Review: Tesla Wars – II for iOS

Tesla Wars II screenshot - Redness
Review: Tesla Wars – II for iOS

Platforms: iOS

Game Name: Tesla Wars - II

Publisher: Synaptic Wave

Developer: Synaptic Wave

Genre: Action, Tower Defense

Release Date: January 7, 2015

Tesla Wars – II – What We Think

In the near future, powerful generators are created. They brings prosperity everywhere, but that’s not all they manage to change. One generator accidentally opens a portal to a different dimension. From the portal, hostile stick people seek to bring chaos and destruction to the planet. You are in control of a powerful, upgradable generator with offensive and defensive capabilities and it is your mission to quell the threat.

Tesla Wars II screenshot - Explosion

From indie developers Synaptic Wave, Tesla Wars – II is a twitch-based defense game that gets increasingly more difficult as you play, steadily introducing new enemy types that may wield flame throwers, grenades, rocket launchers, machine guns, or melee weapons. These enemy stick people will come from the left and right side of the screen to attack the generator wall that runs along the top and bottom of the screen. To defend against this, the generator is capable of firing an electrical bolt anywhere you tap on the screen. Every stick person killed nets money that can be used to upgrade the generator’s stats, buy upgrades or special abilities.

Tesla Wars II screenshot - Upgrades

Stick It To ‘Em

You can increase the amount of money you get by killing stick people quickly which will result in a combo, or by completing a level’s missions. Missions are like bonus objectives within each level and the game does a good job generating incentive, as completing them rewards you with a hefty amount of money. These missions are never too demanding and are fairly achievable, even though they are not very creative. For instance one involves not taking damage for 20 seconds and another one requires that you complete a level without using any special attacks. Obviously these bonus objectives offer up a small amount of extra challenge and some replay value.

Maximizing the money earned is essential if you want to progress and succeed. Luckily the game is also well-balanced and money can be spent in a number of different ways without punishing you if you spent it a certain way. This was an issue in the first game and I’m glad it was fixed here.

Whether it’s adding another turret or purchasing special abilities, the upgrades in this game are very helpful; there is a nice variety to the upgrades, from laser turrets to upgrading the generator’s total health points. You can buy a special ability to help clear the screen if you are overwhelmed or decide that increasing your electricity bolt’s power is more to your liking.

Tesla Wars II screenshot - Desert

The controls and gameplay are suitably responsive. Tapping onscreen to to kill stick people is surprisingly enjoyable. Watching them explode or disintegrate with your electrical bolt of death is also satisfying. There are no framerate slowdowns or lag when the screen gets filled with enemies and the game gets hectic. It’s such a smooth, fun, mindless experience that was very addicting at times.

There is not a whole lot of strategy to surviving the moment-to-moment gameplay, which is fine – it’s not aiming to be a highly strategic game. There are times where some planning is needed, for instance using special abilities at the right times or choosing which upgrades will benefit you the most. The feeling Synaptic Wave nails here is that of a distinct frenetic, snap-decision, action experience.

Tesla Wars II screenshot - Redness

Tesla Wars – II has a great art style to it; on the one hand minimalist but also highly detailed. The animations of the stick people are all different and unique depending on what type of weapon they use. Tilting the screen left or right makes the perspective of the game shift slightly. This is a subtle addition, but it really makes the game look even better.

Tightly Coiled

In many ways Tesla Wars – II – by being more focused on twitch-based action as opposed to careful strategy – is a game I can see myself more likely to play when I am out and about, just to kill some time. If you’re looking for a polished, enjoyable mobile game to play, you won’t go wrong with Tesla Wars – II.

Get Tesla Wars – II at the iTunes App Store