I haven’t played the first Creeps game, which was launched 9.5 years ago, but I did hear good things about it on the web. Yesterday I came across The Creeps 2! on the App Store under the AR category and decided to give it a go. Just things to note, I wasn’t able to finish the game due to time restrictions. Once I do, I will update this review.
What is The Creeps! 2?
The Creeps! 2 is a tower defense strategy game that can be played in AR alongside its standard gameplay mode. Like many other tower defense game, here also the player needs to protect a tower, in this case, a bag of cookies, from creepy creatures.
The game features 40 levels. I still haven’t finished the game as I need to invest much more time farming currency in order to obtain more gems to be able to upgrade my defense items. This is not a game that you are going to finish in like an hour. It takes time to upgrade stuff, and you will need to replay some previous levels in order to farm for gems. You can shorten that time by buying gems (called “Jades” in this game) using hard currency (real money) from the in-game store.
Upgrading items outside the game are making the base item more powerful. There is also an option to upgrade items during the game, but these type of upgrades, although do make the defense unit more powerful, shoot faster and for a longer distance, require coins. You start the game with a certain amount of coins and obtain more by killing creeps. It’s up to you to manage your economy well and decide if to use the coins to upgrade units or buying new units.
There is also a pause button, which can be used to stop the game, which gives you time to make changes like buying, upgrading or destroying units without that taking time from the game’s timer and helping you make strategic decisions without being overwhelmed when things become more intense.
The game is well balanced and although you might finish a level without upgrading to the recommended item level (as recommended by the game), you won’t always be successful.
The Creeps 2 features a large variety of defense units to choose from, including water blasters, boomerangs, glue bottles, laser flashlights, and more. Furthermore, you can unlock support units by finishing certain objectives during the game. For example, in one of the rounds, I was able to unlock four support units. One of them was a spaceship that once used, went to boss creatures and lift them in the air. This allows my other attack units to finish them before they got close to my precious cookie jar.
Let’s check out some gameplay.
The most Comprehensive AR TD Game Around
I’ve played many augmented reality tower defense games, like XR Defense, Tower AR, Tricky Temple, Fury of the Gods, Terrorhedron, and Castle Must be Mine AR. I found The Creeps! 2 to be the most comprehensive AR tower defense game that I’ve played to date.
It is like for a few reasons. First of all, it has a large variety of upgradable units. Second, the gameplay is built with several sub-objectives (e.g. destroying certain stones, deploying a certain defensive unit several times, finish a goal before the time runs out, etc), which can reward the player with gems or support units during the game. The player can also direct the fire of his defense units towers other items like rocks and trees in the level in order to finish various objectives. When this is done, the units will focus on that item and not on enemies. You need to tap the item again to make closeby units target enemies again.
Third, it has very diverse level designs with some levels that offer different styles of gameplay than the classic Tower Defense one. This adds diversity and gets you enjoy something slightly different in between the “standard” TD levels.
I don’t know how many levels like that there are, but for example, in one of them, I had to clear up four tombstones before the time runs out using only my defense units. there were some gif items which once destroyed, revealed laser flashlight that helped in achieving the objective. Even that level had sub-objectives.
There is also plenty of levels in this game. The game does have microtransactions, but the thing is that farming for Jades (gems) wasn’t a problem for me, because I enjoy replaying other rounds and experimenting with different defense units. This way, I can learn to build different defense strategies that use other units that I haven’t previously played with. By employing them in previously-completed levels, I was able to prepare myself for tougher levels and of course, obtaining coins and upgrade my units while doing so.
I am currently still in World 1 (each world consists of 20 levels), and it will probably take me a few days until I am able to upgrade my units to the required level in order to finish the level that I’m stuck on.
The Creeps! 2 is different than some other Tower Defense games that I’ve played because you have the option to upgrade the units outside of the game using “Jades” (gems). This is done so the developer can monetize on those upgrades using hard currency. Still, I do enjoy upgrading units as it gives me a sense of progression. Even farming for Jades wasn’t that bad as the gameplay is fun, I enjoyed testing other units, so although repetition does exist, it isn’t that bad.
Visuals & Sounds
The Creeps! 2 feature beautiful visuals. Now, the game has two modes, Standard and AR. The standard is, in my opinion, looks boring and flat, the AR is definitely the best way to experience the game.
It isn’t that obvious by the way. I’ve played some AR games where the Standard game mode was actually more enjoyable to play, but in this game, the Augmented Reality (AR) version look and feels so much better than the standard one.
Each level looks different. I like the cartoon-style, the splashy visual effects, and the large variety of enemy characters. Even the voices are well made and make the creeps funny and entertaining.
The Creeps 2 plays like a table-top game. You spawn the level on the flat surface and start playing. You can set the size of the game area to small, medium or large. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to manually resize it nor the option to rotate the board.
I’ve also noticed a bug where the AR detection green rectangle that shows the detected surface, doesn’t disappear after the game has already started. It didn’t happen every time though, but this is something that I want to be fixed, as it gives the entire level a greenish tint and the rectangular border is visible around the gameplay area.
The Creeps! 2 isn’t among those games that blew my mind as an AR game, but I can definitely say that it was much more fun to play it in AR than the regular mode, that’s for sure.
The Creeps! 2 turned out to be a great surprise. It’s a fantastic tower defense game that is fun to play in augmented reality, more than as a standard mobile game.
The game so many things I enjoy in TDG and in games in general, including challenging gameplay, a large variety of defense units, boss characters, funny-looking character, cool voices and sound effects, beautiful splashy visual effects, a good progression system, well-balanced gameplay, many levels, and more.
I did find the level design in AR to be unexciting, but from usability point, a flat design makes it easier to access tappable areas on the map and make interaction easier like that. I still think that there is a way to improve the outer regions of the game area so it blends more seamlessly and beautifully with the real world environment. You can look at Orbu as a great example of how to achieve that.
Overall, one of the most engaging Tower Defense AR games that I’ve played to date. Although not an AR marvel, the gameplay itself is fun and very satisfying. If you love tower defense games, puzzle games or challenging mobile games, you need to play this game.
TIP: visit the game every day to get your daily reward.
Now if you excuse me, I am going back to play some more. I’m sure there are even more cool things down the road.