls, but once you get past that, blasted a few waves and sourced your ore, it grows on you. In a good way, mind.
Using a wall as a point of reference once again, I hit it early on when reviewing this game from RedDeer Games. As a huge fan of tower defence games (and also fond of the publisher and how prolific they are with bringing indies to the Nintendo Switch), it was one of the games I was most looking forward to of the recent bunch of Switch titles (their other game, worth checking out, is reky). But those controls are just so cumbersome.
Broken Universe Tower Defense’s premise is a little forgettable. You play as Roco the raccoon and have to save your girlfriend, travelling a fair amount of planetary systems along the way. It’s a story that could easily have been omitted and still been a decent game, but there you go. At the start of each level, you’ll have to decide where to send out your ship, which will retrieve resources to place new defence systems, and ultimately get you on the right path to recusing your gal.
Broken Universe Tower Defense Switch Review
In games such as Kingdom Rush, you’ll be awarded coins after each wave, with a bonus here and there. Here is slightly different as your income continually flows through, pending you protect your assets. Your ship will automatically gather these resources – you must survive all the waves until the timer runs up and you fly to safety. This is where the tower defence element kicks in, as you can place each turret in the way of the incoming waves.
There are the typical turrets that target specific enemy types, introducing new technology as you progress. Equally, you can continue to upgrade and restore turrets on the fly using additional drones. There is a limited amount per level, and while having more will ultimately unlock the power of multitasking, they run slower, so a strategy is advised. Speaking of strategies, one of the standouts of Broken Universe Tower Defense is the way you can manipulate the path of each wave.
At the start of a level, there will be a countdown until the first wave, indicating the line they will take. After placing your striking structures, you can opt for blocks such as walls. The moment you go to position these, an updated ‘marching line’ shows, allowing you to redirect traffic towards your heavy hitters and environmental obstacles you can use to your advantage. This is a great mechanic and makes for some exciting gameplay, though there are enemies that will do their own thing, including the ridiculously-sized bosses.
Binding Is Key
Now to balance this out and to address that point at the beginning, the controls in the game are awkward. The bindings switch with various screens, and it’s easy to make a mistake – sometimes costing you a stage or two. Broken Universe Tower Defense uses as many buttons on the Switch as possible, and you’ll be switching (heh) between the shoulder buttons, d-pad and standard buttons throughout. Though there’s a legend on each icon, it’s overly cluttered, and errors will inevitably be made. The solution? Play in handheld mode and use the touchscreen. This is one of the best games to play on the screen. I seldom do that, but it’s better than the button layout.
But that’s the biggest negative of the game, and should you get past that (solution above), there’s a LOT of game for your money here. Developed by Jintree Studio, the game looks at home on the Nintendo Switch, if not on mobile devices as well. The visuals are nice, despite how small they are, and irrespective of how crazy it can get (a good thing!), it’s nice to look at and ignore my comment on the button bindings and their legends; the actual gameplay window eventually makes sense. The menus are a bit naff, but you don’t play menus, do you?
So, the question is whether Broken Universe Tower Defense is worth getting. Yep. If you can tolerate the controls (which admittedly deterred me initially), it soon grows on you, and you can appreciate just how good this is. It isn’t easy to stand out in the genre as they’re all fundamentally the same, but in context, it’s a recommendation from me to anyone who likes a tower defence title. Just be mindful of the controls and interface, and if that doesn’t bother you, go check it out on the Nintendo Store – it’s totally worth the price.