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The Return of Sam & Dan's Poke-Creation

pokemon tower defense 2 review

If you know the level of immense personal sacrifice involved in capturing, training and battling Pokemon, then you can consider yourself a true Pokemon fan. Pokemon Tower Defense 2 is a game which takes the battling concept of Pokemon, heats it up and hammers its malleable form into a truly amazing tower defence title. Name the main character, embark upon your adventure and watch the worlds of tower defence and Pokemon collide as you battle and defend your way through story mode or climb to the top of the roster in 1vs1 mode. Discover new Pokemon and push your battling skills to the limit in what must be the most addictive tower defence game in existence.

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The First PTD Reviewed

pokemon tower defense game review

The original game - a flash-based tower defense title based on the extremely famous and popular Japanese anime series Pokemon. The game was released in March 2011 by Sam & Dan Games and successfully incorporates the best parts of the original console-based Pokemon games from Nintendo into a tower defense format to create one of the most addictive games in the history of all mankind (yes, that far back). This game only has the original 151 Pokemon though, which may prove slightly disappointing to the more recent Pokemon fans but will suit the purists (in the context of the Pokemon world) perfectly fine. Here are some of the key features of the game:


Let's just come out and say it straightaway: This game is absolutely brilliant and a hell of alot of fun. You keep wondering all throughout how Nintendo with all of the millions of dollars that they probably spend on game design never managed to come up with a concept like this, so credit has got to be given to the game developers of PTD. This is also because while the idea of integrating a tower defense game with Pokemon is awesome, the integration itself in this case is very well executed. This will probably get mentioned a lot more in this review, but once you start playing this game you just can't stop. Even while writing this the game's running in an adjoining window.

Poker Tower Defense starts off much the way the original Pokemon games do. You visit Professor Oak to collect your first ever Pokemon and are given a choice between Charmander (fire type), Squirtle (water type) and Bulbasaur (grass type). As soon as you select a Pokemon, Oak's lab gets attacked by a group of hypnotized wild Rattatas (which are rat-like Pokemon). The hypnosis is carried out by a villainous group called Team Rocket, who do this through the help of their own Pokemon. You defend against this wave of Pokemon attacks by placing your selected Pokemon in a square, selecting the kind of attack it will use, and letting it rip on the offending Pokemon.

The attacks, the upgrades, the Pokemon evolutions, they all work the same way as they did in the original games. Even the storyline followed by both the games is the same in terms of locations visited and challenges to be overcome. Having passed the initial challenge in the lab, you set out to find the actual offenders, accompanied by a very annoying boy called Joey who you rescued from the clutches of Team Rocket. Even the process of catching and collecting Pokemon is mostly the same. Instead of trawling through bushes in the hope of (and eventually in dread of) finding wild Pokemon, battling them, weakening them and then using a Pokeball to catch them, here you will be placed in routes with oncoming wild Pokemon that you must defend against in the old tower defense style; by placing your current Pokemon in the aforementioned provided squares and telling them to attack. The more your Pokemon attack, the more EXP they gain, and the more EXP they gain, the more their levels rise and they become stronger. After a certain amount of levels, depending on your Pokemon, they will evolve into a completely new Pokemon creature with new, stronger powers.

As for the storyline, you initially end up going to Brock's gym in Pewter City, just like in the original games, and then you visit Misty, who is now married to Ash, the protagonist of the original cartoon series. Both Misty and Brock are villains in this game, so beware! As you may well remember very clearly by now, spoilers are awesome, so you will eventually find out that a different Mewtwo is behind all this trouble. The first game has now been completed and can be played here, the second game is now in development and can be played up to level.

These aren't the only reasons to be excited about Poker Tower Defense however, it's also the sheer range of options available to you thats impressive for a free game. You have Training Machines or TMs like the original game to teach your old Pokemon new tricks or moves (apparently that rule only applies to dogs), you have stones that you can buy to evolve your Pokemon as and when you want to and then there's your Pokemon's extreme willingness to learn new moves so you regularly get prompts telling you which Pokemon wants to learn what, what the move does, and asks whether you want to use it or not.

The strategy quotient is covered like the Earth is covered by its atmosphere, that is, completely, by Pokemon's in-built strength and weakness charts. It works such that if you have a Grass Pokemon, your attacks will be highly effective against Water Pokemon but not against Fire Pokemon. Similarly, if you have a Fire Pokemon, your attacks will work best against Grass Pokemon but not so much against Water Pokemon. Considering that there are 8-9 types of Pokemon, all with various bonuses or disadvantages against other types of Pokemon, if the very fact that you're playing a game in a tower defense format and enjoying it doesn't blow your mind, the options available certainly will.

Graphics and Audio

PTD is almost completely based on the original Pokemon games. What this means is that the graphics are identical to the original games. Not similar, not close to, but identical. We have the same pixel-art graphics that we thought we'd left behind in the last millennium. But they make a return in this game, and how. It just increases the "awesomeness quotient" of PTD way beyond the stratosphere.

The audio is also typical Pokemon music, and it just feels good. There is no handily available mute button if you don't like it though, which could prove a nuisance.


If you're a Pokemon fan, probably no tower defense game ever will come close to this. If you're not a fan I think you will still agree with all those Pokemon fans who say that no tower defense game will ever come close. The degree of complexity, challenge, range of options etc. available in this game are greater than most others with the possible exception of Bloons Tower Defense 5. But then BTD 5 isn't based on a worldwide phenomenon like this game is and, more importantly, it doesn't have 150 different types of towers.

The hacked version of the game can be found here if you want to skip a lot of the game's difficulty.

If you want to play on your mobile device you can try the mobile versions of the two games.