Tower, Castle, And Base Defense Apps

Find The Best Tower, Castle, And Base Defense Games For Your iDevice


For some people, there is a subtle distinction between Tower Defense, Castle Defense, and Base Defense games. Generally speaking, for Tower Defense, you build different attack "towers" along a path to prevent waves of enemies from arriving at a destination. In Castle Defense, the enemy destination is your stronghold, and you directly engage your attackers to repel them. Finally, for Base Defense, both you and your opponent have a base, generally positioned at opposite ends of the battlefield; you must defeat the opposing base before your base is destroyed. Despite their differences, there are strong similarities between these types of games, as well as a lot of room for overlap. Ultimately though, similarities, differences, and distinctions are unimportant. What matters is that these games are popular and they're fun. They are also plentiful; it can be difficult to weed out the good ones from the rehashes. That's what this AppGuide is for.

Essential Apps

  • $2.99

    Sentinel 3: Homeworld

    by Origin8

    All the Sentinel games are well-regarded. This latest incarnation is the best of the bunch and the top game on this list. The big addition to this game is a commander mech, which you can upgrade and which adds a whole new dimension to Sentinel's typical tower defense formula. The game looks great, especially on the iPad. The levels have an epic feel, as well as an atmosphere that fits in well with the game's storyline. The upgrade system is sophisticated and will keep you playing. In addition, the game is full of little touches, which increase its level of depth and strategy; for example, your available money accrues interest after every wave survived, so you have an incentive to manage your resources well. In short, Sentinel 3 is the total package in terms of graphics, gameplay, and strategy. It is the current standard for Tower Defense games.

  • $0.99

    Anomaly Warzone Earth

    by Chillingo Ltd

    The best way to describe Anomaly Warzone Earth is that it's a reverse Tower Defense game. Instead of building towers to keep attackers from reaching a destination, you are the attacker, and you destroy the towers that stand in your path. What stands out about the game is its high production value. From the graphics, to the voice work, to the gameplay, everything just feels well-made. Because of the repetitive nature of Tower Defense games, the genre can sometimes feel a little stale. Anomaly Warzone Earth is a welcome change of pace.

  • $2.99

    Gem Keeperā„¢

    by NCsoft

    The action in this game is fast, frantic, and fun. It's filled with cute characters and big explosions. I play the two games above if I want depth, strategy, and story. I play this one if I want mindless adrenaline-filled entertainment.

  • $2.99

    Kingdom Rush HD

    by Ironhide Game Studio

    Kingdom Rush lacks the visual spectacle of Gem Keeper, but is every bit as engaging and arguably more strategic. The game only features four basic towers, but has numerous paths of upgrade, along with reinforcements. The variation in levels and enemies, along with the epic boss battles, make this one of the best Tower Defense games available.

Notable Apps

  • Free

    Army of Darkness Defense HD

    by Backflip Studios

    This game is loaded with fan service for fans of the movie. Not only does it feature Bruce Campbell's likeness as protagonist Ash Williams, it also injects Bruce's personality through the use of sound bites straight from the movie. Movie associations aside, the game is just plain good. It has good graphics, good action, and good humor. It also has tons and tons of Deadites. Even those who've never seen Army of Darkness will find this game accessible and addictive.

  • Free

    Corpse Craft

    by Three Rings Design

    Corpse Craft employs a clever resource mining system. You gain resources by playing a Match 3 puzzle game. The more blocks you destroy, the more resources you get. The more resources you get, the bigger your army becomes. This fusion of puzzle elements with Base Defense makes for a good time. What makes for an even better time is the game's distinctive style and its macabre story.

  • Free

    Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time!

    by Chillingo Ltd

    You are Chuck. With your trusty shotgun Betsy, you protect the city of Niceville from zombies. Not only do you kill zombies, you mop up their guts afterward. This installment of the game sends you through time to collect artifacts for the ultimate zombie-killing weapon. If you like cartoony 3D graphics and frantic finger-tapping action, this game is for you.

  • $0.99

    Monster Wars

    by Liv Games

    Monster Wars is the sequel to the popular Legendary Wars. In many ways, it's the first game in a new skin. Needless to say, fans of Legendary Wars should pick this game up. The game combines many different game genres into a mostly successful package. It has characteristics of all three types of defense games, as well as some RPG and platform action elements. I found the controls to be slightly clunky; there were times when my troops didn't move (or stay put) in the way that I wanted. Overall though, this is a unique game that's worth a look.

Decent Apps

  • $4.99

    Bloons TD 4 HD

    by Digital Goldfish Ltd

    Monkeys popping balloons. That is Bloons TD 4 in a nutshell. There isn't really anything wrong with the game; it's a well executed example of Tower Defense. At the same time, the game doesn't offer enough to set it apart from the games higher on this list. It also starts out addictive, but gets repetitive, even with its creative challenge maps.

  • Free

    Tesla Wars

    by Pavel Tarabrin

    Tesla Wars is an amusing castle defense game where you protect your fense from invading stick figures by blowing them up. The game doesn't involve much strategy, just a lot of deft finger action. Tesla Wars isn't deep, but it's a good way to mindlessly pass the time.

  • $0.99

    Tower DefenseĀ®

    by Com2uS USA, Inc.

    Tower Defense: Lost Earth is the only game to feature the phrase "Tower Defense" in its title. This is because the game's developer, Com2uS obtained a trademark for the term in 2008. True to its name, the game features classic tower defense action. It's a solid game, but it's not a game-changer.

  • $2.99


    by Crescent Moon Games

    This is a physics-based Defense game, in which you use your finger's nimble abilities to fire medieval weapons, such as a crossbow or catapult. The game has great graphics and carries an interesting concept. The controls were not as tight as I would have liked, but I was still able to find a decent amount of enjoyment from the game.

  • $2.99

    Dungeon Defenders: Second Wave

    by Trendy Entertainment

    The App Store describes this game as "Epic Online Action-RPG meets Tower Defense." That's not an inaccurate statement. It is indeed a cross between Action-RPG and Tower Defense. The game has a lot going for it. It looks good and has a lot of versatility and depth. From a pure Tower Defense standpoint, however, the game does not have that easy "pick up and go" feel that many of the best games in the genre have. Its combination of different elements is a strength, but also a limiting factor in the context of this particular AppGuide.


  • $0.99


    by Subatomic Studios, LLC

    The more you play Tower Defense games, the more you realize the influence of Fieldrunners on the genre. The concept of the game is simple: prevent enemies from running across a field using different towers, each with special abilities. The game is showing its age a bit in that it's not as flashy or deep as some of the other games on this list. But the gameplay is still top-notch and more importantly, it's still fun.

  • $0.99

    Plants vs. Zombies HD

    by PopCap

    Plants vs Zombies is now a couple years old, but it's still one of the best. What continues to set the game apart is its combination of charm, strategy, and accessibility. The wide variety of plants to unlock and zombies to discover continues to keep the game fresh and entertaining.

Other Apps