Kaiju Panic by Mechabit is one of those games that mix tower defense with action/strategy, and it does it fairly well. Yet I had troubles liking it fully. Why? Well, Kaiju Panic is a kind of fun, kind of boring type of game. I know, I just confused you, didn’t I? That’s okay, that’s how I felt about it at first too.
The story follows the aftermath of an asteroid crash. Within this asteroid were these little monsters called Kaiju, which are apparently coming to destroy us. Your job is to mine the asteroids for resources while avoiding the Kaiju and also gathering survivors to bring them to safe places. The places are only as safe as you make them, though, and this is where the tower defense kicks in: you will have to build towers to defend it (and the people you just saved) from all those monsters coming to get you.
Simple enough, right? Of course, as you go through you get to improve buildings, research, gain perks, etc. Some survivors won’t want to go with you until you complete a requirement (ie. Find their dog first), which gets a bit annoying.
I rather enjoyed the visual aspect of the game, even if it has a bit of a ‘mobile’ feel to it. The cutesy cartoony graphics are lovely if you’re into that type of art style, the variety of Kaiju is enough to keep you entertained, and the colorful atmosphere will make you forget you’re essentially in one of those aftermath games.
The maps are interesting, though nothing out of this world. After a while they all more or less start to look alike.
That said, the controls were a bit confusing at first, but once you get used to them, they’re only moderately annoying. You use a combination of mouse and keyboard, where the space bar pops up the build menu and the mouse is mostly used to look around and select buildings.
The music is annoying as hell, but the sound effects were decent for the type of game – pretty much what you’d expect from a mobile-looking game.
My biggest pet peeve with the game is that while it’s really entertaining to play when you just start, after a while it just gets repetitive and boring. And I did enjoy the first few levels of the game – but as I progressed, turret placing became a bit of trial-and-error as you have no clue until you’ve played it where monsters will be coming from, and with an already repetitive style of gameplay, having to re-do entire levels can get really frustrating.
Mechabit has recently added a co-op option, which I haven’t had the chance of trying, but I think would really add some to the entertaining factor if you’re not playing it on your own.
Would I recommend it? Eh, I give it a very hesitant yes, particularly if you’re into tower defense, but I would certainly not pay full price for it. Better wait for a sale or a bundle.