Playback: Savage Moon

As the Spongmonkeys so eloquently warbled, ‘We love the Moon’ and I am especially fond of the Savage Moon, a PSN title released back in December 2008. A variant of the tower defence genre, Savage Moon mashed up turrets and laser cannons with monsters reminiscent of sci-fi epic ‘Starship Troopers’ to create an engaging but ridiculously hard game.

[drop]The aim is simple – defend the mining complex from Insectolyte attack using an array of upgradeable defensive weapons. These include laser turrets, cannons,  mortars, mine droppers and anti-air turrets to help deal with the flying beasts.

Towers can only be placed on rocky outcrops, the exception being defensive wall blocks which can be used to deflect the Insectolyte flow. The wall blocks can be built upon for additional protection but stronger enemies can attack and destroy the structures.

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A key feature of the game is that the Insectolytes evolve, starting as low armoured creatures and as the game progresses gaining extra speed, armour and weapons. As the majority of your defences are perched atop rocky outcrops they are out of the way of most attacks, that is until about half way through the campaign when you will encounter heavily armoured slug beasts who like nothing more than spitting homing projectiles at your armoury.

Savage Moon starts as ‘taxing’ but by the mid point of the game it’s harder than titanium encrusted Jason Statham. This is not a game you can win by luck, some serious thought has to go in to where to place your units and which to upgrade.

As you would expect, killing beasties gains you more cash to spend on towers and players can gain extra money buy using a sliding modifier. This can be set to give you more cash for your kills but the pay off is that the towers will be weaker, moving to a defensive stance will give your buildings more hit points but the cash flow will reduced.

[drop2]When a level has been completed it is unlocked in ‘Vengeance Mode’ which launches a never ending stream of creatures against your precious mine. To give you an indication just how tough the game is, to achieve the Vengeance trophy you must fight for over thirty minutes.

Graphically it’s pleasant enough, in as much as a desolate moon full of monsters can be, and has some wonderful sound effects. As the Insectolytes get splattered across the moonscape they emit a chorus of grunts, screeches and squeals – imagine poking a pig with a taser and you’ll get the general idea.

The game has online leaderboards but does not have any multiplayer component, somewhat of a shame as Savage Moon is perfect for online co-op.

If the game sounds like you’d want even more a DLC pack was released nine months after launch, entitled ‘Waldgeist’, and a PSP version of the game, ‘The Hera Campaign’, has also been released.

Savage Moon is a hard, sometimes depressing game but if you are looking to test your brain as well your trigger finger, this could be the PSN title for you.

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14 Comments

  1. I hate this…. played hours of Savage Moon… and lost my data… Went back to Savage Moon and went further… lost my data >.<! *repeat, Its sad that I haven't played much of the PSP version as that looks good…

    Savage Moon Is brilliantly addictive, one of the best maybe the best Tower Defence Game I've ever played… Previous was PJ: Monsters and that was hard :O

    • Which seems harder, this or PJ Monsters?

      I don’t think I even managed to finish Monsters, and those rainbows! I have a headache just thinking about it.

      • This is mos def harder. I finished PJ Monsters & even got most of the Trophies. This one however…

  2. never finished the game, it was way too hard for me :/

    • Same here. Was loving the levels then there was this almost pivotal moment (in whatever level it was) and it’s like the devs wanted to simply crush you regardless. I even tried copying, move for move, a YouTube video and it was still hit and miss. I mean in it in the calmest manner possible but fu** that. It’s simply not my idea of fun when a game decides to shamelessly destroy you even though everything preceding it was a good challenge and genuinely enjoyable.

  3. i loved this game… the strategy in this game is sooo loveable!! =D
    finished this and the DLC with all trophies earned… hoping for a sequal of some sort or a new savage moon game!! =D
    awesome game…

    • and its perfect when ur playing In Flames when ur splashing Insectolytes!!
      In Flames is perfect music when ur playing this game… =D
      try it! U won’t get dissappointed… =D

  4. Ahh savage moon.. Loved that game! Never managed to finish it though, it just got too bloody hard!

  5. I am in the top 10 for one level and in the top 25 for a couple of levels (yes that’s the global leader board :) needless to say – I love the game! I wish they would bring more DLC or a Savage Moon 2 !! I already asked for it several times but I might be on their black list now ;-)

    It is hard and you really need a good strategy once in a while. Most frustrating is that I can’t figure out how they managed to get such a high score in the first levels (and they = the top 10 in the leaderboards )

    I might jump back in one time!

    Also I didn’t like to PSP version that much for some reason…

  6. Loved this game, downloaded it the day after christmas. I did end up getting the PSP version once I had got my psp, at £3.99, I wasn’t going to say no, it’s really good and similar to the Ps3 version!

  7. Loved this. Got Waldgeist but never got to it.

  8. Waldgeist made an already hard as nails game into an unenjoyable game for me, specifically the Death Blossom which could decimate your front, mid or back line with the spin of a seemingly random roulette wheel.
    Awesome soundtrack though.
    Two points for the reviewer, good review, but it’s Insectocytes not “lytes”, and you can actually build on the ground, it’s a required strategy for the last level I would say.

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