Minimalistic Tower Defense

Make the plant grow and survive the incoming waves of enemies. Minimalistic tower defense game with clean flatcolor aesthetics.

Voting results


This game entered in the Solo competition (29 entries).

Comments (22)

 • 5 years ago • 

I love the art and concept. Like a natural little tower defence game! Overall really great.

I wish there was more feedback from the enemies when they got hit, and a bit more variety in the sounds.

  • 5 years ago • 

@treslapin Yeah that is one of the main things I really don't like not having but I really had no willpower for SFX and particle effects at the end of the jam :D Glad you like it!

Caique Assis
(@caiqueassis) • 5 years ago • 

Great game man! I'm loving the art style here, just like in the last jam ;)

This fits the theme perfectly, and this is a very original concept for a tower defense. Gameplay is intuitive after you toy around in that first "tutorial" level, and the polish is great.

Only complaint is the lack of sound effects, but that smooth beat as background music is very nice and this sorta fits with the overall minimalist aesthetic you were going for, I assume.

  • 5 years ago • 

@caiqueassis Yeah I definitely wanted to commit to the minimalist aesthetic. Happy you liked it!

 • 5 years ago • 

Are you able to do builds for macs?

  • 5 years ago • 

@dstavis No, sorry, I don't own a Mac. If somebody has one and has GM2, I can send the source code for them to compile.

 • 5 years ago • 

What a magical little game. I was expecting Eufloria light but this was much more interesting. Just growing the tree itself was fun, and then the defence gameplay on top was extra fun.

Cool visual style, and I'm glad you avoided sound effects I think.

It'd have been nice to get a little sunlight resource back when lopping off branches (i forgot to build any sunflowers one time and ended up broke with no recourse). I also found it hard to tell how much damage the enemies were causing, but maybe my defences were too effective most of the time.

Thanks for making this!

  • 5 years ago • 

@voxel Glad you like it! The branches get thinner when damaged, I didnt want to do more indication than that. I guess the game is just too easy. I didn't really know how to balance either the resource management and the scaling of the enemies :D

"Magical little game" definitely makes me happy :)

 • 5 years ago • 

@raindrinker I love this idea! When I saw your first build post, I pretty much screamed at how clever it was. It's extremely enchanting, especially the visual style and the just-so pace of your branch growing, dots circle, and plant animations.

I got access to a PC and tried it out. I do have a macbook and if I can help generate files so more folks could play I'd be happy to.

It feels more like a vertical slice than a game at this point, since the enemies are too easy. I built out an awesome configuration and then enemies couldn't really stay on the screen at all. If you're at all interested in adding to this, I would love to play a version that has developed the enemies more. It seems like a fantastic foundation for a game, and it looks like most of the features are finished. Just needs some design and difficulty ramping.

  • 5 years ago • 

@dstavis yeah I felt like I could never balance and give it a finished feeling so I went for the "interesting idea" as much as I could. It will go in my folder of "interesting ideas that would work well as a mobile game and I might try to port to Unity someday".

Really happy you went out of your way to try it and liked it! Try my other games most of them also have that same feeling. :D

 • 5 years ago • 

Nailed the theme, amazing music. I left it running for most of the stream, eventually the whole world was full of sunlight and I had ~12,000 as a score. I call that winning. Really making a self sustaining tree is the condition I strived for. It was a pleasure to play. I do think the difficulty curves well even though you can overcome the initial challenge. However it did take me 3 or 4 attempts on the 3rd level to succeed.

Well done!

I cannot embed on alakajam. I will embed the stream gameplay on

 • 5 years ago • 

Hi there :)

One of the best entries ive seen here. Absolutely new look on tower defence genre. Gameplay is a bit easy but the concept is great.
10/10 Theme

 • 5 years ago • 

I actually have no major criticisms. The game is very well done. The only thing I'd like to point out is that you may have underscoped your project. Although the game is very well put together, it does feel a bit lacking.

  • 5 years ago • 

@DaFluffyPotato yeah it's definitely unfinished. The scope was bigger that what I managed to deliver. Theres not even an actual "game", like there's no challenge, no score, no nothing. You telling that it's underscoped, I take it as if I managed to make the game look like I did everything I wanted to, which may be a good thing.

Thanks for playing!

 • 5 years ago • 

Tower defence, a growing tree, 2D pixel graphics, that's a lot of tropes for the jam right there, but it worked out in the end!

The visual style is great, the choice to go for low fidelity pixelated assets, while effective and fast to produce, does reduce the technical score though. The sprite rotations just don't look good at all. High resolution assets would solve that issue and improve the overall production value too.

Music, is ok. Gets repetitive in the end as the loop isn't all that long. Would have preferred a steady, slow beat without the higher tempo instruments.

The GUI is sleek and functional. It could grey out options which are not available at the time due to lack of funds Sun Power! The Sun Power! squirming through the branches is a neat visual touch. How about turrets and healing requiring Sun Power! to function? Sun Power! running both ways!

The lack of challenge after the intial rush is unfortunate. Simply ramping up the enemy spawn rates slowly over time would have been enough. Not perfect, but enough.

Played a rather similar title in a jam some years ago, about bacteria rather than trees. Funky physics based stuff. It was Ludum Dare though, so no way I can find it any more…

Good work!

Overall: Good (7)
Graphics: Good (7)
Audio: Average (5)
Gameplay: Above average (6)
Originality: Good (7)
Theme: Great (8)

  • 5 years ago • 

@HuvaaKoodia Thanks for the rich feedback!

I kinda like rotating pixle art for some reason but I get the issue with it. yeah, vector stuff would probably look better.

I'm a newb at music and Bosca Ceoil

Yep, that's definitely something i wanted to have but got lazy at the end, feedback on costs and what you can/cannot build.

Difficulty does rank up but is too slow and had a hard time balancing stuff. Even if I make it grow faste ris hard to hit that spot where the enemies always are just threatening enough.

Thanks for playing!

 • 5 years ago • 

hard to hit that spot where the enemies always are just threatening enough.

I would argue against that goal. If the enemies are always just threatening enough the player can keep on playing the same level for hours and hours. That becomes boring! Additionally it is impossible to attain a spot which is just threatening enough to all players of all skill levels.

Instead you should think of the average session duration for the average player just starting out, fresh off the tutorial. Then tweak the difficulty curve to match that duration, lets say five minutes, and start ramping the curve up for each passing minute. The curve climbs towards infinity, but it does so linearly so it never feels a brickwall.

This way players with different starting skill levels will fare better or worse than the average duration estimate. Nonetheless everyone will eventually lose as the difficulty just keeps on rising. One the second playthrough the player has learned a few things and can survive for longer, but still the difficulty will eventually catch up to them. They want to keep on trying though, as they can keep beating their highscore time!

A difficulty curve such as this one is not threatening enough all the time. It starts easy, reaches the skill level of the player in some minutes, stays around their skill level for some time, and eventually grows beyond their reach. There can be different modes with slightly different difficulty curves of course, expert players want the curve to ramp up earlier, or even faster!

  • 5 years ago • 

@HuvaaKoodia yeah it was just a way to phrase "balancing so I can get the player to have a fullfilling experience". What you described is even harder than just forcing the player to keep themselves invested and making decisions, and I didn't even manage that.

Didn't really enjoy trying to get the gameplay experience I wanted for a TD in just 48h without curating levels carefully. I'll probably abstain of trying to make TDs for jams :D

Thanks for all the advice tho!

 • 5 years ago • 

even harder than just forcing the player to keep themselves invested and making decisions, and I didn't even manage that.

You did manage that, for a few minutes. Ramping up the difficulty curve, in a linear fashion, after those few minutes would do the trick. It is not hard, just takes some practice to get right.

I didn't have time to balance my entry either! The spawner I came up with was both broken and way too random even after the quick update. I plan to rewrite it for the post-jam version and I think you should make a post-jam version too. There's a lot to be learned from rethinking and reimplementing a core system.

This project is already good, you see. With a proper difficulty curve it would be great!

 • 5 years ago • 

This was one of my favourites.
Art style, I love.
Concept, I love.
Gameplay, very well done and nice polish.
Audio, cute music.

Overall you should be proud this game is awesome.

 • 5 years ago • 

Really excellent game in every respect. The gameplay is unique and interesting, the art is minimalistic but excellently communicative and stylish, and the music and art feel very cohesive to me.

My only two criticisms are that once you hit a certain point the challenge goes out of it, but there is no win state so you are just left with nothing to do - and the second level is a bit too hard I think. It either needs something to keep the challenge going after the sun has been tapped fully and the defenses are comprehensive, or some sort of definite end goal. And at least an intermediate diffculty level between the current two levels.

Having a sandbox to figure out how things work was a good idea.

So yeah, definitely one of my favourites of the jam!

 • 5 years ago • 

Excellent. Was finding a bit easy on the first level and was expecting to have some win condition, in retrospect I guess that was just a sandbox tutorial thing, but might as well wrap it up once a player reaches a certain number of points because it was not obvious to me I needed to exit to move on to the real level.

Once I reset and tried the other 2 which added some challenge it was a lot more fun.

Interesting variation on the tower defense genre, liked the minimal style also. I thought the balancing gathering resources with defense was a fun mechanic, and the plant theme works really well. Also a nice take on the always growing theme.

Great work.

On the third stage when I was dying I hit this error by the way:

action number 1
of Step Event0
for object o_enemy_snake:

Variable o_enemy_snake.dir(100003, -2147483648) not set before reading it.
at gml_Object_o_enemy_snake_Step_0


stack frame is
gml_Object_o_enemy_snake_Step_0 (line -1)

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