April 29, 2014 3:15 PM | Lena LeRay
CrazyBits Studios has taken the tower defense genre and turned it on its head with Beware of the Horde for iPad. It's a different sort of RTS game, with limits on how many units you can have forcing you to think about what sort of units you have rather than trying to build up a massive army with which to overrun the enemy's towers.
You start the game at one end of the map with a castle to be destroyed at the other end. Your goal is to send in waves of troops to take down that final castle as fast as possible. There are a variety of obstacles in your way that must be destroyed or, in the case of locked gates, opened. Towers can all be destroyed, but many of them can be run past if your units are hearty enough. Destroying towers and other things like food carts and crates gets you more money, which can be used to purchase units.
The way purchasing units works is pretty clever. You don't buy individual units. Instead, you can build barracks on designated locations, with each barracks being able to support a set number of units. You choose which and how many units a barracks supports and produces and the barracks will take care of the rest. When a unit dies, another of the same kind takes its place and spawns outside the barracks. You can change how many of what kind of unit are being maintained by a given barracks at any time as long as you have the money. New barracks can be built if you reach a new designated barracks location with one of your units.
Some kinds of units work better against certain kinds of towers. There are slow units, fast units, hearty units and fragile ones, each dealing different kinds of damage. Finding a combination that works well is the hardest part, and knowing when you can send a single unit alone and when you need to send a whole wave at once is key to success. You have some magic to aid you, but the energy to use it regenerates slowly so timing its use is important, too.
It's worth mentioning that it's not a big game, though at a price of $2.99 it's certainly a good deal. There are 2 kinds of barracks, 8 kinds of troops (which can be upgraded), and 10 levels. The game also has good replay value for people who like to challenge themselves, since beating a level in a short time is much harder than simply beating a level is.
Beware of the Horde is currently only available for iPad, but CrazyBits Studios has plans to release it for Android in the future at an unannounced date.