Another day, another tower defence game. It’d be easy to write off Beware Planet Earth without giving it as much as a glance, after all gamers are bombarded with tower defence rips on a daily basis, with almost all of them playing like the exact same game as the next. Surprisingly, Beware Planet Earth isn’t one of these games, and while some of it might feel a little familiar, for the most part it’s a breath of fresh air in a stagnant genre of repetition.
On boot you’d be forgiven if you’d thought you had loaded a PopCap game; it looks (and sometimes plays) like it’s a spinoff of the Plants VS Zombies series. The character design, the way you manage resources and even the title screen have a whiff of the tower defence classic about them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, and although it borrows heavily, Beware Planet Earth feels more like a spiritual successor to the original rather than a third party rip off.
As with almost all tower defence titles, you’re tasked with stopping the march of waves of enemies as they travel predetermined paths to reach their goal. The spin this time is that the enemy aliens are trying to make it to your herd of cows, and if they reach them and get them back to their ship, its game over for you. A variety of towers and abilities are at your disposal, and you’ll need every one of them to fight off the many (and frankly silly) enemies you’ll face. From super-fast ninja aliens to beefed up armoured extra-terrestrials, they’re all here to test your defensive capabilities, and to give
you a smirk too.
You can play the game on an easy mode, but if you’re used to the genre you’ll want to jump straight in with veteran mode which pits you against much tougher enemies, making it easier for them to steal your cows and much harder for you to stop them. The latter part of the game is a challenge regardless, with multiple and much tougher enemies coming from different start points, you’ll be frantically dropping as many towers as you can to keep them at bay.
Unlocks come in steadily, and you’re never too far away from something new to keep you engaged, whether it’s a new bad guy to fight, a new tower or a new ability to use on the battlefield, the game rewards players for their commitment. The most useful tool comes not long after your journey begins, and you’ll be putting the ray gun to use much later on too. You can use it to reduce an enemy’s health by pointing and clicking it on a bad guy, making it a useful tool during the heat of the battle. You have limited use though, and once it’s gone you’ll have to wait for it to recharge, but it’s nice to feel like you’re having a direct effect on the gameplay, something most tower defences forget to include.
The one gripe I really have with Beware Planet Earth is that you can tell it was optimised for tablet use; it plays and looks like it belongs on an IPad, and it’s distracting seeing the black borders that wouldn’t exist on a handheld system. It’s only a small issue though, and the otherwise visually pleasing world is still a joy to see. It’s a game that is bright and full of character, and there’s enough map and enemy variation to stop it feeling repetitive.
Beware Planet Earth is a fun and pretty tower defence that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s full of quirky characters and boasts an absurd sense of humour, and the quality continues to flow through its 40+ levels. For fans of the genre you’ll have seen this before, but Beware Planet Earth has a lot of charm that even major game developers fail to capture from time to time. If you’re going to bite the bullet and pick this up though, grab it on a device it is fully optimised for, something tells that Beware Planet Earth would play even better on a touch screen device on the move than it does behind a computer screen.
REVIEW CODE: true staff A complimentary code was to Brash Games for this review. the publishers in any way whatsoever. For all review code enquiries, please use the contact form.
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