Whether your towers are made out of wood, steel, or even jelly, tower defense games always require you to do some type of defending. These strategy games often put you in situations where you need to build towers around your base to keep hordes of enemies away and ensure you make it through the final wave of assailants. Upgrading is also an important aspect of this genre as your towers are defenseless unless you beef them up to take on the hardest monsters, thieves, or aliens that march your way.
Tower defense games are about as common as endless runners on the App Store and Google Play, but weve picked 10 of the best games in the genre to save you some time and a whole lot of downloading. Regardless of what youre defending or what types of towers or turrets youre packing, this mobile-friendly genre is sure to keep you coming back for more. So without further ado, here are the 10 best tower defense games for iOS and Android.
10. Babel Rising 3D ($2.99)
Instead of defending a tower, Babel Rising 3D wants you to prevent one from being built. Playing as a vengeful god thats upset with his traitorous followers, you need to unleash hell (or is it heaven) and kill them off before they build a monument for their new god. You can take them out with elemental powers like lightning bolts and fire storms or save your energy and wipe out what theyve built forcing them to start from scratch. Controls are simple and besides rotating your camera around the tower, you can perform quick gesture controls for different attacks. Not only is the game free to play, but its campaign and endless modes are sure to keep you coming back for more divine retribution.
9. GRave Defense HD ($2.99)
Plants vs. Zombies isn't the only game to bring zombies into the TD universe, but the zombies you have to defend yourself against in GRave Defense are anything but cute. A very traditional tower defense game, the game has you defending an entire city thats under the attack of waves of undead assailants by building towers all over the map. The game comes with both a campaign and survival mode and three difficulties to choose from, but be warned: Normal difficulty could very well be labeled Hard. With lots of missions to play through and several upgrades and enemies to deal with, GRave Defense is one of the most straightforward tower defense games youll find on mobile. And thats not such a bad thing.
8. Jelly Defense ($2.99)
Despite its mostly monochromatic world, Jelly Defense is a game about color. Sure you can build large jelly-like towers all over your map, but if theyre not the same color as the marching blobs in their vicinity, they wont do any damage to them at all. This adds some strategy to this otherwise simple game as it forces you to decide whether to upgrade a tower or to set up a new one of a different color altogether. Not only is Jelly Defense a simple but effective TD title, but the charming denizens of its worlds are sure to put a smile on your face. Who knew jelly could be so tough to take down?
7. Crystal Defenders ($6.99)
Take the characters and charming sounds from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and feature them in a TD game for your mobile defense. Thats essentially what Crystal Defenders is and thats why its so much to play. Various classes like the warrior, time mage, and archer are your towers and youll need to set them up around your map before waves of monsters start marching towards your crystal. Enemies increase in levels the more you play though the campaign, so youll need to constantly level up your defenders to stand a chance against even the hardest wave. Dont let those Marlboros take you down.
6. Kingdom Rush Frontiers ($0.99)
Kingdom Rush Frontiers is a charming TD game that takes place in a medieval world and requires you to keep marauders at bay before they infiltrate your kingdom and rob it of its goods. As with most games in the genre, you need to set up towers all over your map. While most of the game is similar to its predecessor, there are a few noteworthy additions that make the game just that much more fun to play. Filled with pop culture references, humorous dialogues, and some inventive towers upgrades (make the dead bodies of your enemies fight on your side, for example), any TD fan is sure to fall in love with everything this sequel has to offer.
5. Dungeon Defenders ($2.99)
Dungeon Defenders blends traditional TD gameplay with some action-RPG elements letting you partake in the action instead of just sitting back and waiting for your towers to do all the work for you. Before each wave starts bursting in, you get some time to set up magic towers, defense barricades, and other means of protection. But once the timer stops, you need to run around with your character taking down enemies and also ensuring your towers dont get destroyed. All those experience points can be used towards leveling up your characters and unlocking abilities that make it easier to stay alive. Its blend of offense and defense makes for a very varied experience whether you play it with friends or all alone.
4. Fieldrunners 2 ($2.99)
Fieldrunners 2 puts you in charge of ensuring the titular red-clad soldiers dont make it to your base and destroy it to smithereens. You have an arsenal of turrets and guns to use to dispose them with, but to make things trickier, your enemies wont always march on the same path every time. Besides offering a traditional TD experience, a puzzle mode also gives you the challenge of corralling the fieldrunners and guiding them to hit specific targets. With over 60 levels to defend and lots of cool weapons to unlocks, youll definitely have your work cut for you.
3. Castle Doombad ($2.99)
One of the coolest things about Castle Doombad is that you play as the dastardly Dr. Lord Evilstein and need to dispose of heroes trying to break into your castle and rescue the princess you just kidnapped. The game features tons of floor and ceiling traps that let you unleash hell on the good guys during each of its challenging levels. You can upgrade traps with the money you get for clearing each stage and you can also get some additional help from minions that will do act as guard dogs on each of your castles floors. Why play the good guy all the time when it feels so much better being evil?
2. Plants vs. Zombies 2 (Free)
Plants vs. Zombies is probably every mobile device owners first foray into the TD genre, and considering how fun it is to shoot down zombies with seed bullets, its definitely a great place to start. This sequel is not only free-to-play, but also takes all the lovable plants from the original on a time traveling adventure where theyll need to protect their bases from zombies in different moments in history. Power-ups also add some variety to the series and new colorful plants are not only adorable additions to your roster, but they pack a mean puncherr, leaf too.
1. Anomaly 2 ($4.99)
Anomaly 2 brings all the cinematic action of its PC version to your mobile device in this fresh take on the genre. Instead of defending, youll be one trying to destroy enemy towers lining your map. Each of the campaign missions has your convoy navigating through enemy-infested lands, so youll need to purchase new units with different guns and abilities to make it to your destination. Its single-player campaign follows a rich story and features plenty of conversations and cutscenes. Online modes even let you play as the enemy in a more traditional defensive experience. Fun and full of explosions, you wont be disappointed by how Anomaly 2 takes TD games to a whole other level.
On to to the next wave
So there you have it. Those were just 10 out of the hundreds of mobile tower defense games out there, so if there's any we didn't list that you think deserve a mention, let us know.
Looking for other mobile games and other genres to check out? Be sure to check out our list of best mobile games released in 2013 and get your game on.