An action-based tower defense game in the vein of Sanctum or Dungeon Defenders, Deathtrap by NeocoreGames managed to win me over despite my serious skepticism after a few enemy waves. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoy a good TD and have been playing them as far back as custom maps in the original StarCraft, but, after an underwhelming experience with Defense Grid 2, I wasn’t exactly eager to jump back into the genre; Deathtrap has completely changed that.
Deathtrap manages to feel familiar but be wholly different at the same time. Monsters come from spawns and traverse along an indicated path towards a gate which the player must protect by defeating said monsters. Unlike most TDs there is no mazing element or using objects to block the path. Instead there is a strong focus on placing the best combination of traps, or traps that synergize well with the player's gear, in optimal and efficient locations. I found this change refreshing as it keeps the player actively engaged in helping fight enemies instead of simply building a giant labyrinth and letting towers or other siege weapons do all the heavy lifting.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing) to excellent effect here. With 3 classes, with over 50 unique skills, a level cap of 100, 25 unlockable traps with 150 potential upgrades, there’s plenty of grinding and leveling for those who want it.
While each class may have a specific trap affinity, no trap is class-specific, and all are available once unlocked with a given character, allowing players to tackle each wave and mission pretty much as they see fit. The only real restriction comes from the lack of free placement in combat. Unlike other TDs, as noted earlier, there is no mazing element or obstructing. Instead, each trap type can only be built on a corresponding node/location. For instance Gun Towers and Blade Launchers, which are mechanical, can only be built on pillars adorned with gears while Lighting and Ice towers, which are Mystic, can only be constructed on pillars with an altar at the top. Another distinction is between pillars and floor traps, the latter, which you may have safely assumed, also have specific types of tiles which must correspond with their placement.
Bottom line is that NeocoreGames has really impressed me with a game I might have otherwise overlooked in a rush of releases lately. I definitely see myself making time to play a level here or there going forward regardless of what else my hit my already overloaded plate. Deathtrap is out now on Steam for $19.99. If you enjoy TDs and ARPGs then Deathtrap is like an enemy spawn rushing towards your portal: it’s not to be missed.