Savage Moon Review

The very first time I was exposed to a tower defense game was as a bonus unlockable level in Warcraft 3. The object of that level was to defend your base as the horde slowly advanced through a winding valley toward your castle . There was no base building or resource gathering in the level. Instead you were handed out  resources over time and you were expected to strategically place cannonball towers and archer towers on  the canyon tops in order to stop the onslaught. This level went on to become my favorite level in the entire game because it was fun and it offered a nice change of pace. Flash forward to 2009 and the Tower Defense style of game is actually a viable genre.

Savage Moon is a Playstation Network exclusive that has you defending mining stations from a relentless insectoid army. There is no getting around the obvious inspiration of Starship Troopers. So should gamers ready to take on the insect army sign up for this one?

This is a PS3 game and as such it has crisp HD quality graphics. Almost the entire game takes place on small portions of desolate planets.  The insects themselves are fairly well detailed and the various types of insects are easy to tell apart. As you shoot the bugs they will spray blood and puss and many games will turn into explosion filled light displays.

The tower defense genre isn The sounds in Savage Moon are minimal. There really isn

The controls are fairly simplified considering that tower defense games are essentially slimmed down RTS games. Players are free to zoom in and out and pan around the map using the right and left analog sticks. This can take some getting used to as the camera movement speed is a little bit quick, but by and large I never had a problem controlling the camera. The overall design of the camera allows you to quickly view the action on the map.

Most of the action comes in the form of placing towers and navigating the tower menus. This is a simple process, you use one button to open the menu and then you cycle through the menu to select which item you want  to use and hit another button to select it. That

Anyone who has played a tower defense game before should know what kind of basic gameplay to expect. If you have never played one before then you need to know that you are given the task of defending a mining operation from wave after wave of insects. Most levels start with the insects spawning on one side of the map, with your base on the opposite side of the map. The insects then have to reach your base and blow it up. In Savage Moon anytime an insect simply touches the base they blow up and do damage to the base.

At the beginning  of each level players will start off with a basic machine gun tower at their disposal. From there they can purchase new tower types and can even purchase tech upgrades for existing towers. Savage Moon offers a bunch of different tower types all designed to damage the various insects in the game. There are anti-air towers, laser towers, mortar towers, mine throwing towers, shield towers for defense, damage amplifying towers, etc. There are a lot of different offensive options and players will have to experiment to find the best towers for any given level.

As the player advances in each level they will be given credits for each kill they make. Credits are then used to buy more towers or upgrade existing towers. One curve ball that the game throws at you is the ability to increase your towers offense, defense or credits earned. You can only select two increases at a time, so depending on the situation you will have to juggle the active power that is increased.

Where Savage Moon starts to fall apart is in its uneven difficulty level. Some levels are fairly easy with the use of a tried and true tower placement of one machine gun tower, one defense tower and one amp tower. With this combo some of the levels are a cake walk. However, other levels are damn near impossible to beat and will have you throwing your controller in frustration. I literally had to replay one level over 50 times to beat it, using every strategy I could think of before I barely managed to scratch out a victory.  To this day I haven Savage Moon is available on the PSN for $9.99. If you are a fan of Tower Defense games then I would say that it

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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