Some of you may have seen Revenge of the Titans recently as part of the Humble Bundle. This tower defense game is punishingly hard, and I was surprised to find that there isn’t very much publicity on effective strategy. After beating the game, I wanted to share my experience for any up and coming commanders trying to save the Earth from the invasion of the Titans. I highly recommend this game, and if you get a chance, it is worth picking up for any Tower Defense lover:
Tips On Strategy:
The primary strategy of this game is to advance to the next round having spent as little cash as possible on defenses. Money carries from the end of one round to the next, so once you start losing, you will keep losing until you are broke.
Aim to research one new technology every round. There are 44 upgrades available, and 50 levels – so do the math. If you have loads of cash, research something expensive while you have the means. If you are strapped, try for a cheap research ($2500 or less). You don’t necessarily need to research everything (I found lasers, and decoys to be a waste of money)
A few annoying quirks – if you want to replay a level, all progress will be lost from that level forward if you complete it again. I recommend making sure you have maximized your profits before moving on. This means playing the same level you just beat a few more times until you get a huge sum of money. PS: I have never not extracted all the resources from a level.
Don’t build a refinery or Droid Factory until your defenses are setup. These two items trigger the invasion to begin. Without placing these you have about 5 minutes to setup instead of rushing to build your defenses while under attack.
Barricades are your best friend. For people used to other tower defense games barricades help to tunnel the enemy into a kill zone. In this game, barricades protect your expensive turrets and heavy weapons.
Add-ons are critical to success. Scanners increase a turret’s range. Batteries increase a turrets ammo capacity. Cooling towers increase a turrets rate of fire. These increases stack up to four per turret or heavy weapon. These are cheaper than adding additional turrets, and can affect multiple weapons. Building an effective turret / add-on configuration is essential.
Switching to “Tree view” in the Research Center helps show the prerequisites for items, but you still can’t read what unavailable technologies are. Technologies are grouped under the table view, which helps infer what they will do. The categories are listed to the left of each group. For barricades, each item is stronger, more expensive, and more limited in supply than the previous items. Turrets have some stronger options, however they begin to diverge in use. There is a multiblaster, and a cluster shot which add more than just firepower.
Ghosts and tiny drones will walk right through your defenses. These start appearing in the second world, and you should be ready to deal with them. Your turrets will not target them, and all barricades except nanomesh won’t impede them. The only way to kill them afaik is using capicators or a smartbomb powerup. Drones are susceptible to splash damage, and nanobots. Don’t think paying to replace turrets destroyed by ghosts is an effective strategy for dealing with them.
Generally speaking, 4-6 turrets are sufficient for protecting a base. IF you are building more than this, odds are you aren’t building them in the right place, or you aren’t using barricades and add-ons effectively. The number of turrets needed increases later on in the game.
If your turrets are taking more than two shots to kill an enemy, its time to start using the next biggest turret. This strategy gives out after the blast cannon upgrade, which is the most powerful turret. After this, I would invest in heavy weapons. Which leads me to…
Rockets. Rockets have tremendous power and a WIDE splash damage radius. Rockets also serve only to protect themselves. Notices the two concentric rings; the inner ring is (an approximation) of what is safe from friendly fire, and the outer ring is its range. This weapon has insane potential (I have beaten levels with little more than one, and a few small turrets), but you can kill yourself. Fair warning!
Build as few refineries as possible to harvest all the minerals. If a mineral source is well protected, let one refinery process it all over a longer timespan, rather than wasting money on additional refineries. At some point (around world 2) the minerals start becoming further and further from your base. Don’t be fooled into moving your defenses away from the base.
Don’t waste time selling structures. After completing a level, you get cash back for standing structures which works out to be something like half the cost, minus damages. Don’t worry about selling before the level ends – the game handles this for you without penalty.
Don’t stray your viewport far from your base’s defenses. Often times, killed enemies will drop cash and other powerups, and collecting this cash can be very profitable. I only leave my turrets behind to gather resources that are ready for collection, or for timed cash drops (shown by the green ring)
Generally speaking, the titans will follow the roads to your base. If you build obstacles, they will reroute around them intelligently, but this is a good starting point of where they will be attacking from.
Tips on Shortcuts:
Holding down the mouse button will repeat an action. This works wonders for building a barricade, and laying mines, but can also be used for collecting resources from refineries, and selling finished refineries before they are destroyed.
Learn your shortcuts for common structures. This will make quick repairs less stressful.
Repair your barricades as you go. Often I would have a barricade selected for purchase, and just hold the mouse button down and drag in front of my turrets. The fraction of a second between an enemy dying and the one behind him from advancing forward from the damaged barricade allows you to repair your wall, cancelling their progress.
Right clicking on an existing structure will allow you to build a clone of that object. Useful for building copies of things without needing to know the shortcut keys.
Often, an effective strategy is to wait until all but a few enemies remain to start harvesting the far away locations. Build barricades around your base, and sell all your turrets. While the last few enemies are impeded by the walls, with nothing to kill them you can extract all the resources remaining. There is even an upgrade (which I got towards the end of the game) that cuts harvesting time down to a fraction of what it was before. Minerals next to spawn points can be successfully extracted using four refineries, surrounded by a cheap barricade. By the time the enemy gets through the walls, the resources should be depleted, and you can sell the buildings before they are destroyed.
Take what you have learned, and start over with a new profile. It took me two tries to complete the game. After I lost money on the first profile, it became impossible to continue. Things were much easier the next time around.
Tips on Building Arrangement:
Arrange your turrets and heavy weapons so that each add-on covers all of them. Also, each turrent can stack the benefits of up to four add-ons of the same type. The optimal arrangement is a square, with the turrets being at the corners, and a cross of add-ons two rows wide between them. These can be accessed by an autoloader from the back, and with capicators facing the sides and front when ghosts become present. Surround this square arrangement with your best barricades. All of this should be close to your base so the enemy will always be in range even if they go around your turrets and attack the other side of your base.
Also, here is a short video on the best way I found to build my defense: