Far From Ordinary
Tower defense is a genre that has somewhat grown on me in recent months, and among other games, it is Incursion that has been responsible. Whilst other titles such as Pokémon Tower Defense 2 from Sam and Dan games initially sparked my interest in tower defense, Incursion was my gateway drug that led to my full-blown Kingdom Rush addiction, and in spite of the unbelievable amount of spare time that the former game has cost me, it speaks volumes about the sheer quality of the game that I still regret nothing. Not only is Incursion a quality tower defense game everything that a tower defense game should be, it also offers up a little bit more than the average title. Preventing multiple enemies of various type from successfully crossing a path with your own troops may sound like standard TD procedure, but in practice, it’s far from ordinary.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Incursion is fairly reminiscent of Kingdom Rush in both function and appearance. There’s no getting away from this fact, since the two share the same fantasy-based tower defense style purely because they both stand under the same genre umbrella as each other. The basic aim is to battle and defeat waves of troops that will advance rudely across your path in an attempt to get to the other side. Indignant at this barefaced cheek, you must use your ready-stationed barracks to train one of three kinds of troop in order to put a stop to all this invasion nonsense. Unlike Kingdom Rush, however, each one of your barracks is able to train all three types of troop and can have them deployed simultaneously.
Archers, Upgrades, and Unnatural Forces
As you would fully expect in any tower defense game worth the time it takes to click the ‘new game’ button, your soldiers, archers, and sorceresses are upgradable throughout the game stages, with archers able to use different ammo such as mortars and sorceresses can summon lightning to attack the enemy. You can also upgrade your troop’s general abilities at the end of each round by using gems that are rewarded for your success; upgrades such as increasing your soldier’s armour and reducing training costs can be purchased to help with your efforts.
There are also spells that appear periodically for you to use to your advantage such as healing scrolls to heal some of your troops, or the ability to set your enemies on fire for fifteen seconds, and even a mutilation spell that deals 100 hit points of damage to each enemy on the screen. Though these feel akin to the attacks extrinsic of your troops in Kingdom Rush, they serve their purpose of adding a little more diversity to your defensive and offensive capabilities.
Your defensive efforts will be tested to their limits as you progress through the game by different enemies that each have their own particular strengths and weaknesses against your troops. Your footsoldiers will easily end the lives of the basic ‘Traitor’ enemy type, but will struggle with the ‘Dark Militia’ enemies, who are considerably more vulnerable to attacks from your sorcerers. The different characteristics of your enemies are initially fairly indistinguishable from each other but as you progress in the game the weaknesses these particular weaknesses and strengths will become more pronounced and require you to adjust your strategy by relying on different types of troop to fight against different enemies.
Though fans of Kingdom Rush are going to be in very familiar territory here, Incursion still possesses its own distinctive visual style and differentiations from its tower defense brother and is excellently continued through Incursion 2 The Artifact. The multi-troop barracks are a unique feature, as is the relatively large perimeter in which to deploy your troops. Booblyc clearly know how to produce an excellent tower defense title with characteristics of fantasy and even traces of whimsy.