Savage Moon, from little known Bristol developer FluffyLogic, is about as good as it's going to get for just over six quid on PSN. It's also perhaps the most aptly named game ever. All 12 levels are set on moons, and it's absolutely savage. There you go. End of review.
Only joking. There's more to it than that, of course. It's a tower defence game, at its heart, with heaps of strategic depth and lashings of real-time resource management, but there's a twist. A gruesome, gory, twist. You're defending your moon base from alien insects, called Insectocytes. Thousands and thousands of the creepy, disturbing, disgusting, Insectocytes, who are all hell bent on worming their way towards your moon base and bringing it down in a soul-destroying boom. Think Starship Troopers spliced with PixelJunk Monsters and you're halfway there.
Savage Moon is structured in classic tower defence style. You begin each mission with a set number of credits with which you're able to buy and lay down turrets in anticipation of the first wave of horrible beasties. The turrets you place down will automatically attack any target that encroaches on their firing radius. At the beginning of each game, you only have basic machine gun turrets available to you, but you're able to spend money researching new technologies and upgrading existing technologies so you can better cope with the varied bug types that come at you. With the thumb sticks you're able to swivel the camera in a somewhat constricted fashion, and with simple presses of the X button, either on open terrain or on your existing turrets, you're able to quickly and easily access all the game's menus and cope intuitively with the waves of bugs.
You gain cash by killing bugs. Simple as that. So as the waves of aliens come and your turrets dispatch them, your credit count goes up. You're able to see what alien type is coming in the next wave, too, which means your hard-earned cash will be spent adapting your defence to whatever bug's about to monotonously snake its way towards your base. You need to quickly research anti-air turrets, for example, because more often than not flying bugs will emerge from purple tunnels built into the asteroid rock in the second or so wave, and the basic turrets won't cut it against them. There are mortar turrets, which fire bombs at range, and laser turrets, which are slow firing but strong against well armoured alien bugs, to research as well, meaning there are plenty of units to play around with.
There's more, too. You're able to lay down blocks, which act as path blockers, forcing the alien horde to take long winded routes towards your base. This gives you more time till they reach your precious innards, of course, but it also exposes the aliens to your turrets for longer, which is invaluable, especially when faced with fast moving bugs and tank bugs that absorb loads of damage. Only problem with this strategy is that the bugs can attack and destroy your defences, which makes repair turrets essential.
Savage Moon's got a surprising amount of strategic depth, especially compared with other recent tower defence games on the market. You have to quickly size up a map, work out where the bugs will come from and the path they will take towards your base, and lay down turrets appropriately. Because you can see what bug type is coming in the next wave, a knowledge of what defence type works best against what bug is essential, as well as smart placement so you're not wasting cash on needless turrets. You're encouraged to work quickly, too, because doing so will allow you to advance the wave of aliens and give you a credit bonus. You can also adjust the emphasis of your strategy, increasing the amount of cash you earn from killing bugs, beefing up your armour or increasing the amount of damage your turrets do, or a balance.