PixelJunk Monsters 2 is out this month, try the free demo now

PixelJunk Monsters 2 is a cute tower defense game about turning trees into weapons of war for the sake of protecting some chibi tiki dudes, and it's coming to PC on May 25. Developer Q-Games released a free Steam demo for it earlier today, so you can sample its first level now. You're gonna need a controller, though, and ideally an Xbox controller (it wouldn't register my PS4 controller connected via Bluetooth). 

You play as Tikiman, a slightly taller tiki dude and the spirit of the forest that a whole bunch of monsters are invading. PixelJunk Monsters 2 adds to the original with new towers and multiplayer modes, but it's still the same sort of tower defense game: turn trees into towers to fend off waves of enemies and stop them from reaching the base where the chibis live. Killing monsters earns you gold you can spend to place towers and gems used to upgrade them. 

Apart from its lovely art, PixelJunk Monster 2 stands out from other tower defense games because it lets you switch between a top-down view and a first-person view. You have to manually collect the gems and coins dropped by monsters, and it's a lot easier to do so in first-person. It's also fun to run through a maze of towers of your own design and watch them go to work.  

One of my favorite details is how you upgrade towers. Towers earn experience as they kill towers, and you can use gems to upgrade them instantly, but can also stand on top of a tower and let Tikiman do a little dance, which will slowly upgrade it. In my experience, the final wave of a level is prime dancin' time.  

Thanks, RockPaperShotgun.  

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.