Grow Tower – Appealing yet Uninspiring

Sep 28, 2017
Arcade

Grow Tower is the latest in tower defence games that has the player defend their meagre castle from an unending horde of monsters and bosses.

Taking clear inspiration from Kingdom Rush, Grow Tower takes the gameplay of the common genre of tower defence to the two-dimensional side scroller.

You start with a single hero, a scant pile of defences and the ability to buy a couple of archers. As the enemies attack, your heroes battle them using their normal attacks and infrequent, activated abilities and your archers shoot them for all their worth.

As you somehow manage to win against the waves of enemies, Grow Tower rewards you with gold and ore, with which the former can be used to buy upgrades and more units, while the latter buys towers.

As you continue to progress, you start layering your defence with a myriad of towers, some to damage, others to freeze and still more to provide continuous low damage at a long range. These towers are supplemented by up to three heroes that can be exchanged with new heroes gained through even more playing.

These towers are supplemented by up to three heroes that can be exchanged with new heroes gained through even more playing.

The game mechanics of Grow Tower aren’t anything especially new; tower defense games have existed for as long as the internet made flash games possible. It’s a tried and tested gameplay system, requiring only a small amount of creative difference from other games of the same type. As long as it’s got towers and enemies to shoot them at, it’s probably going to be okay.

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However, to make anything really great, it needs to take a step above the rest; it needs to represent a decision to make something truly worthwhile, either with a changed way of playing the game or entirely new game concepts.

The real question that needs to be asked when considering Grow Tower is: does it do this? Does it do something truly different and unique, add something special, an “X-Factor”, that makes the gameplay superior to other games of the same genre?

The sad – and somewhat expected answer – is no. Grow Tower doesn’t really add anything new or especially exciting, it’s basically the same gameplay system as other tower defense games, just with its own ascetic.

Grow Tower doesn't really add anything new or especially exciting, it's basically the same gameplay system as other tower defense games, just with its own ascetic.

This doesn’t make Grow Tower bad, though. Just because it’s not something truly unique and wonderful, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own merits. The music and artwork for the game are both excellent, enrapturing the player sufficiently to keep them playing and firing on enemies. The tower diversity and way it introduces them to the player keeps everything interesting and the gameplay fresh.

Is Grow Tower going to be the next big thing, the Kingdom Rush replacement? No, but Grow Tower still manages to be a fundamentally fun and enjoyable game despite this.

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It’s not incredible, but it definitely does its job. It’s fun, somewhat engrossing and possesses an element of strategy.
As long as any game has those three qualities, it will do just fine.

Grow Tower: Castle Defender TD
Grow Tower: Castle Defender TD
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