PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate is a tower defense game that has each map consisting of one screen. The basic plot is that you are an island native that has to defend your babies from monsters that will eat them. In each level / stage you have 20 babies, meaning no more than 20 enemies can get to your home base. how do you stop them? You have the ability to turn trees into towers. Arrow towers are quick and shoot far. Cannon towers do damage to a lot of enemies, but they are slow and short ranged. Anti-aircraft towers will take out flying enemies pretty quickly from a distance.
Enemies drop money and jewels / crystals. You can use the jewels to research three more towers, such as the tesla coil that will zap several enemies at once in a shot range. The laser tower that will shoot several flying enemies at once and finally some sort of giant cannon tower that will destroy a big radius, but it is super slow. With the crystals you can also use them to upgrade your towers, but you don’t really micro manage upgrades like I’d prefer. Each tower can only be upgraded a certain way, like arrow towers can only have their firing radius improved. Cannon towers can only have their power improved. You can also upgrade each tower by standing next to it and you will see a bar go to 100% when its done with the next level upgrade. It is a nice feature and fills any sort of idle time with work.
Waves of single enemy types arrive, mostly spiders, natives and flying pods. There are different varieties like giant natives, fat bee like creatures, and stronger glowing enemy alterations. You see how much time you have before the next wave along with what enemy type is coming next, so you can sell your towers for coins to buy more towers. This is a must in some levels.
You can’t really block the enemies. If you get hit, all of your coins will go flying ala Sonic from the 90s. Coins fly in the water and disappear in time. It will really keep you on your toes. The controls are nice and extremely basic. I think you only need to use one button and the thumbstick or mouse. Super simple and easy to use. If you want to research, just return to home base. If you want to build a tower, click a tree. That’s really all there is. Oh and at the end of each level is a giant boss, but they seem less threatening than 100 spiders.
The levels are long and meaty. Each level will take a while to complete and there is always a chance of failure. Your 20 babies get eaten and you have to restart the level. The world map is broken up into several different levels and there are different islands to explore. The levels are clumped together and to progress, you need to have a certain amount of rainbows to leave the level cluster. To get rainbows, you need to complete a level without losing babies. Its more difficult than it sounds on regular difficulty.
Its a really nice game that you can sink a lot of time into, but if you’re not into tower defense, this game won’t make you want to play tower defenses. I’ve always liked PixelJunk games and they make this one stand out in a sea of tower defense and micro transactions.