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Desktop Tower Defense

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Rating: 4.8/5 (78 votes)
Comments (71) | Views (16,361)

desktoptd1.jpgFor those of you behind on your caffeine intake today, Desktop Tower Defense is here to give your brain a kick-start. Similar to Flash Circle TD and Flash Element TD, place towers on a map and try to defend your borders from invading baddies. Created by HandDrawnGames, Desktop TD just so happens to sport a pencil-drawn look. Game elements such as towers and creeps are rendered with a rough charm that makes you feel like you've sneaked away to play a game when you're supposed to be working at your desk. Naughty, naughty.

Each enemy you kill earns gold which you can use to upgrade towers or build more structures. If a creep makes it through your defenses to the other side, you lose a life. Strike a balance between fast-firing towers and more powerful (but slower) units to keep your desktop free and clear. A good strategy is to funnel enemies around the screen in a twisted path, giving your towers more time to pelt them with weapons fire.

Desktop TD is more free-form than other popular tower defense games. For starters, in the main mode there's no set path for enemies to wander, you're free to place towers anywhere you please. There are also three difficulty levels to choose from and a number of challenge levels that restrict the conditions to force you to improvise. Recently, Desktop TD was upgraded to version 1.2. New challenges were introduces as well as a Fun Mode that adds walls inside your desktop area.

Analysis: What I most enjoyed about this game is that you don't necessarily win every battle. Sometimes the odd flying creep will slip past your defenses, other times a boss just stomps right on through your channels of death without even noticing the arrows hailing down upon it. The good thing is that in spite of these defeats, you go on. You learn, you grow stronger, and perhaps you even succeed at beating the game. With 49 levels to fight through, your technique is quickly honed, and even though those creeps are so darn cute, they must die nonetheless. And die they shall.

Play Desktop Tower Defense

Cheers to Magnus, Kevin, Mraccidental, Brand, John, Hooch and Paul for sending this one in!


oddjuan April 2, 2007 9:54 PM

Oh man. I've been obsessively playing this thing for more than a month.

Just a warning to newcomers: if you enjoy tower defense games, this game is incredibly addictive. Be prepared to lose hours of your life, and thoroughly enjoy doing so. The old version was excellent, and this one is even better. Use your pellet towers to build mazes, your squirt towers to quickly obliterate creeps. Oh, and you can try to see how far you can get just using pellet towers upgraded to snipers (surprisingly far, and it is satisfying to here that "plunk" when a sniper tower obliterates a creep). Or upgrade two dart towers to ICBM and hear the gratifying little squelching sound when ten or twelve creeps die at once (hard to to describe, but kind of like "Eeeeick"). Or you can try combining the new bash towers with frost towers, a deadly combination.

Then you can visit the "Player Mazes" section to see how far other people got with their mazes, and then there's the forums . . .

Like I said, be prepared to waste huge amounts of time, and having a lot of fun doing it.


Great game, I spent a long time playing it. It is a lot easier than the first few. This one only took a little while to beat the first way through.


oh man that was so much fun. Very addictive!

Werekitty April 3, 2007 1:09 AM

How do you START THE GAME?

sarah_briarmoss April 3, 2007 4:07 AM

This game is awesome. Around level 40 I had to get off, so I sent the next ten levels or so all at once and took a screenshot.



last level was too easy :[ beat the game with one life, though..


I see that he just released version 1.2, only a couple of days ago, with new monsters and new towers.


This is so much fun i cant stop playing it! - Ive managed to get to lvl 47 on my 2nd go!

Fernando April 3, 2007 7:24 AM

Just a few maximized Dart and Frost towers (ICBM and BLizzard, and a long maze, and it is done. And it is easier than the previous version.


Anyone got any tips for the last few levels on easy? i keep getting killed in the high 40's.

My current tactic is to build a maze going up and down with squirt towers with rockets behind them and bash towers at the end. with 2 anti air guns.

Any help?


so so so fun (and addictive) 'cause it gets better the longer you play

Eytan Zweig April 3, 2007 10:03 AM

Some general advice (for easy and medium - I didn't try hard yet, but I consistently win the two easier difficulties) -

- Maze layout is important. Since you don't have enough money to upgrade all your towers, you need to make sure the creeps go by your strongest towers as often as possible. Use pellet towers for the maze, but don't bother upgrading most of them more than once - the job of the pellet towers is to keep the creeps closer to other towers. Late in the game you might want to upgrade a few central ones to the maximum level, since it has a huge range, but I'm not sure if that's really effective.

- Build squirt towers along the middle of the screen to catch flying creeps. Upgrade them once or twice at least. Later, you should have at least two or three fully upgraded at the center of the map.

- Dart towers (the rockets) are pretty effective, but remember they have a big range. Don't waste them by putting them near the edges, try to give them a lot of coverage.

- Don't use swarm towers. They're not cost effective. Use squirt towers which are good against both air and bosses.

- Bash towers are useful - both to keep enemies stunned within the range of your major firepower, and also to break groups up. Similarly for freeze towers, but they're less cost effective.


Great game. (If I'm remembering right, I think there are 50 levels, not 49.) Can't get past about 6500 points.

* Build a maze that winds the creeps two or three times past approx. seven squirt towers that are generally in the middle of the board.

* Stick one or two frost and maybe a bash tower that will slow them down as they begin passing the squirt towers.

* I use a swarm tower too, even closer to the center.

See the screenshot at http://brittlefish.com/2007/03/30/desktop-td-12-released


a few, detailed tips:

Swarm towers:

How is 1640 damage a volley, with a fast rate of fire, not worth it? One swarm in the middle, fully upgraded will handle all of the flyers. Add a second near lvl 45 when you have extra cash and they will hand both bosses without a problem.

Bash tower:

I like to leave a bit of space in the top left corner for a bash. Not only does it weaken enemies initially, but it has a 15% of completely stopping an enemy per hit. Quite the tool with high level bosses.

Pellet Maze:

When i first started playing, i would upgrade them a little (lvl 3). It's not very effective in the long run, and you are better off just designing a maze with heavies in its center, and upgrading those instead of the pellets. The Sniper towers are too slow to be worthwhile. At this point, i don't upgrade them at all, my first level maze is capable of taking out two waves simultaneously with a squirt reinforcing it.

Squirts vs. Darts:

Personally i prefer squirts to darts. I generally keep a 3:1 ratio, with central squirts and peripheral darts. Because the dart towers have such a high distance, don't waste space by putting them in the center.

Frost towers:

I like one frost tower near the entrance to my maze in order to group up the enemies for my darts, also giving my bash more chances to hit, and a second near the center. Try not to overlap your frost towers, keep their upgraded distances in mind, or you are just wasting resources and not maximizing their performance.

Speeding up waves:

This is a really useful tool, both in terms of point gaining, and building strategy. Using the above strategy, killing 2 normal waves doesn't take much longer than one, but provides a faster cash flow.The high rate of gold allows you to quickly upgrade towers in areas where you notice weaknesses. If you notice a hole in your frost tower defense for example, you can quickly close it. I find that a slow income rate tends to make me make smaller upgrades instead of the final upgrades (although i may just be impatient).


my favorite is all pellet towers, upgraded to 5's and snipers, and then one basher where they come out... hard to describe...


This is lots of fun! I love the idea of being able to construct your own mazes to determine the paths available to the creeps. The background graphics of the desktop are awesome.

Wow, I'm surprised no one has mentioned Lemmings here yet. The moment I first chose a difficulty, I recognized the sound effect right away. It brings back great memories, listening to all the familiar sounds I remember from years ago, as I play. ^_^

Harlequin April 4, 2007 6:04 PM


I beat Easy mode with all 20 lives left. Really simple maze with 5 Squirts maxed out as well as 1 swarm that's 1 away from maxed out.


man i always come so close, every time i get to level 48 or 49 and i lose. Im gonna start trying some of the tip you guys said


What a sweet game! Beat all of it after about a day straight playing - thank goodness for spring break - funniest was beating the easy mode with only 26 towers, I'm gonna start seeing how low I can go.


Here's a strategy that I just thought of: split your maze in half right from the start and make two mazes that intertwine. Why? You make the board, you choose where they go. Plug up one of the mazes with a simple unupgraded pellet tower, they'll follow the other path. Then, when they get near the end, sell the plug tower and plug up the maze that they're taking! Every single creep will have to completely turn around and go all the way back to the start and try over, and only at the cost of 2 gold per plug/unplug! I...don't guarantee that this tactic won't get hectic to play--

Icewolf April 5, 2007 5:11 AM

@Denny: that's called juggling and is discussed a lot in the forums. in 1.2 you got a point penalty for selling towers, in 1.2c selling towers takes longer the more times you sell towers. This is to stop juggling or at least to make it less effective. Most huge scores are made with juggling, as you can release more waves fast when you do it that way.
Currently I only use it for the last spawn boss, as it is nearly impossible to kill him with a normal maze (normal mode).

cu starside



I've tried that - the problem is, it sometimes, particularly on the later levels, takes a long time to sell even a non-upgrade pellet tower.


has anyone else besides me noticed the lemming noises from the creeps?


I got to wave 75 (challenge mode ... no juggling) and then it crashed. I seriously don't think I can play through it again... things have soooooo many hp. I had 10 typhoon towers with complement of blizzard and quake and things were starting to make it through!!!

As for that spawn boss... let him go man, cause he's gone... it's almost better not to let him split, only 2 lives that way!


does anyone know where i can find the early versions of this game?


I was playing on the normal difficulty, second attempt. I had set up what I felt was a good maze:

The creeps of level 48 had been released, but I was actually killed by those of level 45. I'm talking about having 5 lives left, and exactly 5 creeps made it through.

Sniper towers didn't seem very effective, in terms of cost against the actual damage that they inflict.

If I bother playing again, I think I'll

try to use more frost towers, because of the splash damage.


The final towers are:

Pellet --> Sniper
"Cheap tower that fires pellets"
Cost: 200
Damage: 400
Range: 180
Speed: very slow
Squirt --> Typhoon
"Quick firing tower that upgrades well"
Cost: 450
Damage: 320
Range: 90
Speed: fast
Dart --> ICBM
"Slow firing tower that damages an area on the ground"
Cost: 400
Damage: 256
Range: 140
Speed: very slow
Swarm --> Storm
"An anti-air tower that fires 4 missiles at a time"
Cost: 640
Damage: 480
Range: 75
Speed: fast
Frost --> Blizzard
"This tower freezes creeps to slow them down"
Cost: 200
Damage: 40
Range: 70
Speed: slow
Bash --> Quake
"Damages the ground around it, plus a chance to stun"
(20% chance to stun)
Cost: 745
Damage: 320
Range: 40
Speed: slow


enderiv: Yes, I noticed the Lemmings sounds. I posted about them a bit further up. Nice to know someone else recognizes them! I had many long hours of fun with Lemmings, so their sound effects are probably implanted into my mind for life!

its pretyy cool April 8, 2007 10:33 AM

i like this game its really fun L0L


once you have 2 or 3 fully upgraded squirts situationally placed in a maze (even if maze only occupies 1/3 of the whole thing).. and also an upgraded swarm tower right smack in the middle, you'd be having no problem. :D

charlie April 9, 2007 7:29 AM

Yes it's not too tricky to beat the standard games, but has anyone managed the 100 level game yet? Those claiming the standard games are too easy should find it gives them a run for their money!


haha! great game!
thanks for stealing 3 hours of my life!

acethatyou April 9, 2007 12:42 PM

yo mr. jay, I've long been a fan of all the games you put in here and every game is amazing. keep it up! :)

but among all the games. this one got me the most. i played this game for 8 straight hours and didn't even notice it! and that's something because i was never a video game person.

man, i gotta catch up on my sleep.


WOO! I've just won everything!


been playing for 2 days now. got 6000 in normal mode. i can't find a way to kill the level 49 boss. anyways. i only use 2 fully upgraded dart towers, 5 fully upgraded squirt towers and 2 level 4 swarm towers. and the maze of course.


I have Lemmings Revolution (Yees, seriously) and 75% of the songs in this game are on it. Ha.

Wanna see something cool?

1 Start and click challenge
2 Go to "The 100"
3 Click in the middle of the screen
4 Hit the tab key 3 times "Send next level" should be highlited in yellow
5 Hold down the space bar and millions of tiny creeps will flood in.


Ryan Thompson April 17, 2007 5:06 AM

Are there any cheats for Desktop Tower Defense?


I put a spreadsheet together for this game with detailed information about the creeps and the towers. I hope this helps your quest.


~The Fiery Phoenix~ April 24, 2007 4:35 AM

Ok...Sorry to sound a bit blunt but if you cant finish the game, level 50, then it isnt a good maze.

I got 7115 on Medium. I missed out on top scores by about 50, and i dont really want to be bothered doing it all again. Maybe another day.

Wanna know my secret.

Most people wont agree that it woriks, or wont like it, but tough. I was looking on high scores for help/a map, and there was an interesting one i copied.

I has two paths, and you have to juggle. The way its made makes it easier to juggle. Its kinda up and down for about 4 at the bottom, and side to side up the top for whole length, (if you get that)

anyway, you can juggle with the new one, just need to sell in time.

Firstly, i built my map full of pellets. Then had about 5 swarm tower in the middle, upgraded to level 4 cos i worked it out to be best value i think. Then send almost all the waves through, except pause a while to kill each wave of flying guys. I can never kill the last 2 air guys, but it doesnt really matter.

Once you have killed all the air guys, sell the swarm towers, and build squirts. and fully upgrade them. Then keep the guys going back and forth till they die.

I got about 2000 from sending them through, plus what ever. You also get 25 points per life left, so if a guy goes through, you technically lose 25 points.


Ned Pendleton April 29, 2007 9:13 PM

Everyone just talks about it on medium difficulty in this tips bit. Medium's easy though, I finished it on my third go. Hard took me a while longer , couple of weeks in fact! Just managed to do it for the first time.

Here's my advice.

Pellet towers - build a maze which makes the creeps go in opposite directions. Make the creeps that come from the left head down towards the bottom opening then go back up towards top left. Close off the rest of the bottom opening. This means that the ones that come from the top have to come through the whole of the same maze. Not sure if I've explained that brilliantly, but never mind. I don't think it's worth bothering upgrading any pellet towers at all, better to save up for the 290 to get a fully upgraded squirt tower.

Squirt towers - build three of them in the middle parts of the maze. Upgrade them whenever you can (although it's best not to when the spawn/flying levels come, they need to concentrate on killing them then. Normal is the best time to upgrade). Just three. Concentrate on getting them to full power as quickly as possible. When you get loads of money towards the end, you might be able to sell one or two of the more central pellet towers and build and upgrade a squirt tower or two immediately to help with the final rounds.

Swarm Towers - I have one right in the very centre of the maze (where the cross is). You'll probably let a total of about ten of the flying ones through in the whole game, but that's fine. Get it fully upgraded as quickly as possible.

Freeze Towers - I have one towards the left of my maze just before the creeps go past the upgraded squirt towers. It's cheap to upgrade, so you can get it up to the full level easily and quickly.

Didn't bother with dart and bash.

The key is to concentrate all of your resources on getting the few squirt and swarm towers up to the final upgrade, rather than having eight or nine of the mincing about on the third or fourth upgrade.


Nobody made it to the 100s? I got to 82 yesterday, but can't get any longer... tip?

ColinGreen May 8, 2007 1:48 AM

As far as the "Challenge 100 levels" goes, I can make it to 86 but can't get any further.

I'd also love to know how anyone can get to 100.


I've beaten Easy and Normal modes but I can't quite beat the hard mode. This has been driving me INSANE. I've been playing this for days. The highest I've got to is level 47. I usually get offed by the guys that split in half and the flying guys. No matter what layout I use, I tend to lose about 4-6 lives in the first ten levels, usually from the guys that split into fourths and the flying guys. I came to this site to see if anyone has beat this game on hard. No bragging until you have!


Firstly getting to the end of lvl 50 does NOT mean you have beat the game!

I can get a consistant score of 6500 ish without Juggling using a spiral design (youtube "DTD Spiral") I go for one storm tower in the centre, two blizzard towers, and by the end of the game have 6 typhoon.

This method also works in hard mode but I only scored about 4000.

I think 7000 is easily achievable with spiral layout I just need to man it up and press the send next wave a bit faster :D


i beat easy with 5 towers. i've beaten hard with all 20 lives leftover. but the 100 challenge is driving me crazy, i can't get by the lvl 93 flyers.


for lvl 49 flyers, you should have at least 2 Swarm full upgrade at central, and 2 freeze full upgrade.


First of all, anyone who says not to use swarm towers is crazy. You have to direct the creeps from both sides to the left and then down and up and down and so forth. Or in F type shape. use squirt towers up and to the left of center in three lines. Place frost towers at both ends of the lines so when creeps go back and forth they are slowed down every time. Then place three fully upgraded swarm towers in middle of map. Yes, fully upgraded and all. The splash from these three guarantee that no flying creeps get by. Pellet towers are of course the path layout towers and don't bother with the dart towers cuz they fire too slow and have a low damage, the splash doesn't really help. Bash towers can be useful later on if fully upgraded and placed in positions where three sides will along path of creeps. Generally frost and squirt towers with a few swarm towers gets me to level 80 without losing a life. Hardest part is getting past levels 48, 49 and 50 but this method works well against that. I haven't beat it yet thouygh because the creeps get way too strong in the later levels. Then, when you're slowing them down they just begin to accumulate like rabbits and it's over. Peace out!

king of hearts June 5, 2007 3:06 AM

heres is what you do, split the map in two and build two mazes then block one of, when the are all in the other side, unblock the first side then block the other. that way they have to go back and go to the other side, then just simply repeat. have atleast one fully upgraded anti air however in the middle and some dart towers are good too


king of hearts, that technique is called "juggling" and it's very useful.

BTW, I come with great news, someone has finally beaten The 100! Someone called "Dannar" managed to hit a buying-telling combo that allowed him to beat it with 3 lives left.


hehehe... anyone else up for the 10k challenge?

take funmode 10k, build your maze, start by pressing the "n" key until lvl 50 creeps appear (meaning: ALL AT ONCE)...

NO building/upgrading/selling past this point
you should have +2882 bonuspoints for early level...

can you create a maze without loosing a life?

personal record: 19/20...


heng, I tried that once but the game's response time was a little slow so I lost a couple hundred bonus points because it wouldn't send them all at once.

I didn't lose any lives, though.

Tom McK June 30, 2007 1:40 PM

Saving time when flying creeps come buy makes the swarm tower cost effective. I will try to upload a screen shot of the maze I use.





it was so impossible guys because the survivor gives me the creeps is only 1 but all spawns and it will spawn many times 6 times hey these versions ver 1.0 ver 1.2 ver 1.5 and i wish there was ver 2.0 and even new creeps just like this fire creeps and for the level 50 the king of the bosse's


We liked DTD so much that when we developed a game to promote the TNT show The Company, we made a tower defense game, Budapest Defenders: http://www.tnt.tv/series/thecompany/games/?contentId=31439


finally beat the ver. 1.5 10k


the speical cheat to start at level 500
is at the start page type afgrabeltys six times

level 500 is so much fun


why do the dark creeps sometimes seem invincible. what tower kills them?


Is it possible to win the challenge 100 with no juggling ?


I'd also like to know what kills the dark creeps...


Jeez, I can only handle 'easy'. >_<


Ok, nevermind. Upgrade.


lol i have beaten easy mode with 2 towers a squirt and a frost your upgrade the squirt to level 4 then get the frost after the squit is to level 4 then upgrade the frost to level 5 then upgrade the squirt to level 5 and tada you win


make a long maze and have more than ten up grads so it will be easy to win ok so have fun =}


Hey, when you beat the game in all of the modes, a new mode appears in the Fun section, it's called rampage, you play to the end and then lots and lots of creeps come.

You get 1/4 of the usual points until the end in Rampage mode;



dude, all you did was build a maze and send all 100 lvls through at once... you didnt even upgrade any of your towers...


Any one managed to beat the "splash" challenge in challenge/more? I'm running out of ideas.


On Kongregate you get a hard badge if you get 5000 points on hard. My records 4850, i was so mad when i got it, anyone know a good strategy to kill the spawners? They always get me.


how do you beat the level 10k on fun mode on version 1.5. its too hard i always die at level 77 when the flying creeps come

Vitor Hausen June 5, 2008 12:23 AM

My record in fun mode was level 82...

My strategy is focused on Quake towers with a lot of multiply towers close, but in the end the creep's almost umbeateable...bosses with 500k energy. Very Hard.

The tip is to make an tidy structure, with higher levels and preventing unuseful towers or level 1 towers.


made it to lvl 84 in fun mode (flyers there killed me) even though I had 8 fully upgraded swarm towers (4 of which were fully boosted)all of them in the center.....
Ohh well was fun. I am starting to enjoy making killing zones with bash towers putting 2 bashtowers together so that creeps need to pass all 4 sides of a bash tower before leaving the zone. Ill try and host a screenshot of it soon.

I will also have to try jugging more.
OOH does anyone know the actual splash ranges?


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