Turret Rampage is a one-tower tower-defense shooter from solo developer KhudO and is published by budget kings eastasiasoft. It got a PC release late last year and is now here on a PSN packed in, as ever, with an identical PS4 version.
You place as the titular turret as you defend humanity from subterraneous monsters. The plot is pretty much non-existent though and really all you need to know about is the structure of the game and the mechanics therein, both of which are pretty easy to explain as, despite the underground setting, Turret Rampage isn’t a game with a whole lot of depth to it.
The game offers you seven short stages to play through. Complete one and you’ll unlock the next. Finishing them is just a case of surviving for the amount of time indicated on the level in the selection screen (oddly the remaining time isn’t shown in game though). However, given that the levels only last between 30 and 90 seconds, this isn’t a game that you’ll need long to beat.
The mechanics are just as simple initially. Your turret is placed in the middle of the screen and it can move up or down and shoot left or right. As monsters appear, you need to align your position and shoot them and given that there are only ever up to six points of entry for the monsters (three heights, entry from either side of the screen), there’s not a whole lot of ground to cover. Especially on the earlier levels as these have fewer than six ways in.
If a monster reaches your turret, it’ll trigger a defense mechanism that sends out an explosive wave to protect you. If a second monster gets to you, it’s game over.
The only real complexity comes from you having three ways to attack, although these are introduced gradually. You start with a basic rocket weapon which is mapped to . This acts as your standard gun and is good for taking out the basic alien enemies. However, the game will eventually introduce ghost enemies. Your rockets will pass right through them and so you’ll need to use your secondary weapon type, the silver shackles (), to either destroy them or hold stronger ones in place at which point you’ll use your rockets to destroy them. The last weapon type, an earthquake generator () will force burrowing enemies out of their safe location so that you can then shoot them.
With just half a dozen enemy types to worry about, the game just becomes about basic recognition and a bit of thumb dexterity. It can be initially tricky but we found ourselves finishing the game pretty quickly (and the follow-up PS4 Platinum took us just a few minutes to unlock). Although there’s the ‘Turret Defense’ tag to the game, really it plays more like a Nintendo Game & Watch game from the ’80s. That simplistic mini-game style of gameplay has more in common with something like Mario Cement Factory than anything in the Turret Defense genre. There are also echoes of the old arcade game Tapper here too.
Once you beat the game’s seven main levels, all that is left is to battle away on the leaderboard-supported Endless mode. We can’t see the competition here being all that fierce but it’s nice to have online support and this is where any sort of longevity will be fostered.
It all works fine on a basic level. The game can be played and beaten without much issue but as any TV cooking contest will show us, if you’re going to do something simple, you’d better get all the elements just right and Turret Rampage doesn’t quite manage that. For example, the visuals are just very messy throughout. From the confusing UI to the bland, ugly in-game visuals, this is very much an unattractive game. We mentioned two very old games a couple of paragraphs back but they both look cleaner and nicer than this one.
In the in-game layout doesn’t need to do much but even that is odd with elements of the screen that don’t initially make sense. What are the numbers for? What are those bars of liquid? It turns out that’s just your score (shown in pretty much the worst way) and health but it’s not exactly clear initially. And the enemy designs aren’t very nice to look at either. It just all looks like the lowest effort possible version of what this game could look like. And there’s no real variation either apart from some basic colour choices that are made in the main menu (and, again, in a weirdly unintuitive way).
But, yeah, it holds together as a game and it offers you a couple of very fast and easy Platinum trophies if that’s your bag. Beyond that, Turret Rampage isn’t really much of anything.
+ The later levels have a little bit of challenge to make them interesting for a minute or so
+ Online leaderboard support might keep some interested
- Ugly visuals