Guardians of Hyelore is coming to Steam on September 29, ready to turn the age-old tower defence genre on its head. Yes, your band of bespoke heroes must prevent an enemy horde from reaching your base, but they push back and advance on the enemy too—ultimately pushing them back to their own base where a formidable boss awaits. Your army auto-marches, but as it does you’ll need to rely on all your military tactical nous if you want to reach the plunder that awaits at the end of each level.
But most journeys start from humble beginnings. You start with just four of the titular Guardians, but as you rack up the victories new warriors will join your cause, and you’ll be able to endow existing ones with powerful new abilities. Each Guardian has their own skill tree and unique tactical role; from Nomia the Lightbearer with her healing spells like Ceremony of Light to the archer Castien who can rain down arrows on an area or blast through a line of enemies with a single devastating strike.
Successfully complete a level, and you’ll get to bask in the spoils of war, upgrading your Guardians with new weapons, powerful potions and other consumables. You can evolve your army to your play style too, with a talent system that grants you unique permanent abilities after each successful battle that make units more affordable or increase the impact of your attacks.
All this is presented through a gloriously vibrant cartoon art style that makes you hyped to seeing the next battle arena, and braced to take on whichever of the 180 unique enemies comes stomping your way. We particularly love the look of the bosses that await you at the end of each level, which range from armoured skeleton warriors to gargantuan (and kind of cute) bats.
While you may be allured by the cutesy aesthetic, once you start marching through Hyelore you’ll witness the deceptive amount of depth in its combat and progression systems. Throughout the course of a single battle, you’ll not only need to get the balance right between support, warrior, ranged and magic units, but you’ll also be summoning more troops in during a battle.
Do you throw everything at the enemy in a desperate final attempt to push them back from your keep, or do you exercise cautious economic management, hold back, then regroup so you can fight another day?
You’re the commander, and these huge strategic decisions are in your hands.
If you’ve been following Guardians of Hyelore, you’ll see that it’s had a bit of a makeover, renaming itself from Tower Rush to its much catchier current name. Developer Megaglope Studios decided that the old title made the game sound a bit ‘Tower Defencey’, where in reality it’s more like a deadly reverse Tug of War, as two armies collide and try to push each other back to the other’s base.
The newly-named Guardians of Hyelore comes to Steam 29 September. You can head over to its Steam page to wishlist it, or follow its journey to launch on the official Megaglope (Facebook, Twitter) and Freedom Games (Facebook, Twitter) social channels.