Monday, December 29, 2008

Winning Strategy for Tap Defense

There are some great games out for the iPhone/iPod Touch. The one that has consumed the most time for me has been Tap Defense.
This is a nice implementation of a "Tower Defense" game.
In this type of game, the enemy moves along a set path and you use your resources to build offensive towers to destroy them before they get to the other end of the path.

In Tap Defense, the units are the residents of Hell attempting to get to Heaven.
You have a number of units available to you, but I won't go into the details here. I assume you've already played the game and are looking for a strategy.

Tower Characteristics
  • Ice and Water towers do a lot of damage when fully upgraded.
  • Magic towers are the only one that hit from four grid spaces away.
  • The best bargain in terms of damage per unit of gold is an un-upgraded Arrow tower.
  • Ice towers don't increase range when upgraded.

Game Mechanics
  • Towers always aim for the front-most target within their range.
  • The number and type of enemy units per level appears to be constant but the rate at which they appear is random.
  • Each enemy unit is usually worth only a few gold.
  • At the end of each level, your total gold is multiplied by the Interest Rate and you receive that as a bonus.

Things to Avoid
Kill Zones: It seems like you would want to bunch your towers up and create "kill zones" that would prevent anything from getting through. This works on many levels, but on levels where there's particularly sturdy opponents, your towers will concentrate on the ignore everything behind it. This can result in wave of units pushing past your defense.

Over-building: Each enemy unit is generally worth only a few gold. If you spend more gold on a level than you earn, you will run out of resources and be unable to build or upgrade towers at later levels.

Upgrades: In my winning games, I only upgraded one tower before level 20.

The Plan:
The most important thing the difficult mode of the game is money. We must do anything we can to save money and earn more money.
  • The amount of gold available on any level is fixed. To increase our income, we must focus on the Interest Rate. All Research is spent on Interest Rate upgrades until the cost increases to 3 halos.
  • Arrow towers are the cheapest damage/gold. So use ONLY Arrow towers for the first 12 levels. In the center section of the map, build them an extra unit away from the road to leave room for larger towers later
  • Start with 3 towers on level 1. Build 2 on level 2, and 3 each level after that until most the path is covered by Arrow towers.

Level 1:
3 Towers

Level 2:
2 more towers

Level 3:
3 more towers

If you lose more than one life during the first three levels, just start over.
  • Once we have Arrows top-to-bottom, add a Water tower at the bottom side of the first turn.
  • Upgrade that Water tower
  • Add a second Water tower at the top of the map
  • Once you get to 1000 gold, try to keep your balance over that until level 40
  • Upgrade bombs as cash allows, keeping the balance over 1k.
  • On the "CEO" level, build 6 bombs
  • When the Interest Rate price increases to 3 halos, research Ice, then Magic towers
  • On level 38 or 39 sell 3 of the un-upgraded arrow towers that are 2 units from the road, and replace them with fully upgraded bombs.
  • Once the road is fully lined with Bombs and Arrow, and the corners have Ice and Water, use your remaining gold to build upgraded Magic towers at the edges of the map.

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  1. With the 1.3 update to TapDefense, this strategy will not succeed. I've been successful in 1.3 and am preparing an update to this strategy guide.

  2. Dude, no disrespect, but this strategy is so bogus! In the case of Tap Defense less is more. The less and better upgraded towers, the more $$$ and power you get. Try it and see for yourself. You might even get a higher score than 7K-ish...

  3. At the time of the original post, this strategy was effective and repeatable. Ivan: I've had success using far fewer towers, but it's a gamble. My purpose here wasn't to post a strategy that would get a high score. It was to show people who were completely stumped how to get to the end of the game.


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