A lot of people don’t know this but tower defense games really grew out of custom maps for StarCraft and Warcraft 3.
Those games were among the most popular games of the time, and there is a big modding community for each one. Basic tower defense game play revolves around protecting the building or resource that you own from wave after wave of enemies, they grow more more powerful as time goes on. These enemies are also known as creeps. The player can usually build a variety of towers to attack the creeps as they travel on the path, which is usually set path, and each group has its own strength or weakness compared to different towers.
Each type of creep will generally have its own type of armor. They will be weak to certain attacks. That will force the player to round out their strategy for building towers in a way that can deal with each type of enemy.
Certain tower defense games allow the player to construct additional towers to slow the enemy.
Real-time strategy games were the first ones to pick this up. Gamers who love RTS games love this type gameplay. The first popular standalone tower defense game was called Master Defense. It was released in 2005 by a company called Voodoo Dimension. It’s now under shareware license.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 2006 that someone decided that they would try and make tower defense games for flash.
Flash being of course, the best way at the time to run these types of games in a web application like an Internet browser. In 2007 flash Element Tower Defense was created. It was made by David Scott, who was inspired by Warcraft 3’s element tower defense. He had originally only sought out to develop his coding skills. The game ended up spreading over the Internet, in over 12000 flash gaming websites by the time David Scott realized the potential and created his own flash gaming website.
A friend of his, Paul Preece, went on to develop the next big tower defense games and had called his first Desktop Tower Defense.
The idea behind the game was to be able to create new towers that would actually allow the player to control the creeps movement through the map. This means that the creeps wouldn’t just have one set path. This game went on to be a big success in March 2007. With these two games combined, they had a really great start for their own flash gaming website.
Desktop Tower Defense won awards for strategic gameplay in 2008.
Since then, tower defense games started to appear on all kinds of different gaming platforms. Even platforms like the Nintendo DS, the PSP (PlayStation portable), or fun games coming from stores like Apple’s App Store. One called Savage Moon came out on PlayStation 3. And of course, the Xbox 360 and PC game called Defense Grid.