How To Ingest As Much Stimuli In A Single Sitting As Possible: Tower Defense Games

Hey do you want to know something embarrassing? I have played to date: Five Hundred and Ninety One hours of GemCraft- Chasing Shadows. I have no defense for my actions however I would like to offer to the court of common decency an explanation if I may:
IT’S GOOD KUSH”

OK thats not everything I have to say, but it’s a pretty good summation.

GemCraft is what us Pro-Gamers know as a “tower defense game” (TDG). A pretty simple setup wherein a MacGuffin (Link for clarity) is placed at the end of a pathway, and your job is to make sure no baddies get your MacGuffin. TDG use ANYTHING for defense: guns, magic, fighters, monkeys, you name it. The concept never changes and neither does the fact that TDG are the absolute best when you’re a stimuli freak like me.

Pictured: My completed game and my new hard mode save

I actually paid for GemCraft after playing through its significant free online trial.There are quite a few free TDGs floating around out there and I played these for years before I could actually afford a computer more complicated than a word processor. Even my current laptop gets pretty mad at me for trying to make it run anything post 2014 and TDGs are lifesavers on that front. Most are on the smaller side and run pretty nicely both windowed or in full screen.

Windowed Mode is the shortcut to my heart in video games (it can get even smaller too!)

The main reason TD games are among my favorite is how well the pair with podcasts and videos. I LOVE story based games with all my heart and soul, but the concept of sitting silently and paying attention to only one thing at a time is sometimes too much to bear for me. It may be cheesy to say, but without good ol’ GemCraft I would never have been able to sit through any podcasts that I love so much (and considering I pushed for this website because of the podcast Friends At The Table that’s quite the rabbit hole!)

For any stimuli junkies like me out there I would strongly recommend finding yourself a good TDG. I would push for GemCraft if only because to get this much play time out of a game I payed $12 for about 5 years ago is literally ridiculous. Also it has a pretty fun upgrade tree and upgrade trees are the beautiful icing on top of any video game cake.

In the end I suppose what I really want to convey is the exact opposite of the first sentence of this article: Do you want to know what’s cool? A game that you can play and still listen to or watch your favorite media, that brings fun and addictive visuals without needing fancy hardware, and one you enjoy so much that you can play it for hundreds of hours without tiring of it.

GemCraft Chasing Shadows is a cool tower defense game. I should know, I’ve now played it for five hundred and ninety two hours.

Whoops.

4 thoughts on “How To Ingest As Much Stimuli In A Single Sitting As Possible: Tower Defense Games

  1. There’s something to be said for games that can actually run on most computers! I really appreciate when developers make an effort to optimize for a wide range of people and not just go for the most mind-blowing graphics.

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