Oh wow. This game shows a perfect example of a crappy TD... if everything had to be as good as gemcraft!
This game is awesome! I played it straight to the end in one go, and damn did i struggle!
I'll start the the pros: Good, smooth animations, fun levels, AWESOME upgrades and a great concept.
The upgrades felt rewarding... most of the time. One of the most boring ways to receive an upgrade is when you receive "invisible" upgrades, like increased crit chance or attack speed (With such small animations for attacks you hardly notice the increased attack rate).
Maybe i'm just a negative person, but i'd rather focus on the bad stuff :D
The upkeep system! OH MY GOD! I don't know what you were thinking, but while it's a good concept (It's pretty much just ammo), the execution is BAD!
I'm sorry, but at the end of the game, especially the last 4 levels, the lightning crystals simply became chores... and roadblocks. Since we had very little introduction to the upkeep system, i lost a lot of the early levels quite a few times because i forgot to add enough lighting crystals.
Besides, at the end of the game, i HAD NO MORE ROOM FOR TRAPS because i had to build lightning crystal :S
In my opinion, some kind of "secondary" tab or whatever where you can add your little "mana garden" would make much more sense, and make more room for adding towers that actually interact with the enemies :)
MORE LEVELS, OH MY GOD, MORE LEVELS! I CANNOT be pleased with only 9 levels! I need 12... 28.. 50! It all just ended at level 9 with no conclusion :(
No story? You could easily add some storytelling inbetween the maps!
50/50 on upgrades.
Good upgrades: Final earth upgrade, mana crystal's upgrade (more mana per crystal, max 25 per sec), more exp. from enemies, increased range (although it feel overdone).
Bad upgrades: All the %crit, all the "increased damage", all the chance based stuff, the increased gold for killing (it becomes mandatory!!! = boring), increased starting gold...
There is too much chance in this game!
Seriously, sometimes i was way more lucky with my crits and i won the rounds clean with no lost lives. Other times i wiped on level 1-4 -.-...
If you're going to implement crit chance in a TOWER DEFENSE, consider adding it more in terms of "every third hit deals double damage". That way, it's RELIABLE and there are no unknown variables...
I don't want luck from my tower defense, i want to know that my own strategy worked!
This way, it also has a much more obvious and defined scaling with Attack speed buffs and slow debuffs!
It doesn't make sense to me that shadows are completely immune to fire and ice... This easily makes earth the main tower (aka it becomes mandatory), both because it's cheap, but because it simply does a ton of damage and has HUGE range.
Also it's available from level 1, you're used to it AND the game is easily cleared simply using a combination of a "80% earth towers, 10% frost, 10% fire". Lightning is more or less useless because you don't need it at all...
There are no enemies that take increased damage from X element, but there are immunities? :/
If Lightning did more damage to shades than Earth, we might be looking at a good concept, especially if Lightning then did less damage to other types of monster and shades were more frequent! Shades should be slowable, but only slightly...
Some kind of support-type like crystal, that would increase effectiveness of slows or maybe give armor penetration (Does armor exist or are mobs just more tanky?)...
For a 9-map game, i was totally pleased and it kept me entertained for about 1Â½ hour (+30 mins on my review :P). if you increased the amount of maps you'd also need to increase the complexity somewhat, but my absolute biggest minus (and the reason i didn't rate a full 5), is that it has TOO FEW MAPS and NOT ENOUGH TUTORIAL. (Also the tutorial is bad).