It's hard to follow up on something great, and Torecower is trying to do just that. The second release from the publisher that brought the fantastic SNKRX to iOS brings a title that tries to apply a similar formula of the breakout hit to a tower defense game. It's neat, but it lacks a lot of the inventiveness that came from the original game's unique concept.
Torecower is a roguelite tower defense game where you place weapons around a central point in an effort to protect it from enemies that fly in from the edges of the screen. Much like SNKRX, the look of all of this action is boiled down to basic shapes like circles and triangles that also have color schemes to help inform you what they do.
Orange towers act as traditional gun-type towers, firing bullets in ways the resemble semi-automatic weapons, shotguns, rifles, and more. Blue towers fire projectiles in stranger ways or even loop them endlessly in circles around a fixed point. As these weapons kill incoming enemies, you also better be building yellow towers that collect the coins that fall out of them so you can continue building our your perfect defense.
Between waves, Torecower pauses the action for a moment to let you spend a skill point in a preset upgrade tree that lets you make your existing towers more effective in some way. Some nodes on this tree do pretty straightforward things like upgrade damage for towers of a certain color or let you gather money faster, but some others it's not so easy to tell what their benefits are.
Part of this is a relative lack of explanation on the game's part, but you also just need to experiment with why certain upgrades would be important given the defenses you are building. As you progress and sink more time into Torecower, you are better able to parse what these upgrades do, especially as some of them are reliant on unlocking new kinds of towers before they do anything useful for you.
Every defense has weak points
Torecower seems like it has a lot of potential in borrowing the color-coded upgrade system of SNKRX, but this system isn't implemented nearly as well. There is no auto-chess-like matching of tower types to gain additional bonuses. Without other dynamic or random elements to force you to change your strategy, games of Torecower largely play out very similarly every time you start a new run.
It also doesn't help that Torecower has some odd bugs and control issues that can mess up runs. For example, if you purchase a tower but don't place it before a wave ends (a very easy thing to do as the game cannot be paused for building towers), that money disappears like you spent it but you are not given the chance to place the tower you bought. The tower placement controls are also really clunky, which can make this bug (and also just some strange tower placement in general) occur pretty often.
The bottom line
Torecower is reminiscent of SNKRX in many ways but is a lesser game in nearly every respect. Tamping down on the bugs and control issues could edge this game closer to something recommendable, though I do see little reason to play this game when a better, more well conceived title is already part of my game library.