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Top 30 Online Tower Defense Games

Top 30 Online Tower Defense Games

Tower defense games are among the most addictive games around, and we have 30 of the best of them for you to play.

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Published by Alex Kearns on 16th March 2010

Every so often someone comes up with a game that is so new and innovative that everyone starts copying it and as a result a whole new genre of games is spawned. That is what has happened with tower defense games. Not so long ago, there was no such thing as a tower defense game. Then in 2007, David Scott released Flash Element Tower Defense. The game proved a hit and in almost no time other developers were mimicking the game play that Scott had pioneered.

Now, just three years after Flash Element TD's launch, there are literally hundreds of tower defense games available. Here, we present you with a list of what we consider to be the Top 30 Online Tower Defense Games. All the games can be played in your browser for free. Enjoy!

1Gemcraft

Gemcraft offers one of the most interesting - and certainly the most successful - twists on the tower defense genre. In this game, you play a wizard defending the land against evil critters. Just like in most TD games, you use towers to kill the monsters. But in Gemcraft, unlike in many TD games, the towers don't initially come with any special abilities or powers.

They are simply towers. You imbue them with powers by installing magic gems in them. Red gems, for example, might make a tower shoot fireballs at an enemy, green ones might poison your enemies. That on its own might not be that exciting but the developer - Game in a Bottle - has given you the ability to combine gems to create super powerful towers that have multiple powers.

This mechanic gives the game a strategic depth that many tower defense games lack. Add to that a captivating story line and long campaign mode and you begin to understand why Gemcraft is one of the most highly-rated flash games of all time. The original version of the game can be played here. A sequel can be played here.

2Protector

Protector is an attempt to combine tower defense and rpg game play. If the number of versions of the game are any measure - four at the last count - it has certainly been a successful attempt. In Protector, you don't use towers to fight off the enemies. Instead you use wizards, archers, fighters and other characters to ward off the monsters. Each character can be leveled up to unleash frightful new powers against the poor hordes of creatures.

Deep strategic game play and nice isometric graphics set Protector apart from your run-of-the-mill tower defense game. Play Protector here. Newer versions of the game can be played here and here.

3Bubble Tanks Tower Defense

If you like your tower defense games to offer you plenty of depth and replayability, then you will probably love Bubble Tanks TD. The game offers no less than 52 different modes, 11 unique paths for updating your towers and seven enemy types. Perhaps the game's most interesting feature, however, is the ability to merge towers into huge sprawling mega structures combining the powers of 16 standard towers. You can play Bubble Tanks TD here.

4Desktop TD

This might not have been the first tower defense game ever made but it is certainly the one that brought the genre to the attention of the masses. It blew my mind away when I first played it. Even though the game is a few years old now, it has lost none of its original charm and addictiveness. If you are looking for classic tower defense action, then you won't go wrong with this game. Desktop TD can be played here.

5Onslaught

With its crude graphics and basic-looking maps, you could be forgiven for giving this tower defense game a miss. But if you did, you would be missing out on one of the deepest tower defense games around. Onslaught is simply brilliant. If offers you an unparalleled range of towers (or turrets, in this case) and also the ability to mix them together to create uniquely powerful defense weapons. Onslaught can be played here.

6Bloons TD4

Personally, I would not have included this game quite so high up in the list. Its cute graphics and pretty basic game play are not to my taste. But I know that there are many people who love this game and would be furious if I did not place it near the top of the list. And I bow to their superior gaming knowledge. Play Bloons TD4 here.

7Flash Circle TD

Flash Element TD was one of the first tower defense games on the scene and its slick graphics and addictive game play quickly garnered a loyal following. This game is the sequel to Flash Element TD and it is everything one wants from a sequel: better graphics, deeper game play and more options. Play Flash Circle TD here.

8Defend your Honor

Tower defense games are a serious matter. Your life depends on keeping the monsters at bay. There is simply no time for humour. The developers of Defend your Honor would disagree, for they have created a tower defense game with a light-hearted storyline and an odd sense of humour.

In the game, you play an elf on a mission to recover a golden walrus from a dungeon. As you progress through the levels, you recruit friends (who in essence act the same as towers) to aid you. This is a cute and fun game perfect for those who don't take their tower defense gaming too seriously. Play Defend your Honor here.

9VR Defender Y3K

Set in the year 3000, VR Defender Y3K puts you in charge of a poor network engineer desperately trying to fend off wave after wave of malicious computer viruses. You need to defend your network firewall using a series of virtual towers. Classic tower defense game play in a futuristic setting. You can play VR Defender Y3K here.

10Lord of War 2

This is a very good looking tower defense game with a campaign-style series of levels. The sprites for the creeps are among the best you can find in a tower defense game, and the game play itself is highly addictive. Definitely deserves its top 10 position. Play Lord of War 2 here.

11Canyon Defense

This is a solid if not spectacular game that is notable for its rejection of some of the standard motifs of the tower defense genre. For a start, you can't upgrade any of the towers (well, they're actually turrets because the game has had a modern warfare theme). Instead, you unlock new and better turrets and other weapons by completing quests, and replace the old ones with the new. Canyon Defense can be played here.

12Front Line Defense

This game might not bring anything new to the tower defense genre but it is so well produced - with slick graphics and a simple to use interfaces - that one can't criticize it. The game - which has a modern military theme - is quite difficult by tower defense standards. So if you are a hardcore TDer, you won't be able to get enough of it. You can play Front Line Defense here.

13Antbuster

Defend your picnic food from the greedy ants by carefully placing cannons. This is tower defense gaming at its most simple and all the better for it. Play Antbuster here.

14Warzone TD

A solid tower defense game with a great range of defensive weapons, inventive map designs and deep strategic game play. What more could you want. Play Warzone TD here.

15Ultimate Defense 2

The first version of this game was almost unplayable as a result of its tortuously complicated user interface. This new version is immeasurably better. Indeed, it is probably the best looking tower defense game on the list, featuring sumptuous isometric maps. The game play is quite interesting too, successfully blending rpg elements with tower defense strategy. Ultimate Defense 2 can be played here.

16Random Defense

Some tower defense games have a modern military theme, others have a sci-fi setting while others still embrace the fantasy motif of wizards and elves. Random Defense, on the other hands, includes the whole lot. On some levels you are defending your space station from aliens, on another you are desperately fighting off jungle creatures, and... you get the drift. You can play Random Defense here.

17When Penguins Attack TD

You are not fending off evil monsters, well-armed soldiers or nasty invaders in this game. Instead, you are up against cute little penguins. Makes you wonder whether you are on the side of good. Still, them penguins need stopping and you have plenty of weapons to ensure that happens. Play When Penguins Attack here.

18Snafu TD

Snafu TD is good-looking tower defense game in the same vein as Desktop TD - there is no set route that the enemies have to take to your base, so you have to put a lot of thought into where your towers go. Snafu TD can be played here.

19Pirate Defense

Rather than using towers to kill the attacking hordes, in Pirate Defense you use traps. Apart from that, the game play is pretty much the same as with a standard tower defense game. You can play Pirate Defense here.

20Xeno Tactics

A slick tower defense game with a grungy sci-fi feel. It features multiple defensive turrets. Some work only against ground-based enemies. Others are effective only against airborne critters. A few work against both airborne and ground-based enemies. Play Xeno Tactics here.

21Mushroom Revolution

Featuring a similar game play mechanic to Gemcraft, Mushroom Revolution is a fun, cartoony tower defense game where the towers are replaced by cute mushrooms. Feed mushrooms different gems to grant them different critter-killing powers. Mushroom Revolution can be played here.

22Hill of Defend

This game deserves credit for its re-imagining of how tower defense games are presented. Rather than giving players a top down view, as is standard in tower defense games, Hill of Defend presents the player with a side view of the action. The enemies climb up various levels to reach your base. You build towers on the levels to fight them off. You can play Hill of Defend here.

23Whiteboard TD

This game is very much like Desktop TD (No 4) but with the game graphics given the appearance of being drawn with felt tip pens on a school whiteboard. Perhaps surprisingly, this style of artwork works really well, and Whiteboard TD is great fun. Play Whiteboard TD here.

24Dungeon Defender

In this game, you are the master of a dungeon under attack from annoying chivalrous heroes who want to woo fair maidens with their impressive deeds. You aim to spoil their plans by building lairs that grow creates to fight off the heroes. An interesting and effective take on the tower defense genre. Dungeon Defender can be played here.

25Create your own Tower Defense

This game is for people who love tower defense games so much that they want to create their own. The game gives you all the tools you need to make your own TD levels. You can also play and vote on levels designed by other. A great idea albeit one that may only appeal to tower defense fanatics. You can create your own tower defense games here.

26Towering Forever

Like Hill of Defend, this game presents the gamer with a side-on view of the action. The game also differs from the standard tower defense formula in that in addition to creating towers, you can take personal control of the chief defender, and battle attackers who get past your towers in much the same way as you would in a brawler-style side-scrolling game. You can play Towering Forever here.

27Vector Defense 2

Vector Defense 2 is a competent tower defense clone that offers players a variety of playing modes, from time attack (where you have to survive for as long as possible against endless waves of attackers) to lightning (where the enemies move twice as fast as usual). Apart from that, this is standard tower defense fare albeit with sleek vector graphics. Vector Defense 2 can be played here.

28Pixelshock's Tower Defense

A nice tower defense game featuring plenty of game modes, numerous maps and pretty isometric graphics. It is not the best tower defense game around. Nor is it by any means the worst. You can play Pixelshock's Tower Defense here.

29Anti-TD

In this unique tower defense game, you play the minions seeking to overwhelm the defenses and have to plot a path through the towers. Although it does not quite work, it is an interesting and inventive take on the genre. Play Anti-TD here.

30Mini Tower Defense

It might be the bottom of our list but it is by no means a bad example of the tower defense genre. If I had one criticism of the game, it is that the enemies are a tad on the sluggish side. Mini Tower Defense can be played here.


What do you think of our list? Would you have ordered it differently? Have we missed out any cool tower defense games. If so, share them with us in the comments section below.


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Published by Jathrine on 28th March 2014
Well it's quite old list but still good one. Before you'll update it one day (if ever;) you should definitely check Age of Defenders:)
Published by Defender quest on 24th November 2013
Check it out. Awesome game, but it's not free
Published by Ryan Kandy Wijaya on 18th October 2013
Yes, I am Like all games From armorgames, Thanks You So much... Good Luck Armor Games God Blessed You..
Published by KeeperoftheGate on 5th October 2013
Super cool. I hope this gets updated soon so Kingdom Rush can get on here. Is it odd that I've played over 1/2 of these, maybe 2/3s!
Published by Look at the year! on 17th September 2013
My god this was created years ago, so bloons 5 kingdom rush etc weren't made yet!!!
Published by lash on 9th September 2013
I wote for WarCraft III online TD. Best ever.
Published by BoomerangFTW on 31st August 2013
How is Bloons TD 5 not on there, but the 4th one is?
Published by KingdomRush on 25th July 2013
this list is pretty inacurate. kingdom rush wasnt on it I:
Published by Mohammad on 6th July 2013
david scott the creator ? you just insulted many of the tower defense ancestors and creators.
Published by Kingdom Rush on 9th June 2013
A Medieval based based Tower Defense, The towers are:; Barracks, Archer Tower, Mage Tower, Cannon Tower. Cannon towers are armed by Dwarves, and the Barracks put out three soldiers blocking the route and killing enemies. Mage and Archer is basically obvious if you've ever played any TD Games, Enemies go from Goblin's, Orc's, Shaman, to Bandits and Highwaymen, to Knights and such, to Demon's and skeletons. The enemies become stronger as do the allies, your Barracks begins training Knights and Barbarians, etc. Basically this TD is different the most, it's Original.
Published by Danny on 4th June 2013
Gemcraft is really the best and my kids are really mad about this game.
Published by Nick on 24th May 2013
Cursed treasure 2
Published by Zer0sum on 17th May 2013
Plants Vs Zombies, Bloons TD 5, Kingdom Rush, Tower Madness, Sentinel 3, SAS Zombie Assault TD, Jelly Defense, Fieldrunners... Enough to get you started.
Published by Zer0sum on 17th May 2013
Tower Defense has been around longer than this author, lol. Talk about clueless, lol.
Published by Bill on 13th May 2013
Yea... David Scott was not the originator of the tower defense genre. W3 was released in the early 2000's and while I don't know how long after release it took for the first of (ridiculously) many TD games to come out but it wasn't long that I can say. I can remember playing the old school mauls well before 2007 that I can say with confidence.
Published by Steve on 5th May 2013
Tower Defense did not magically start existing in 2007. The genre was well-established much before this.
Published by Kaye on 5th May 2013
Zoikz!!!
Published by Travis on 30th April 2013
Really? Only level 92? I got to level 115 on medium on tge Rink map
Published by John on 27th April 2013
What about pokemon tower defense? hello?
Published by Mr.Anonymous on 27th April 2013
Noob
Published by Lee on 19th April 2013
Bloons TD5!!!
Published by Annonymous on 4th April 2013
thnx for watching
Published by ben from england (alsom2) on 28th March 2013
i am a pro at monkey TD5 and the highes level i got on to is level 92 and i am not laying
Published by alsom2 on 28th March 2013
monkey ballons TD5 sud be on
Published by Bobby Butt Jr. on 23rd March 2013
Ptd2; The best TD game EVER!!
Published by Pablo on 9th March 2013
CRUSH, RUSH, KA-BOOM! TOP 1 Kingdom Rush!!!
Published by JORDON on 9th March 2013
I LOVE GIRLS ALRIGHT
Published by Annonymous on 9th March 2013
HI
Published by Antony on 18th February 2013
Guys give "Cursed Treasure" a try. The best I have ever played... hard to play any other
Published by Colleen on 15th February 2013
Castle defense upgraded at www.coolmath.com
Published by Kotten on 31st January 2013
Radiant defense, but sadly not available on pc. It has given me hours of fun (frustration?) on the phone.
Published by Nate on 28th January 2013
Metalix Tower Defense
Published by Egor on 16th January 2013
Toy defense is the best!
Published by Jimbo on 16th January 2013
What about "Ghost Hacker"?
Published by Annonymous on 2nd January 2013
BUT STILL PUT BTD5 & ALL THE OTHER BTDS AND GEMCRAFTS AT THE TOP!
Published by Annonymous on 2nd January 2013
OR ONE OF THE NEWER GEMCRAFTS
Published by Annonymous on 2nd January 2013
PUT BLOONS TOWER DEFENSE 5 AT THE TOP OF THE LIST RIGHT NOW!!!
Published by Snowball on 18th December 2012
Inthisthread stupid people complaining of games not existing when this article was written 2010 MARCH 2010 THINK PEOPLE!
Published by Zorlox on 18th December 2012
@masterotogi yeah, defender's quest is definitely up there as one of if not the best tower defense game I've ever played. A few buddies of mine that never really enjoyed TD games actually got hooked playing it because it has that SNES RPG feel to it. free demo is worth trying out at the least.
Published by Matthew Felton on 13th December 2012
And btw, btd4 is the best. btd5 stinks.
Published by Matthew Felton on 13th December 2012
dude, kingdom rush came out like 3 or 4 months ago, long before this was posted. grow a brain.
Published by bll on 11th December 2012
yor list sucks bloons tower defence 5 deluxe and kingdom rush are the most good and popular!
Published by Someone who thinks kingdom rush is number 1 on 6th December 2012
Kingdom Rush deserves to be number 1!! It's not even on here!! WHAT THE HECK!?!?!?
Published by Giant Shy Guy on 19th November 2012
To the people who keep mentioning Kingdom Rush: Gave you ever considered, I don't know, the date that this article was made, 16th March 2010? And Kingdom Rush was released in...July 27, 2012. Unless the article writer had a time machine, in no way could it be possible to "miss out" Kingdom Rush.
Published by Annonymous on 3rd November 2012
You missed out Kingdom Rush, the Best Tower Defense Game I have played so far.
Published by Irina on 19th October 2012
Onslaught rulz :)) Great collection after all thanks a lot
Published by Streetvan1997 on 26th September 2012
Madness is better than tower defense even, it has more towers, ten times as Many levels they they continue to add on. It's the best tower defense out there right now. Why doesn't Tower Defense add some levels or something, the 10 or how many ever isn't enough.
Published by Tower Defense on 8th August 2012
Where is Kingdom Rush... I believe Kingdom Rush should be here as it is my top tower defense game
Published by Withering on 4th August 2012
Nice list. I would place YouTD (warcraft 3 mod) as the number one, as it's currently by far the most evolved TD out there. Sadly most people don't have wc3, so they can't play it. If you can, prepare for punishment. It's for hc td players. I would add Enigmata stellar war as 2nd. Its simply awesome and fresh, but just a little short.
Published by Cleven on 29th July 2012
To all those who are bitching about Kingdom Rush, ect.. this article was made in 2010, Kingdom Rush was made in 2011, so if you use your brain and eyes then you will realize how idiot you are. I think this is quite good article, I found some good games to play.
Published by nunnerst on 27th July 2012
Thanks for taking the trouble to compile the list, but.. some of these games are truly dire - they look and play like they were made about 15 years ago :0D How they can be in a 'top 30' list when Kingdom Rush and Plants vs Zombies are both missing is astonishing! :0o (I also hear good things about Fieldrunners btw, for any TD fans out there..) Maybe the answer is to just re-title this '30 Tower Defense Games' and lose the word 'Top' :0D
Published by simoncpu on 22nd July 2012
Lame article. This is obviously not well-researched because Kingdom Rush is missing.
Published by Dean on 15th July 2012
I love Onslaught and Warzone ...now i'll check some of the others. Hope there is a good ones ;) I saw in the comment about Kingdom Rush - i'll check it too :)
Published by Nathalie on 15th July 2012
To be honest I agree with the rest, I've been looking at a few of these kinda of sites with top 10 tower defence games, and Kingdom Rush oughta be there somewhere, I've tried a bunch of these and they don't match up at all..
Published by Son on 12th July 2012
Are u kidding me?Where the hell is Kingdom Rush!!
Published by jas98 on 9th July 2012
wow NO KINGDOM RUSH WHAT A BUMMER and no cursed treasure don't touch my gems how F** lame those r the best TD games ever
Published by ijoluc on 29th June 2012
y8.com - Transformers
Published by Egg on 14th June 2012
Revenge of Titans is also good TD
Published by Jan on 6th June 2012
I agree with number 1, Gemcraft is definetely the best TD game. But kingdom Rush is missing: <a href='http://best-tower-defence-games.com/kingdom-rush/'>Kingdom rush</a>
Published by MasterOtogi on 21st May 2012
Its not free but "Defenders Quest" is a great TDG/RPG. The Demo is free http://www.defendersquest.com/ Garden Defence at Bigfish games is also realy good. http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/2652/garden-defense-nla/index.html Agame is a nice place to play games for free & most games screen size can be adjusted so if you want it bigger or smaller for full screen. http://www.agame.com/
Published by GameKB on 20th May 2012
Thanks for your sharing,I like the games very much!
Published by a on 8th May 2012
kingdom rush is the best!
Published by DVD555 on 5th May 2012
What would Bloons td 5 be rated?
Published by Justin on 15th April 2012
omfg, no kingdom rush, bloons td 5, or gemcraft dont touch my gems, this website fkin suks
Published by Pokemon defence tower on 13th April 2012
Pokemon defence tower
Published by Annonymous on 7th April 2012
wait... she doesn't actually believe the TD concept was born in 2007? I've been playing TD's since Wc3 was near NEW. Silly girl.
Published by Sasha on 5th April 2012
Fuuu! Kingdom Rush its best
Published by K on 20th March 2012
Kingdom Rush! How could you forget it. The best TD ever!
Published by Storm on 14th March 2012
You forgot Pokemon Tower Defense. I think it's great.
Published by Anthony on 27th January 2012
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Published by Alex on 9th January 2012
tower defense games are so interesting, i often play defense games on armorgames or kongregat. http://www.topdefensegames.com
Published by peepee on 14th November 2011
This list looks quite old. Plate Defence is my new favourite. www.platedefence.com
Published by Jack Morgan on 13th November 2011
Add in villainous, a tower defense type game where you are the enemies, your people have spells, and it's pretty sweet.
Published by rara on 3rd November 2011
Kingdom Rush definitely deserves a spot on this list.
Published by alex on 3rd November 2011
hey, why you dont mention the game cursed tresure pack, age of defense, epic war?
Published by alex on 15th October 2011
what about pokemon tower defense?
Published by TheRiddler8 on 1st October 2011
Kingdom Rush should be in the top 5 here for sure.
Published by Annonymous on 6th September 2011
more
Published by TD Games on 22nd August 2011
Play Bloons TD4 Now it is a really great game i think it should be first on this list.
Published by cppro10 on 20th August 2011
Hello, there is this new, tower defense game that should be #1!!!!!!! It is called Kingdom Rush! BEST GAME EVER!
Published by Dan on 27th July 2011
I'm surprised that Gem Tower Defense isn't on here, it's a flash version based off Warcraft iii, and it's highly addictive. There's also Alchemist TD, which is based off of Gem Tower Defense, and my even be better :)
Published by Michael on 21st June 2011
You forgot Zombie Defence! GREAT game on Miniclip - NEW and its tower defence. ADD
Published by Potty Racers on 5th June 2011
Thanks a lot for sharing this list, i love these kind of games. I always used to play warcraft 3 toer defense games i thought they we fantastic
Published by Tower Defense Games on 2nd June 2011
@Sugito & Dr Game Over: I don't think Cursed Treasure or Gemcraft Chapter 0 had been released when when CGG published this list. @CasualGirlGamer: I really enjoy your blog and just stumbled upon this post. Awesome list - most of my favourites are in there :)
Published by 94studio on 14th May 2011
Thanks for the list with good descriptions, but i think you may enjoy a new 3d Tower defense which deserve a place in your list ! The beta test is open you should try it ! http://www.94studio.com/TD/
Published by Sugito on 6th May 2011
Where is Cursed Treasure Don't Touch My Gems ? My Fav one ?
Published by Dr Game Over on 18th April 2011
Mini Tower Defense was the first I ever played and then I was hooked. My favourite is GemCraft Chapter 0 and Cursed Treasure: dont you dare touch my gems! Why aint it here
Published by RJ.Zephyroth on 15th April 2011
Am shocked that you haven't even included Flash Elemental TD 2, let alone listing it among the top 10.
Published by patrick on 14th April 2011
Defendery 3k TD is the best tower defense game out there check it out at tdgames.ca
Published by Saber Uddin on 5th March 2011
hmm... well I played gem craft and wasn't sure what to do or how it worked and now I just can't be bothered to play it but I definitly think that antbuster deserves a better place it's the most addictive original game ever and you defend a cake that doesn't seem to nice to eat because ants have carried it (if they can) but that's just my opinion
Published by Lindsay on 2nd February 2011
I've just recently been getting into Flash gaming, and I've never really looked into tower defense games. I'll give Gemcraft a try to start. Thanks.
Published by Nick Barfuss on 1st February 2011
I would recommend Prison Planet [http://www.battlecitters.com/prisonplanet as a great Tower Defense game. It is by far one of the most visually interesting TD games out there today, and the concept is pretty unique. one of my favorite on the list is Xeno Tactics, i play that one quite regularly!
Published by tiger on 6th October 2010
miniTD on the last place, really?
Published by Izkata on 17th September 2010
Tower Defense goes back to at least the late 1990s/early 2000s with Starcraft maps.
Published by Casual Girl Gamer on 16th September 2010
@jose. You are dead right. Cursed Treasure is probably the best tower defence game around at the moment. Will update the list shortly
Published by José on 15th September 2010
Nice list thanks, but an update is needed since Cursed Treasure came out !!!
Published by Casual Girl Gamer on 19th August 2010
@Mikey. Thanks for the history lesson! Often it is not the person who invented an idea who gets the credit but the one who does the best job at marketing it. This may well be the case here.
Published by Mikey on 17th August 2010
Hey folks, great article! I just had a note about the origin of the Tower Defense game. You credit David Scott for his creation of Flash Element Tower Defense, which is most likely the first flash TD game, but really the origins go back a bit further. With the release of Warcraft III in 2002, players were given a pretty expansive map editor with which to create their own playable maps that they could share and use with others online. Some folks really pushed the technology and created several "minigames" using Warcraft units, maps, and settings. One of these was the classic tower defense, where the object was to stop attacking troops by building defensive towers. I'm not sure if the idea originated with Warcraft players or they simply upgraded it from something previous. Anyway, great article!
Published by Luke on 16th August 2010
Great list. I've played many, and mostly agree with your general rankings. Bubble Tanks TD is my personal favorite by miles, although there are a lot of fun ones.
Published by Andrew on 13th June 2010
I agree. Gemcraft is probably the best tower defence game I have played. Cheers for the list.

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    Mateusz Skutnik is a rarity: a gifted artist who is also a skilled coder. He is responsible for some of the most beautiful casual games on the web.

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