PSP Minis Review – Vector TD

March 7, 2010 Written by Paulmichael Contreras

When it comes to tower defense games, there are only a few available on Sony’s PSP Mini service. Vector TD has recently joined the fray in North America. How well does this popular Flash game port fair?

Eight maps with varying difficulty.

The game appears simple at first, but upon closer inspection, there is plenty of depth to be had. There are seven different types of enemies, called “Vectoids.” These enemies are of various colors and, as their name suggests, they are vector shapes. The entire game actually has a unique art style that fits quite nicely with this genre of games.

Things start out simple...

In addition to seven different types of enemies, there are 11 different types of towers in four categories: green, red, purple and blue. Each of these tower types can attack any type of Vectoid, but some towers fair better than others against a certain-colored Vectoid, and some fair worse. For example, the red towers do 150% damage to red “Shredder” Vectoids, but they only do 50% damage to green “flyer” Vectoids. Each tower color has three increasingly deadly (and expensive) towers, except the blue towers which only have two different variations. These towers can be upgraded once placed, up to level 10. If all of this sounds complex, the game does a very good job of using screen real estate and you can easily figure out what tower is going to be needed for an upcoming wave of enemies.

Which targeting strategy should be used here?

What adds a bit more to the strategy aspect of this game is that you can set each tower’s attack mode. For example, placing towers near the exit of the level set to target the weakest enemy (the one with the least amount of health left) will reduce the number of lives you lose should the wave of enemies break through your towers closer to the entrance.

Bonus earned!

While you earn money for every destroyed enemy, occasionally a yellow bonus ring comes into play. Destroy that and you earn a bonus point. These can be spent on one of two upgrade towers, which don’t attack enemies but boost either the damage or range of nearby towers. You can also spend your bonus points to raise your interest rate, which increases the amount of money you receive for each enemy destroyed, or on an extra five lives.

Nice score - too bad it won't stick.

All of this adds up to a solid tower defense game to play on the go. Since it is a PSP Mini, it can also be played on the PS3 and looks just fine on a large screen. However, there are a few blemishes on this otherwise polished game that must be addressed. It does not appear to track high scores for the different maps you can play on. Once your game is over, you just restart or choose a new map. Also, the music, while a fittingly bumping soundtrack, does tend to wear thin after a few waves of enemies.

Hectic!

The bottom line is that fans of the tower defense genre should definitely give this title a go. Even people who only occasionally play this type of game should consider picking this up due to the variation in towers and almost RPG-like interactions between them and the Vectoids. If you are not a fan of the genre and hate strategy games, however, this likely will not change your mind. The lack of a high-score system really hurts this game, but for a quick diversion when you’re out and about or just lounging on the patio at home, at a perfect price of $3.99 USD, you get a lot of entertainment for the price of one breakfast.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Tower defense fans will not be disappointed

Good amount of depth

No high-score functionality

 

9 out of 10