Tower Raiders on Android

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 Post subject: HOW TO: Play Tower Raiders!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:41 am 
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Introduction
Tower Raiders is a rewarding game, designed to challenge you to think tactically. It is not easy, it will not be a cakewalk. With every mission that you solve, you can feel satisfaction that you earned your victory - using your head to outsmart your opponent. You will not win every game, but when you do - you will have earned it. Each mission you take on will raise new challenges for you to solve - whether it be determining an optimal path to route your enemy, or strategically utilizing your resources to best advantage, or solving tactical challenges in placing towers and selecting which ones to build.

The goal of Tower Raiders is to protect allied crystal supplies. Initially, you have 20 crystals - the count of which is displayed in the lower right corner of the screen:

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On a map, you can see the supply of crystals in blue, as shown here:

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Game play is broken into a series of waves. When a wave begins, you will see the current wave/total waves in the lower left corner of the screen. At any time, you can see your current wave at the top of the screen.

To stop the Raiders from taking crystals, you're given a supply of resources to utilize - the amount of which is displayed in the lower left corner of the screen (see above screen shot). Using these resources, you're able to build defense towers to defeat enemy raiders.

Controls

You can drag the your view around the map with by dragging your finger across the screen. If you wish to zoom in or out, you map press the "Options" button on your phone - were you will see icons to zoom in/out, pause, fast-forward, or play at normal speed.

You can build a tower at any mount point. Mount points are small rectangular squares:
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Selecting the square once turns it's color green. To confirm you wish to build a tower on this mount point, touch it again to open the tower build menu.

Once you have built a tower on a mountpoint, you may view it's status at any time by selecting it again (turning the mount point green, and then selecting it again to confirm). On the status screen, you will often see available unit upgrades that increase the effectiveness of your tower. Base units adhere to a green color scheme, upgraded units are yellow, and elite units are red. To upgrade the unit, press the button with the upgrade's unit icon - it will only be enabled when you have enough resources to purchase the upgrade. If you wish to recycle the unit for scrap value (roughly half the units original cost), you can use the recycle button - which has a green recycle logo.

TOWERS

Not all towers are created equal. Each tower has a specific strength and purpose, often designed to enhance the effect of other towers in proximity. Various combinations of towers will be synergistic - their combined effect greater than the effect of the individual towers in isolation. A few combinations will even work poorly together, where the net effect of the combination of units is less than each tower would have done by itself. Part of the challenge of Tower Raiders comes from learning how various combinations of towers work together.

Miniguns
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Miniguns are the most effective weapon in the game, in terms of damage dealt per cost. Understanding this is critical to successfully optimizing the amount of damage you can dish out for a given amount of resources. However, the minigun has an achilles heel - it cannot damage a shielded unit without the help of other weapons (such as a cannon). Armor will roll right through a field of miniguns with barely a scratch, whereas unarmored units will be shredded very efficiently.

Cannons
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Cannons are the most well rounded - and critical unit in Tower Raiders. Without Cannons, Tower Raiders will seem exceptionally difficult and frustrating. The reason is - Cannons excel at permanently destroying enemy shields so other units can begin damaging them. Cannons do more damage in the same amount of time than any other weapon (damage times fire rate). Also, cannons have an extended range that allows them to hit enemies longer than most other weapons (mortars aside). If you were to build only one type of tower, you would last longest with cannons.

The Cannon also has an achilles heel, but of all the towers in the game it is the least problematic. Because cannons have a slow fire rate but do overwhelming damage with each shot - this makes them poor matches against mobs of infantry. Infantry can overrun cannons, because the cannon will be slow at reacting to each individual infantry unit - although each shot that it lands will almost certainly stop one infantry unit in it's tracks.

So, if you remember one thing about this thread, remember: YOU NEED MOAR CANNONS. They are built to take out enemy armor, and without them you will be hardpressed to outlast the (evil) Raiders.

Lasers
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Lasers are the other weapon in Tower Raiders that is effective at removing enemy shields, but the effect is considerably different. Lasers will immediately disrupt the shielding of the unit they are firing on. However, this effect is temporary and disappates as soon as the enemy is out of the line of fire from the laser. Because the laser can only target one unit at a time, and because the effect of unshielding the enemy is temporary - this means lasers can and will be overrun by enemy armor columns. Lasers do have a use, however, and where they excel is in helping your other towers bring down a boss (enemy walker) that's moving slowly by itself towards your crystals. A few lasers sprinkled here and there throughout the map will allow your miniguns and cannons to damage the boss, and in the meantime your cannons can work on permanently destroying it's shields.

Cool Rays
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Cool rays will not damage units by themselves. Instead, they slow down units as they move along towards your crystals. This effect is especially effective when combined with towers that cause multiple units within the area of effect to be damaged, because it bunches up groups of units into a densely packed space.

Flames
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No, that's not a tuba you see or a hair dryer. It's a 1000CFM hydraulic pump fitted to a tank of napalm - capable of throwing flames at groups of nearby units. Flame throwers are able to damage multiple nearby units at once, but are ineffective at damaging fast moving or armored units. This makes them a niche unit, which excels at taking out thick infantry waves - perhaps to enable your cannons to hit armor surly to follow without being distracted by infantry.

Mortars
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Mortars are another niche unit with a specific purpose. Mortars are capable of inflicting damage from great distances, and like Flames damage multiple units with each shot. Cool Rays have a double-edged sword when combined with Mortars. On one hand, the Cool Ray will bunch enemy units up - so a single mortar shot can damage a greater number of units. On the other hand, the constant speeding-up and slowing-down a Cool Ray causes can wreck havoc with the Mortars ability to predict a unit's location and target it. Mortars carry a steep initial price, but their upgrades are less pricey and very effective. It is often useful to have a mortar or two in a central location - and usually worth the cost of upgrading it.

Solar Arrays
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Solar Arrays (not available on all maps) do not attack enemy units. However, they do collect resources for you automatically - with a payoff time of 5 minutes. Every resource unit it collects after that is pure profit. Early building of Solar Arrays is what makes it possible to purchase very expensive units late in the game (see: Stinger).

Stingers
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Stingers are the only tower in the game capable of attacking aircraft. When you suspect enemy aircraft are lurking, you will need to plan on having enough resources available to purchase them before the Raiders bring the rain. (Normally your first clue that enemy aircraft may be nearby will be that you see Stingers available in the build menu.) Stingers are much more affordable when you build a few solar arrays early in the game. Red stingers are effective at destroying shielded enemy aircraft, although all stingers damage shields, Red/elite stingers excel at it.


RAIDERS

Infantry:
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Your best counters for infantry are miniguns or flames.

Light Vehicles:
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Your best counters to these are miniguns and cannons.

Armored Vehicles:
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You will not defeat these consistently without cannons in position to knock out their shields. MOAR cannons equals MOAR wins!

Bosses:
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Bosses are heavily armored, your best counter is to sprinkle a few lasers through your map to disrupt it's shields, a battery of cannons destroying it's shields while disrupted, and a group of miniguns tearing into it while disrupted or after the cannons knock out it's shields.

Aircraft:
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Your counter for aircraft is twofold - Solar Arrays early in the game, so you can afford Stingers late.

Health Bars:

After taking fire, an enemy will display it's current health status for a short period of time. A health bar in red indicates the percent of damage an enemy has taken, when it reaches 0% (fully black) the raider is defeated. When fully charged, the bar appears in red. Example:
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Some enemies have a second health bar, in blue. This health bar indicates the health of the Raider's shields. The enemy will not take damage as long as it's shields are functioning. The primary weapon for destroying a unit's shields is the cannon - which permanently destroys them. Lasers have the effect of immediately disrupting the enemy's shields, but this effect last only as long as the enemy is targeted. This second health bar can be seen on this column of armored units:
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After when the unit's shields have been destroyed, and the unit may be damaged by weapons fire - the shield health bar continues to be visible - but is fully black:
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BASIC ROUTING

Your goal is to force the enemy to take the longest route possible. This allows your towers a longer time to work on the raiders. For instance, in the map below, if you can make the enemy come within range of a battery of cannons four times before it even reaches the crystals - you will stand a much greater chance of success:

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For hints and tips on dealing with other maps, please see the forums for specific threads covering the map you are having difficulty with. If you are stuck, please email - I would much rather spend a few minutes helping you have a more pleasant experience than have it otherwise! Many maps are something of a puzzle to figure out, and you may have to try a few approaches to find one that works. Some basic tips are - if the enemy has two entrances, it is often better to try to force the enemies together instead of fight a two front war. Also, some maps you're better off building towers from the beginning of that map inwards. However, others you may be better served by building towers starting at the crystals - this is especially true if you see two entrances by only one pile of crystals. On other maps, you may be better off starting by building at the exits or in some other location. Each mission is designed to present you with a specific challenge or puzzle to solve :).

Hope this helps, thanks for playing, have fun - and remember - when you win in this game, you've earned it :).


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