Steampunk Tower 2 (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Tower defense
Developer: Dreamgate
Publisher: Drageus Games
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Steampunk Tower 2 (Switch) – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Customizable strategic gameplay with decent level of depth
Bad: Audio quality leaves a lot to be desired
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Are you a fan of tower defense games? Steampunk? Perhaps both? If you answered yes to any of that, then it might be your lucky day. You probably guessed it from the title: Steampunk Tower 2 combines the venerable sci-fi subgenre with the classic gameplay we all know and love. Add in a dash of additional strategic depth, and hopefully, you’ll end up with a game that is worth your time and money. So how does Steampunk Tower 2 size up?

Story

Set in an alternate history version of 1800s Europe, a great war is waged between the Free Nations and the mysterious Cult. As the opening dialogue explains, things are looking bleak for the Free Nations, with the Cult using their military superiority and technological advances to subdue their opposition. Not everything is lost, however: lord Bertram Bingham is gathering the best and brightest minds to mount a final assault on the Cult using a secret weapon, the Steampunk Tower. As one of Bingham’s recruits, it is up to you to take charge of the resistance and deal with the Cult once and for all. 

Graphics

The game makes good use of steampunk aesthetics, with an attractive 2D graphical style. The comic book styled story sequences work for the most part, although the character portraits were presented in a lower resolution than the rest of the game, which irked us somewhat. It’s a bit of a shame too, because the character designs themselves aren’t bad at all. The game looks good during the battles, with a consistent frame rate and pleasing visual effects, such as cool-looking explosions. Where it really shined, however, was in the secret base sections. The world looks gorgeous here, with fantastic details and beautiful maps that really get your imagination running. 

Sound

Things do fall a bit flat when it comes to the game’s sound. We’re not quite sure what went wrong here but the game’s audio quality didn’t feel up to par. This was especially apparent with the music, which sounded subdued and flat, but the game’s audio effects weren’t too crisp either. It was almost as if the game’s audio files had been overcompressed, resulting in a dramatic decline in quality. It’s a bit of a shame really, as the game’s OST has some good music. The game also lacks voice acting, although that’s not a huge miss. 

Gameplay

As the title indicates, Steampunk Tower 2 is a tower defense game, although there are a couple of clever twists on the classic tower defense formula. As commander of the Free Nations, you’ll run operations from a secret base, located in Spain. This base serves as a hub area and it is from here that you will launch missions. The aim of these missions is not only to take down any members of the Cult present, but also to obtain the rare resource known as Etherium. Etherium serves as a fuel of sorts and enables you to optimize your arsenal. The titular Steampunk Tower is your main weapon and can be customized to your heart’s content. Optimizing the Steampunk Tower is the key to defeating the Cult. 

Upon starting a mission, you’ll deploy the Steampunk Tower and begin a battle. At this point, enemies will start attacking from either side. Any turrets equipped will automatically fire but they will need to be reloaded. While this also happens automatically, it’s a very slow process and if you want to survive the game, one of your key tasks is to reload manually. Strategy and timing are very important here, as turrets are disabled whilst reloading, even manually. Battles can be frenetic and fast-paced affairs where you’ll feel like you’re juggling the turrets around, and correctly managing the turrets is the key to winning the missions. There are a variety of different missions available, and they are set all over Europe and Russia. Missions are color-coded for your convenience so that you are able to tell their importance. Story missions are marked in red and are the most important. Missions marked in yellow are optional and will provide extra rewards such as money and Etherium. Finally, missions marked in blue offer more difficult challenges that reward unique weapons that cannot be obtained elsewhere. 

Meanwhile secret base offers a wealth of strategic options and seasoned players will enjoy managing these, though the amount of content might feel a bit overwhelming. It is here that you’ll purchase new structures and facilities, manage resources such as money and Etherium and build and upgrade turrets which can then be mounted in the Steampunk Tower. While the secret base is essentially a hub area, it is also of the utmost importance in developing strategies and ensuring you have the right tools for the job. More often than not, a mission is won or lost based on the preparations made at the secret base. 

Overall, there is plenty of fun to be had with Steampunk Tower 2’s strategic gameplay. The campaign will take you roughly 15 hours to complete, and you can tack on another 5 to that if you’re a completionist. While the aforementioned challenge missions can be frustratingly difficult if you don’t have the right tools for the job, they can be overcome when you have built up your arsenal and completing them is just very satisfying. Just be warned that this is a game about carefully considering and managing your options: if you’re looking for a game where you can just jump into the action without a plan and hope you’ll survive, then Steampunk Tower 2 might not be for you.

Conclusion

While Steampunk Tower 2 could have used some polish, especially when it comes to audio quality and crispness of character portraits, we were still pleasantly surprised by this tower defense game. The strategic depth provided by the secret base mechanics provides a refreshing and unique take on the genre, and the missions can feel difficult at times but never unfairly so. If you’re a tower defense fan, you owe it to yourself to check out Steampunk Tower 2. 

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Steampunk Tower 2 (Switch) - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats


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