Defense Grid: The Awakening is a 3D tower defense game released on December 9th, 2008 on the Steam platform. Additionally, a version was later released for Xbox Live Arcade on September 2, 2009. The PC version contains 20 different maps. Each map can have multiple variations on the conditions, such as making the enemies harder or reducing the amount of resources the player has access to. There is a light story narrated by the player's AI companion, which involves the destruction of human civilization by a race of interdimensional aliens, the enemies in the game.
Defense Grid is based on placing turrets of different sorts in special squares on each map to prevent the alien enemy from stealing the player's power cores. Each turret has its own amount of damage and range to attack the enemies. The enemies enter through one or two different locations and take the shortest route to the player's power generator. If the aliens make it to the generator, they steal power cores from the AI companion. The aliens will then attempt to escape with the cores by making it to an exit location. Additionally, there are airborne enemies with their own path through each level independent of the towers or level geometry. Unlike other tower defense games, you are allowed to completely block the enemy's path with towers, but doing so forces the aliens to path between the towers. This allows the player to either make paths with no towers that the enemies must go down or just cover every square to try to do even more damage.
As a Steam-powered game, Defense Grid has Steam achievements, leaderboards, and integration with other steam services. The game was on sale on steam from February 16th to March 2nd, 2009 for 25% off ($14.99), and in May 2009 as part of a weekend deal that put the game 75% off (5$). On March 3, 2010, the downloadable package originally only available to the Xbox Live Arcade entitled Borderlands which contains four new maps was released for free to Steam users.
Resurgence: A new 8 map DLC pack entitled Resurgence was released by Hidden Path Entertainment in April 2010. On Steam, the Resurgence pack actually consists of 4 downloadable map packs for $1 per pack. Each pack contains 2 maps.
You Monster: The You Monster DLC pack is more like a full expansion pack, complete with a full campaign, storyline, and guest star GLaDOS. This DLC also provides 8 new maps to play, complete with devious twists on the classic gameplay, and was released December 7, 2011.
- Gun Tower (100, 200, 400)* - This tower contains machine guns that can shoot at a single land or air target. It can be upgraded to do more damage and have a larger range. These towers are effective at depleting enemy shields.
- Inferno Tower (150, 300, 600) - This tower has a flame thrower that does area damage in the direction it is shooting. It is very effective at burning packed groups of unshielded enemies. It can be upgraded to do more damage and have a larger cone of fire.
- Laser Tower (200, 400, 800) - This tower has a laser that does continuous damage to a single enemy and sets them on fire. It can be upgraded to do more damage and have a larger range.
- Meteor Tower (250, 500, 1000)- This tower shoots a meteor at long range to do a large amount of splash damage to enemies. This cannon cannot target enemies at close range. It can be upgraded to do more damage and have a larger area of damage.
- Cannon Tower (200, 400, 800) - This tower has a high powered gun that can shoot at a single land or air target. It can be upgraded to do more damage, have a larger range, and have a higher rate of fire.
- Missile Tower (225, 450, 900) - This tower shoots missiles at long range to do high damage to airborne targets. It can be upgraded to do more damage and have a higher rate of fire.
- Temporal Tower (300, 300, 300) - This tower slows down enemies within its range. It can be upgraded to have a larger range.
- Tesla Tower (175, 350, 700)- This tower builds up an electric charge while it is not shooting and unleashes it when an enemy comes close. Subsequent continuous shots do much less damage until it has a break to charge up again. It can be upgraded to do more damage and have a higher rate of fire.
- Concussion Tower (225, 550, 1100)- This tower causes explosions all around of itself. These explosions do very little damage but can be effective in tight corners to attack large numbers of enemies. It can be upgraded to do more damage.
- Command Tower (300, 300, 300) - This tower reveals stealth enemies within it's radius and also helps with a resource collection bonus for all monsters killed within the radius. It can be upgraded to have a larger range.
* costs for each tower are in parentheses in this format (base cost | upgrade 1 | upgrade 2)
These enemies can be harmed by any weapon except missiles (that only target air units).
- Drones - Basic targets that have very little health that serve to test a tower defense system. Each can carry one core.
- Swarmer - A weak alien that arrives in large packs. Area damage weapons are very effective against these. Each can carry one core.
- Walker - Basic field unit of the aliens. Each can carry one core.
- Rhino - A more armored alien unit. Each can carry one core.
- Racer - A fast but weak alien unit. Fire damage is effective against these, after leaving weapons range they will continue to burn. Each can carry one core.
- Rumbler - A boss character that can move very fast. Fire damage is effective against it. It can carry three cores.
These enemies follow air currents to the power core (and not the roads). Air units can be damaged by guns, cannons, and missile towers. If an air unit captures a core, it is unrecoverable.
- Dart - A small flying alien with poor defense. Each can carry one core.
- Manta - A flying enemy with strong defense. Each can carry one core.
Shielded enemies are well protected against fire-based weaponry. Use guns and cannons to quickly whittle away the shield. They are vulnerable when the shield is down.
- Bulwark - Each can carry two cores.
- Spire - The shield carried by these protects nearby aliens. Each can carry three cores.
Stealthed enemies can only be detected while in range of a command tower or otherwise very close to any tower. They are still suseptible to area damage even if they are not detected.
- Lurker - Each can carry one core.
- Decoy - This enemy will stealth aliens around itself but it will remain unstealthed. Each can carry two cores.
- Seeker - An alien that opens a portal to its home world on occasion and summon another alien. The quicker they are killed the more money you will receive. Each can carry one core.
- Turtle - An enemy vehicle contains several aliens that will be released when it is destroyed. Each can carry three cores, though the aliens inside might be able to carry more.
- Crasher - A slow alien with a huge amount of armor. Each can carry three cores.
- Juggernaut - A slow shielded beast of an alien. Each can carry three cores.
A free Gamer Picture is unlocked as the demo on Xbox Live Arcade is started.
Unknown to most people who have played Defense Grid, the gun tower is the almost game-breakingly useful tower. Since it is the first tower you have access to, many assume it to be less useful as more towers become available. This couldn't be more untrue and, in reality, most of the more difficult maps can be beaten while earning a gold medal by using this tower exclusively. The main reason behind this is that it's cost-damage ratio is actually much higher than most other towers; a level 3 Gun tower is cheaper than many level 2 towers. In addition, it is the best tower versus shields.
PC System Requirements