Super Sanctum TD Review
iPad App
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Super Sanctum TD Review

Our Review by Carter Dotson on January 23rd, 2014
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SANCTIFIED
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Super Sanctum TD is a harsh but fair tower defense game.

Developer: Coffee Stain Studios
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Super Sanctum TD is tower defense for those with strong intestinal fortitude. It gives players plenty of options, but throws plenty of challenging waves at them to test their mettle. This is a spinoff of the FPS and tower defense hybrid series Sanctum on PC, throwing away the FPS part and replacing it with pure tower defense dipped in pixel art.

This is definitely more of a hardcore tower defense game than most that are on mobile. Those who do not plan smartly even early on will suffer the consequences. Interestingly, this is an open field tower defense game where players can lay down tiles on certain qualifying squares at a cost of $2 each (in that round's currency, not $2 in real life) to form the path and to be qualifying spaces for towers to be placed upon.

Immediately, the challenge of the balance is seen. Creating a good path in the long-term is important, and players will do well to plan ahead. Perhaps don't make that complex path early, as those credits could instead go toward another tower. Thankfully, players have rechargeable special abilities like an explosion, a tower booster, and my personal favorite, the teleporter. Enemies nearing the home base? Not any more! These abilities recharge over time so use them wisely, but don't be afraid to use them.

Players can also customize the strategy for each tower, so if they want their last tower to focus on only low HP enemies so as to reduce the number of enemies that do damage to the base, that's possible. There's actual strategy here. There's an unlimited-time build phase between waves too, and players can experiment with paths at no penalty, as buying back tower squares is free. Placed towers come at a 50% penalty.

Those costs and percentages can vary, as players earn experience points throughout the game for level-ups, which can be used on permanent enhancements like reducing cooldown times and costs or just doing more damage. The skill points can be reset at one's leisure, too. Super Sanctum TD is merciful because it's ruthless once the tutorial's over: it gets challenging right away. Enterprising players can continue a level in survival mode to get extra experience points... if they last that long.

The game feels a bit small on the iPad Mini Retina: the entirely zoomed-out view makes everything too small, and zooming in not only constricts the overall view, but also still feels kind of small. Selecting towers can be a bit tricky too due both to the small size and the isometric view blocking some of the towers.

Overall, Super Sanctum TD's robust player options and take-no-prisoners gameplay is a great mix for the tower defense fan looking for something fresh to play on their iPad.

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Super Sanctum TD screenshot 1 Super Sanctum TD screenshot 2 Super Sanctum TD screenshot 3 Super Sanctum TD screenshot 4 Super Sanctum TD screenshot 5
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