Endless Swarm

  • Platform: Xbox Live Indie Games
  • Released: November 19, 2008
  • Price: 80 Microsoft Points
  • Role: Design

Endless Swarm is a game that Andy Thayer, Mitesh Shah, and I worked on together for entry into Microsoft’s first Dream Build Play contest. At the same time I was working on Proximity 2, and was planning on submitting it to the same contest, so my help was very limited, although I did meet up with them a couple of times a week to work on its design, draw up documents, and test the game.

The game is a mixture of the classic Missile Command and the more modern Tower Defense games. You play as a robot that moves across the screen; building, repairing, upgrading, and aiming turrets while swarms of enemies flood the screen, trying to take you out. These turrets have 8 different styles that have their strengths and weaknesses for different types of enemies, and it can get pretty hectic protecting both yourself and two factories that are busy extracting resources that you can use to help defend yourself.

After the first few waves the waves afterwards are dynamically generated, and these waves aren’t just random. The enemies can choose formations and paths to take across the screen, and even a boss will appear from time to time, keeping everything fresh and unexpected. Eventually, though, they will overwhelm you, and then the game ends.

Go alone, or play with a friend. It can get pretty hectic keeping everything upgrading and aiming the right direction, so playing with a friend is best. In addition to playing with a friend, you will periodically build up a special bar, that once full you can choose to either heal all your turrets automatically, place a shield to protect you for a period of time, or take out all the enemies on the screen with an EMP blast.

Endless Swarm is a fun and a fresh take on the tower defense genre and well worth the cheap asking price to give it a shot. I had a great time working on it and I think you’ll like playing it as well.