Players familiar with the Kingdom Rush series will immediately recognize the mechanics of this tower defense game: guard, mage, archer and cannon towers, plus militia and spells on cooldown, as well as hero units that can be individually controlled.
But unlike the series it’s based on, King of Towers features an extensive city building and upgrade system. Collect resources from maps and missions, then use them to permanently upgrade your towers, even grow crops and train your heroes during your offline time.
That said, King of Towers makes extensive use of time-gating, so it’s not a game you can sit down and finish in a day. If you’re looking for a tower defense game that will keep you coming back for weeks or months, King of Towers might be for you. If you’d rather play missions-only, and without waiting for timers, you might consider the original Kingdom Rush that this is based on, or its sequel, Kingdom Rush Frontiers. Whichever way you decide, we have your bases covered.
Play King of Towers here!
While at first Colony appears to be a fairly basic left-vs-right battle simulator, it is surprisingly deep. Juggle four different resources, plus aerial, ground vehicle and infantry units while playing both sides of a war of conquest between four different governments: capitalists, communists, fascists and monarchs.
The most interesting aspect of Colony, however, is that it’s built from the ground up to be a four player game. Players team up in pairs to share the same base, each receiving control of four out of eight build-slots from which to wage their own little private war against their opponents.
Unfortunately, Colony is a nine year old game and the multiplayer server went offline last year. According to discussion on the community Discord channel, this is due to a problem with a third party platform that the developer reportedly has no plans to fix. There are rumors of a possible player-hosted private server in the works, but for now, all that’s available is single player mode.
Fortunately, the storyline missions are still available, and once you’ve completed those you can create custom games against AI opponents, like in most any traditional real-time strategy game.
Play Colony here!
You know those idle games where all you do is click a button all day long? Have you ever wished you could have a dollar for every time you click? Have you ever wanted to build an office full of minions to click those buttons for you so you don’t have to?
Now’s your chance!
In Corporation Inc, you play the decision-maker at a corporation that’s apparently found a way to do just that. Every time your workers click a key, it generates money you can use to house and hire even more workers to click yet more buttons. If you’re nice, maybe you’ll hire some janitors and IT staff to keep your workers happy and productive. If you’re not so nice, maybe you’ll hire managers to whip them so they click faster. If all you care about is profit, you’ll do both. Gameplay is similar to SimTower, minus the bomb threats.
Play Corporation Inc. here!
Arguably the most famous left-vs-right battle simulator ever, Age of War allows you to fight a grudge match that lasts through the ages. Advance through five different technological eras of warfare, from cavemen and dino riders to hovertanks and ion cannons, all while wondering what exactly these two civilizations did to annoy each other so badly.
The game can be played from start to finish in several minutes once you know the winning strategies, but don’t expect to beat this on your first few attempts. The computer cheats.
Play Age of War here or play its sequel, Age of War 2 here!
The third installment in the Gemcraft series, Labyrinth continues the story where Gemcraft: Chapter Zero left off, from the point of view of a different wizard, unaware of the events of the previous two games.
Like the others, Labyrinth is a tower defense game in which you conjure and channel the power of gems to fight off endless hordes of monsters as part of a long quest to oppose an ultimately unstoppable demon: the Forgotten.
Unlike previous games in the series, Labyrinth offers a number of quality-of-life improvements, such as the ability to perform in-game actions while paused, and single-press hotkeys to duplicate and upgrade gems of any grade. As a result, Labyrinth offers a much less frantic pace of play than previous offerings. No more having to cycle through entire pages of gems while racing against the clock.
If this is your first time playing Labyrinth, do yourself a favor and don’t read the how-to guides until you’re well into the game. There are certain strategies available relatively early on that might significantly reduce your enjoyment if you’re aware of them too soon.
Play Gemcraft Labyrinth here or play its sequel, Gemcraft: Chasing Shadows here!
In this fantasy-themed time-management game, you get to be a jackass. No, literally: you play a male donkey who happens to be a blacksmith.
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A unique entry in this list, gameplay in Jacksmith is divided into two different minigames. The first, in which you take equipment orders from various animal-themed heroes and assemble their requested gear from parts, and the second where you watch them fight various monsters while you assist by lobbing artillery fire from a safe distance.
One helpful tip for this game: there’s no way you’ll fully clear every level on your first playthrough. Fortunately, while it’s helpful to beat the final monster in any run because doing so unlocks item recipes, it’s not actually necessary. You’ll progress your way across the game map regardless of your performance on any particular level. So don’t feel the need to reload from a previous save every time you fail.
Play Jacksmith here!
Another tower defense classic, Cursed Treasure puts you in the role of the villain, fending off waves of tenacious heroes intent on stealing your precious gems. With towers manned by orcs, undead and demons, as well as a variety of spells at your command, kill them all for precious experience to buy persistent upgrades.
If you can only play one tower defense game today and you’re deciding between this and Gemcraft listed above, be aware that the experience point systems of the two games lend themselves to extremely different mindsets while playing. Gemcraft only adds your highest score on any given map to your total, meaning that to progress you have to improve. Cursed Treasure simply adds your score after every map completion to your total xp, so if you ever get stuck you can always farm easy maps for upgrades. That makes Cursed Treasure easier to advance through, and less frustrating because you always at least get something for completing a map.
Play Cursed Treasure 2 here, or if you’d like to be all retro, you can play Cursed Treasure 1 here instead!
A grim recreation of World War I era trench warfare, Warfare 1917 is without a doubt the most dark and moody game on this list. While essentially another left-vs-right battle simulator, the core dynamic here centers around pushing your units forward to capture trenches, which they can take cover in in order to become at least moderately less likely to die. But this is not a defense game. In order to win, you have to capture ground, and that means leaving those semi-safe zones, and heading through the dreaded “no man’s land” in between them.
Rather than using the traditional method of buying units with money, infantry groups are available on a cooldown, with the strategic elements involving which type of units to build and advance with, when to use your artillery, as well as managing the morale of your troops as they watch their fellow soldiers slaughtered all around them only to gain a few hundred yards of blood-soaked dirt. Spamming units is not a winning strategy here.
Play Warfare 1917 here, or its sequel Warfare 1944 here!
On one hand, what top game list would be complete without a zombie game?
On the other hand, let’s be honest: this game is popular because it has an old and dedicated community who’ve been playing for years. And why wouldn’t they? After all, Last Stand: Dead Zone offers an interesting mix of Xcom-style tactical combat plus construction and resource management. But, with time-gated content on a slow growth curve plus pvp raids from players with years of time invested…this is a hard game for a new player to break into.
Fortunately there are other games in the Last Stand series that are far more accessible. Last Stand 2 for example, trades out the time-gated content with immediately-available choices for traps, and instead of tactical combat features a fairly simple defense shooter minigame as zombies rush your wall. Or consider Last Stand: Union City, which is more of a survival and exploration based action RPG shooter. Both very different from Dead Zone, but they’re games you can sit down and play without waiting on timers and without worrying about raids from players who have years invested into the game. If you do decide to give Dead Zone a try instead of the other games in the series, be patient and plan to play 5-10 minutes a day, every day. This game has a long and slow buildup.
Play Last Stand: Dead Zone here!
An all-time classic, and without a doubt the best in the Bloons tower defense series. Nobody knows why monkeys and bloons hate each other so much, but no monkey worth his bananas is going to let an unanswered question like that stop him from popping some bloons!
Like previous games, Bloons 5 features a level-up system whereby you unlock new towers and upgrades by destroying more bloons. You’ll probably find it necessary to play through easy missions a few times before you’ll unlock the tools to beat harder missions, tougher bloons, and eventually even blimps.
Unlike previous Bloons games, Bloons 5 also offers persistent bonuses and rewards. Even once all your towers are unlocked you can still earn in-game currency from beating maps, that can be spent on toggleable tower upgrades and consumable “special agents” that can be used to give one-time boosts to help you through particularly hard missions.
Play Bloons Tower Defense 5 here!
So those are the top 10 most popular strategy games trending on Armor Games right now. What do you think? Are all of these games worthy of their position on the list? Is your favorite game in the whole world suspiciously missing? Let us know in the comments below!