Beneath your castle an enemy lies waiting. Grab your shovel and prepare your defenses!
Dig deep into the ground and find valuable treasures and ancient relics to help you on your mission. Then use your loot to build powerful towers, set clever traps and unleash spectacular magic on your enemies.
Where things get really interesting is in the digging aspects of the game. See, most tower defense games handle enemy paths in one of two ways: either with fixed paths that you have to place your towers around (like the Sentinel games) or by using the towers themselves to create your own path (like the Fieldrunners games). Digfenders essentially combines those two designs by actually letting you tap out your own path through a level first (by “digging” down) and then placing the towers wherever you want around that path. It may seem like a small difference, but it adds a surprising amount to the gameplay.
It all works brilliantly, and manages to strike a near-perfect balance between having room for lots of different strategies while remaining incredibly simple to grasp. The digging aspect of the game isn’t just a clever gimmick for creating paths, though. You can also mine different resources on the board like gold, gems, and diamonds to help pay for things, so choosing the right path through a level often means sacrificing a long, windy path for a gem deposit that will give you a much-needed support tower. On top of that, each level has a map that can be dug up to show you the location of hidden skull parts which allow you to permanently upgrade various things like how much gold you get while mining. (There’s also a separate set of upgrade paths specifically for towers in the main menu that uses stars instead of skulls, which are earned based on how well you complete each level).
The game does all of these things so well that it’s actually kind of hard for me to find anything to complain about. The pay model, I suppose, will probably upset people. It’s free with an ever-present banner ad at the bottom of the screen, and you can spend real money on extra diamonds for power-ups. Fortunately, any purchase removes ads permanently, and I’ve progressed quite far in the game without using any power-ups (and now have more diamonds saved up than I’d ever need). Also, the visuals seem very similar to the art style of the Kingdom Rush games, which is a bit disappointing since it seems like roughly 50% of all the tower defense released in the last few years have done the same thing.
Those problems are all pretty tiny, though. Digfender is easily one of the best tower defense games I’ve played in a long time, and I’ve played more than I can count. All of the various systems in the game come together in a delightful mix of clever new ideas and familiar tried and true concepts. The difficulty curve is pretty solid as well, and it’s tons of fun replaying earlier levels with more and more upgrades to collect all the stars and skulls. Don’t let the fact that it’s free turn you away. This one’s a keeper.
Game: Digfender | Free | Universal app | Download