The best defense is a good symphony

Symphonic Tower Defense is like Plants vs. Zombies on the dance floor.

Defend your lanes against musical notes to techno tracks. (Credit: Screenshot by Eddie Cho/CNET)

Talk about a flashback to the early 2000s. Tower defense (TD) games are still kicking strong, and just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Symphonic Tower Defense rolls around.

Symphonic Tower Defense is a rhythmic tower defense game by FrozenFire and JonSandness and is currently featured on Newgrounds as one of the top most played games on the site. In true Plants vs. Zombies style, Symphonic takes a linear, multilane, music-driven approach to the tower defense genre.

The title draws its inspiration from the once-popular Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) series. Those who recall the golden days of faux dancing will instantly recognize the interface. Stages are replaced with songs, each with Normal or Hard modes. When a song is highlighted, Symphonic breaks down the featured enemy types or elements (similar to DDR's voltage/stream/chaos chart) so that players can prepare for the incoming enemy notes.

Players are now "conductors." Once you choose a song, you are given an opportunity to prepare your defense towers for the onslaught. Like traditional TD games, towers of varying firepower can be upgraded to hit multiple enemies.

What makes Symphonic unique is that in addition to towers, players can use "Music Attacks" and "Specials" in tight spots. Music Attacks are status inducing attacks that affect enemy notes, ranging from slowdown to completely halting them in their tracks. Specials are flashier attacks of their colored tower counterparts. As players set up towers, a special bar for each color will slowly charge to the beat. Once fully charged, players can toggle these special attacks to dish out massive damage.

Each song is split into rounds (or enemy waves). The top left indicates the duration of each wave and the bottom left indicates the remaining time of the current song. Because each stage lasts no longer than the track duration, Symphonic feels more like an arcade game than the typical tower defense game that normally locks players into an endurance run. Symphonic also boasts unlockable tracks and credits the respective artists by offering direct download links to their music or online stores. In addition, Facebook integration and achievements also await those who want to go the extra distance.

Give it a run and let us know how far you got. Meanwhile, we're going to continue trying to beat Chaoz Overflow on Hard Mode.

About Eddie Cho