Ancient Planet is your typical tower defence game, but it does have a few nice features that make it stand apart from the rest.
Arguably, the best thing about this game is its art style – created in such a way that it has an almost, comic book like aesthetic. This is aided by the short art stills that are shown between each level that detail the games (limited) plot and provide hints to the player on how to defeat certain enemies.
Speaking of enemies, with tower defence there are two crucial details you must get right when designing your game: Each enemy looks unique and each tower is clearly defined and visually interesting. Ancient Planet happily delivers on both, each enemy looks great, from the ghost-like Aldurians to the heavily militarised Hamalians. Each enemy type, has it’s own tower which is better suited to taking them down: Aldurians are easily taken down with energy towers (shaped like giant floating gemstones) and Hamalians have the simple machine gun – a simple design, but still visually interesting.
The rest of the game then follows like a run-of-the-mill tower defence: You are tasked with defending ancient outposts from alien invaders. A familiar premise, but executed well through its fluid gameplay and engaging aesthetic. Ancient Planet also doesn’t take itself too seriously, a welcome break from the military style of the genre- scattered throughout are small stills, often with cartoonish characters making observational jokes about their situation, or advertisements for mock products that exist in this world (most memorably is the “IMPROVISER” advert)
One of the main downsides to creating a tower defence game, is that the genre is more or less, fully explored – Developers can do very little, in terms of creating a new and engaging experience, something that Ancient Planet also struggles with. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, if you love tower defence games, then this game is ideal, it just doesn’t push the boat out too far.
If you’re into tower defence games and fancy an addictive and engaging addition to your library then it’d be hard to find a better game than Ancient Planet, but don’t expect anything too groundbreaking.