Incursion: A match of tower defense and fantasy made in flash-based heaven


Typical Advancing of Evil

There isn't much one can do about the existence of evil, but when this evil advances in waves and follows a strict path across the screen, you can be sure that you are definitely playing a tower defense game. Moreover, you can bet that this evil can be quashed with the strategic placement of troops across this path. You'd probably do well to also bet substantial sums of money on the fact that eventual upgrades, varying types of enemy, and a variety of spells/ ammo is eventually going to be used to further your cause of defending your particular piece of haggard terrain against these tiny little personifications of advancing evil. Sure, it sounds a bit like Kingdom Rush, but I assure you that is isn't, and it has a little bit of an advantage of its tower defense colleague: it has a fast-forward button. If this doesn't get your attention, then I'll gladly lose you as a reader at this point.

The Best Defense Is Offence

The modus operandi of Incursion won't shock any fan of tower defense; advancing enemies will make their way across the screen, following the pre-shaped path along which several barracks are stationed. You are permitted to train a maximum of three different types of troop at each barracks in the form of archers, footmen, and sorcerers, each with their own efficacy for taking down the various enemies that will be storming your lands. In a refreshing U-turn away from tower defense games found at (or at least Kingdom Rush), you can train any combination of these three troop types, allowing you to create a sorcerer-heavy barracks if the situation calls for it, or have an archery of archers at the ready to take down enemies from afar. The mix and match of troops is a feature that places emphasis on making strategic choices according to the type of enemy you are facing.

Upgrades, Enemies

Once you possess three troops at your barracks you are able to begin to upgrade them individually, eventually reaching a whole range of choices such as your sorcerers gaining the ability to slow down and inhibit the enemies' passage along the path, footmen increasing their armour and offensive capability, and archers attaining explosive ammunition with a devastating perimeter of damage. Upgrades can also be applied at the end of each level by spending gems; these are more general additions such as reducing the cost of each upgrade and increasing attributes like their attack range and damage caused by each hit.

Enemies also range in type from the lame ducks that are the 'Traitors' to more formidable foes like dark militia. Each of these enemies has a corresponding type of troop that they are weak against, with Traitors being susceptible to footmen and sorcerers, but are relatively small targets for archers, who will have difficulty shooting at them. The dark militia on the other hand are well-armoured against physical attacks but can be taken down readily with your sorcerers. Careful selection of the type of troops you train on each level is advised since exploitation of their various weaknesses will often be the deciding factor in battles.

A Balance of the New and the Familiar

Surprisingly refreshing is a phrase that best describes the gameplay of Booblyc's Incursion, with its original use of barracks to offer you a choice of a mixture of troops to train for any given situation. In spite of the not-so-original upgrades and inclusion of various spells to rain down on all enemies on the screen, the offbeat aesthetics and carefully-illustrated design gives it the legs to run a substantial part of the race, and the ability to manage your troops and their movement in detail carries it over the finish line.