I don’t know about y’all but I’ve realized lately that one of my favorite genres of games is wave/horde/tower defense or as Wikipedia calls it “Survival Game” (which I honestly feel is much too broad of a term). There is just something incredibly fun about playing a game that typically has 0 plot where you try to assemble a defense that will repel the up coming enemy wave and the ones that always feel the best have a weird twist to them to spice it up.
Some lesser known examples I think more people should try:
Wave of Death for Supreme Commander Forged Alliance Forever is this really great take on wave defense in RTS games. Up to eight players can play either in a free for all or with teams. Each player get’s their own straight lane where their commander is at the bottom and enemy waves spawn at the top. The goal is to be the first player to survive the last wave. You can manually launch waves or wait for a timer to expire. The catch is that every time you complete a wave it spawns half of that wave in every other players lane making it a really fun competitive wave defense game unlike any other I have played. Was a great staple of LAN parties friends and I would have for awhile along with a number of traditional wave defense maps in that game.
WaveCOM for XCOM 2 is a mod that drastically changes the gameplay of XCOM 2 by moving everything from the base management part into the turn based part of the game. You start with a few soldiers and after surviving waves you are given some resources to buy equipment, do research, etc just like you would in the normal game. However what makes this one feel just so good to me is how it takes that really great feeling of ambushing the enemy while all your soldiers are on overwatch and turning it up to 10. It tells you where the enemy is going to spawn in so you can try and position your units in just the perfect spot to hopefully decimate the enemy on their first turn. The only issue this mod suffers from is taking awhile to get difficult but I think it works okay with some mods so you can add new enemy units to spice it up. This video seems to do a good job of giving an overview of how the mod works if you are curious.
Let’s Build for L4D2. I personally strongly dislike L4D2’s horde mode because of how limiting it is and how slap dash it felt. I like killing waves of zombies but that’s all the original mode had and on top of that there was no building or unlocking of things. The Let’s Build maps fixed this by adding interesting mechanics like tech unlocking and building while trying to slowly build some kind of vehicle to escape in while surviving wave after wave of infected. Unlocking/building in particular was an amazing mechanic because it did not do what a normal game would have you do by spending resources you gained, instead you had to go up to the thing you wanted and press and hold E until it was done and if you let go you had to start all over. This leads to all sorts of stressful situations where you might be 50% of the way done on unlocking the next set of weapons y’all could really use but a Tank just showed up. Bots sort of work but it is much better played with friends. Download some here!
So what is everyone’s favorite wave/horde/tower defense games/mechanics?