Dungeon Warfare - Tower Defense Welfare


This is a spawn of the infection started by @amandachen on this thread.

Dungeon Warfare is a puzzlish and condensed tower defense game. It’s joyful and interesting. It sure is better than this sorry description.

Let the tormentors’ discussion begin!

Here there be Tower Defense discussion
Here there be Tower Defense discussion
The most surprising games of 2016

Is this the thread where we complain that you get nothing from a failed mission – not even a token drip of xp – and therefore waste your time while trying to figure out the solutions to some of the levels? And frankly, I only care because it’s a really good tower defense game that otherwise seems to do everything right. :(



To some it is wasted time, to others, it is a very enjoyable time spent on a brain-teaser, ha!
(and if you don’t quit very early on on a bogus run, this is because of your preconceptions regarding the TD genre, prejudices which don’t apply here!)


How long does a level take generally?


If progression is a core element of a game’s design, shutting down progression isn’t a good idea, especially when it’s a disincentive to experiment. What’s more, you often don’t know if you’re wasting your time until the end of the level. Not cool.

I mean, I get that you like the game. I do, too! And as an RTS player, I’m a fan of the genre. But there are enough good tower defense games that I’d rather play one that respects my time. That’s not Dungeon Warfare. :(



Five to ten minutes? It partly depends on whether you use the double-speed feature. And I can’t speak to the later levels, which I presume are more difficult and/or longer.



This is something the game does a poor job of telling. By throwing gems and levels and numbers, it gives the impression that the progression is a big part, while it actually isn’t crucial at all.
I think the level system is merely a progression chart to introduce new mechanics. I’d even argue the game is actually balanced! I never had to grind once to progress. Thinking my strategy over, figuring new trap combos and trying the new gadgets always did the trick. For some of the later achievements (the one requiring you to complete every level with 6 runes comes to my mind), grinding and building yourself to powerhouse levels more than likely comes into play. But playing only the regular game, the player has all her traps in hands running at optimal power about 2/3 of making her way through it.


If I need to resort to numbers, I’ll even say that the diminishing return/gem invested is so ridiculous, it hints the un-grindy(?) nature of the game: the investment needed to get a trap beyond level 15 (the optimal level for most traps, some cap at level 10 though) to 20 is a little short of 100 gems, for a 5% cooldown bonus.

I also think Dungeon Warfare does a great job of telling you how you are doing through a level, by its visual and sound cues. If I am doing poorly in the first few waves of a level and things look shaky, I get right back to the drawing board, as it just won’t hold. I mentionned it before, but I played almost the whole game with the ‘insta-fail’ rune, as it seems to me this is the way the game is meant to be played (after all, if a single unit makes it through, usually it is followed by others).

But now I wonder how much less of a Tower Defense game, and more of a semi-dynamic puzzle this game is. After all, no reacting, quick thinking nor reflex seem to be ever required.

@Chappers Levels take about 10 minutes to complete. The later ones maintain that brisk pace, maybe 15 minutes for really big ones you can’t speed your way up through?


I finally beat Heroes Must Die (thanks to the hints from QT3).

Speeding up the game can really hurt because things happen so fast I can not upgrade or throw done new weapons fast enough. On the other hand if you do not speed up the game it can make earning gold seem like it takes forever. I guess that makes me a grouchy player. : )

One thing I learned, you can time placing a crate on some baddies and it kills them instantly.


I think I’d jump on this because it sounds fun, but from the Steam screenshots it looks so pixelated and ugly. Does it really look that bad or when you’re playing it is it not an issue?


Now that I’m past the unspeakable & horrible Shallow Grave, for which I will incessantly bitch & complain, there are some really interesting maps after this.

I give you Excavation - which starts with 12 free barricades! Under the cover is how I chose to spend them.

The layout

[details=Description]This pic was with 4 runes, so it’s much easier with only 1 rune. This map starts out with 12, count 'em a dozen free barricades! This just opens up so many possibilities it’s going to allow for some very creative layouts. This layout is designed to take advantage of the two boulders on the map. The first one on the left comes into play about wave 5 or 6 when all the tough knights show up. As soon as they breach the demons, I sell the barricade up top-left, allowing the rest of them to join more quickly (and the boulder will destroy the barricade anyway, so might as well get some cash for it).

The 2nd thing to do is to intentionally leave the opening on the upper right with one or two spare barricade so when you have an escape, you can just plop it down on their heads. This is called thinking ahead ;-)

The bottom left corner & upper right corner will all be the same build, so you get 3 chokepoints[/details]


It is very ugly. It is a fun game, but I can’t say it has grabbed me as much as it has others. It’s pretty generic as far as TD games go. Build your maze, update your towers, etc.


I want to say a few things about this game as it really scratches so many great things about TD, but there are a lot of things to figure out on your own. Here is what I’ve figured out so far:

  1. You can pause any time by pressing P … allowing you to place towers, do actions, etc, then unpause
  2. Hover over the wave blocks on the left and it will tell you what’s coming. This is imperative to see if horses or dwarfs or thieves are coming.
  3. Upgrading a tower immediately resets it so it will fire again. You should take advantage of this fact and upgrade intentionally in the heat of battle to get that extra shot in.
  4. Placing a tower or barricade on top of a creep will kill it. (you also get an achievement for this)
  5. You can increase XP by having many traps hit a creep before it dies. When a creep dies, you will see a nXvalue where n is the number of traps that hit it…this is a way to greatly increase XP on a map. So in the above map, I have a maximum of 7 traps that can touch something before it dies. It does reset after a short period, so it doesn’t accumulate throughout the level.
  6. You only get XP, and then only the difference, between your previous high score & your current playthrough. This means that repeating a level after you’ve cleared it has diminishing returns (and zero XP if you don’t exceed your previous XP)
  7. Calling a wave early nets you 50 coin and it doesn’t appear to matter how early you call it. You can call a wave early when the wave block on the left is flashing. So call all waves early.
  8. The game appears to allow 2x speed - but you can actually do 4x by clicking on the >> again after you set it to 2x
  9. You can click on the arrow icon where the creeps originate at any time to refresh the “path ping” that shows you the current path. this is helpful if you’re trying to set up snares to catch errant creeps that get by your traps.


I agree with you about the ugly, but I think this has so many things over other traditional TD games. The sounds for one are very well done. I can hear the individual screams, grunts, neighing, slashing, swoosh, of all the creeps & towers.

Physics are at play. Creeps have weight - so your push, harpoon or black hole may or may not work depending upon the weight of the creep & the tower upgrade you are at.

The map layouts are ingenious. Do you want to use harpoons to drag them into an abyss? Should you use the train tracks to your advantage? Can I launch the creeps into spikes set against the wall? Or into an abyss? Or into a train? Should I use a slot for a barricade or should I use the natural path that they will follow?

The music initially kind of turned me off - it’s a definitely has that 8-bit sound reminding me of Rise of the Triad! but after a while, the beat and the intensity won me over. I’d be curious what @kerzain thinks as he likes heavy metal … then we’d know whether its my nostalgia or actual music I’m enjoying.

The scoring mechanic is copied straight from Orcs Must Die (number of traps in play influence the amount of XP you gain for a kill), but not too many TD games do this. It brings another element into play than just completing a level.


Checking in to say I’ll have to hunt down that soundtrack/game and check out this music for myself. I love metal in games, so now I’m actually eager to go discover this one for myself.

But just to be clear, because I tried to follow the conversation backwards from the post that tagged me, are we talking about Heroes Must Die?



Are you playing on iOS or PC? I can not place towers on the PC version when it is paused but I can on my iPad. When I hit pause on the PC it brings up a menu and I unable to place any towers (unless I am doing something wrong).


PC - are you using ESC to pause or P to pause? You have to use P to pause & place towers. ESC brings up the menu, and while it’s like pausing, it isn’t the same as using P.


I was skeptical like you when I first fired this up. I actually groaned and thought well, I can always refund it. But you know what? They’ve done an excellent job in detailing this. Even when you get a bunch of creeps bunched up, you can still tell the individual creeps. It’s become a non-issue for me.

It’s on sale for 12 more hours! Get it now at 50% off for only $4.99!


Outside of physics, that has all been done. But even the physics, they are bare minimum, I wouldn’t call it out as anything amazing. Plenty of TD games have great layouts and weapon choices.

I like it, I just don’t think it has anything over games like Defense Grid or GemCraft.


It is much harder than Defense Grid 1 & 2 so I think it is more challenging. IMHO


From the other thread, I had hinted about how much I like The Pit, so I thought I would share more details / fun to be had with this map.

The Pit comes pretty far in the map rotation. For the first few tries, I tried my typical layout, but it just wasn’t working. So then thought hard about the new tower you get with this map, the black hole. How could I use to my benefit? And then that’s when I had a lot of fun with it, and beat it easily.

BTW - I think it’s cool when they say “get this tower after completing this map” you actually can use that tower on this map. Granted, it’s only level 1 as it’s not upgraded, but it does give you an incentive and for the most part, I think they really want you to use the towers they are introducing.

[details=The Layout]I started with this. I’m not sure why, but darn if it didn’t just click right away and I started to have plans:

It grows into this as the final:


[details=Description]That initial layout was a stroke of luck. The two black holes act like two players playing a game of ping pong, gathering up creeps and then letting them go, only to be sucked into the next one. Back and forth.

You do get a few escapes and the spring board and spinblades stop them. The snare tool is essential as you will get some escapes and it will save your bacon. Then it’s adding in the additional spinblades, and finally we get to have fun adding more springs and black holes.

The spring throws them into the abyss, the black hole sucks them back, the spring resets and you get larger groups being flung. This was so much fun to watch. Glorious![/details]