It's time to stock up on crazy prizes and fill my gifting window even further beyond its limit. It's here - the next Grub Guardian, not Guardians, post! I've got a big guide for you on basic gameplay, tower mechanics, and the start of how to get a gold medal on each level - there's currently three videos. I've also included many strategies, personal experiences, and tips. After the videos, you'll get a bit of my feedback on the game!
Let's start right off with the guide!
Grub Guardian is KingsIsle's new free game that allows you to train your pets by playing tower-defense style games, and earn possibly more than four pet experience! Before reading this guide for users who know the basics, be sure to look HERE.
The above is a basic chart on gameplay. Your bank shows you the amount of silver you have, and you receive silver for every enemy defeated. While the first of your foes will only be worth two points, bosses like the last one in the Trial of the Spheres can be worth as much as 250. There will be some bosses that you can't defeat at first, so have enough food left over to make things work. You'll also see how towers and placing them works. You won't always have all of the towers, so don't freak out on that one Moo Shu level where you can't introduce Medusa to your opponents. In scoring, food is essential, more so than silver and towers, so spend what you must to protect every piece of food.
When you buy a tower, you have an option to sell it for a bit less than you bought/upgraded it for. This is the tower value, and counts toward your final score. Your final score is determined by the remaining food, the remaining silver, and the tower value. Because of the way it works, you will score higher by using less towers. The first few levels are easy to obtain gold on, you just have to use minimal towers to maximize points.
The above is a second chart with some helpful tips. The bar above the enemies are their health. When they flash green, the monster resists the attack. When they flash red, they are vulnerable to it, so naturally, you want to look for an enemy's weakness. For some, this is essential to killing them. Do look for multiple paths and entrances. Try to centralize your defenses in one place, where they'll be able to attack all tracks. If this isn't possible, spread your defenses carefully - this will sometimes be necessary. There IS one backup if something is going wrong - Ambrose's Annihilator! It fills up over time, and one full, you can activate it to cause mass destruction on all of the enemies on the field. Be careful when you use this, though! It's best to use it on a final boss, but if you have to use it on a ton of lower level creatures to save even one dish of food for that high score, do it! Just be sure to time it right. Try to wait until as many creatures are out of the portal as possible for the best effect.
Lets talk towers. Yes, they can be upgraded. Each tower has five levels, the obviously get better as they go. Despite these facts, you don't always want to upgrade. You'll see more specific reasons below. Here are the basics on towers and pets.
As you can see, a good pet is super important! While training a pet is fun, some maps can't be beaten without a higher level pet, and one certainly makes things easier. I normally use a Fire pet, ranging from Adult to Epic, though the Adult and Ancient don't make it through many maps for gold level. Your pet is a 2x2 area, and is your best friend. It's a free starter-tower to kill enemies while you fortify your defenses. An epic Fire pet will nearly take care of all of Unicorn Way. Be sure to grab a good pet when playing for high scores! An Epic Life pet would be interesting... it'd be effective and save you good money!
The above is a chart of the five levels of the most basic tower - the myth tower. Myth towers are good towers to start out with. Even though they aren't very powerful, they have a very low cooldown time, making them the fastest attackers. They're also the cheapest. Sometime you don't need a strong arm, you need two arms. I lov the trolls. For 15 total silver, you can get a quick-throwing, angry troll who is surprisingly effective. I like to sometimes, rather than upgrade one tower, create an entire army of trolls, and that's oftentimes more effective that a single tower.
I like to use this with nearly every strategy in some way, but in particular. I call it the "Frozen Troll." You'll find Ice towers to be some of the best. Despite their low attack power, they freeze enemies in place. By spreading several Ice towers out and placing tons of trolls, you've got an attacking army and a slower journey for your opponent.
This next chart is Fire towers! These have never been my favorite, because I already have my Epic Burnzilla, and they are just too expensive! While I'm sure you can find some effective strategies with them, they aren't the best. The highlight of the Fire minions is that they leave a lingering effect, like "DoTs" in-game. They do splash damage, which is a positive for large groups, but also have that damage over time effect, which means that you don't need to really freeze them in place to be effective, their attacks work even after the enemy is out of their range. I DID just realize that you can't see Efreet's Burn Damage, which is six per second. While they aren't the best, you can only use these a Myth towers in Unicorn Way, and they do play a role in a few of your maps.
Ice towers are probably some of my favorites. They start as a Snow Serpent, and work their way up to a Snow Angel. These towers, while doing little damage, can add up, and can be useful for their abilities to reduce enemy speed. Notice, though, that the intervals aren't too different. You start with enemies at 60% speed, which means a 40% reduction, and over the course of 74 gold, it increases by only 20%, so at first, upgrading isn't very practical. Instead, use that gold to buy MORE of the towers and spread them out. Make sure they enemies are slowed down during the entire journey to the food bowl, and make an upgrade or two as you get enough silver.
I can't say I like using these in any particular strategy, because they're essential to every strategy. Without them, your fast-moving opponents can avoid too harsh of attacks and get to the dish quickly. This is especially true with a few of your bosses.
Ooh... Ahh... Storm - so these must be the most powerful, right? They ARE the most powerful towers, both at their first and last levels. They cost quite a lot, though they aren't the most expensive. Now what's one of Storm's weak points? You guessed it! These towers shoot a beam that goes all the way across the screen, and damages anyone in its way, so if you can get it set up in a spot where it will shoot down a line, you're in good shape. However, if enemies move fast enough, the Storm towers can sometimes miss it completely! I don't use these much, because they aren't as effective as an army of trolls for what they cost.
When I do use them, it's one tracks like Colossus Boulevard. You put one or two at the end of the long, final stretch, and Ice towers at the tower end to freeze the enemies for a bit of a... shocking surprise.
You'll be interested in Balance! While they're the most expensive to upgrade, they can also be the most effective. This is one tower whose special really doesn't seem to kick in until Locust Swarm, but you can see for yourself. Balance towers are great for situations where you have one thing after another coming out of the Spiral door. Did you think the Hero's Camp was hard? Try two Balance towers and you'll have 999 silver in a heartbeat. They don't always work the best, because the focus of their power is chains, so if everything starts spreading out, they'e less effective. Ra's Chain Splash Radius Increase is 10%.
Of course, the Death school doesn't disappoint. Their towers have a chance of instantly killing something. Having trouble with tough Kraken bosses in the Celestia levels? Try a Death minion. Then you won't have to kill anything health point by health point, you'll instantly kill it. You can note that the Ghoul already has a 25% chance, and it does cost a bit to get it up to the Skeletal Dragon to get 100% chance of instantly killing something. Plus, its attack speed is reduced quite a bit with the first few upgrades. You can have six Ghouls with 25% chance for every Skeletal Dragon with a 100% chance, but I still recommend that you eventually level to Skeletal Dragon, especially with tougher enemies that you need dead for sure. Note that several BIG bosses, we're talking bigger than what you though were large bosses, are immune to this, and because of this tower's low attack rate, it then becomes useless.
I like to use these with Life towers close by, and fully upgraded, too. In Ravenscar, I once has so many that everything was being instantly killed.
We end our tower bit with Life. At first, they'll seem useless, but they're arguably the most useful tower in the game, and also tie with Balance for most expensive. Don't try placing a Sprite as a last-minute hero, though, because they don't attack! They increase the rate of attacking. Think about that for a minute. By the time you end up with Bartleby, everything will be attacking twice as fast as usual! You might say its like getting double what you buy from then on. Its range also increases with each upgrade, so your further towers can get the bonus two. Now I'm just wondering if another tower would double that rate. And would it double the original speed making it 3x or double the doubled speed making it 4x, or would it have no effect, leaving it at 2x?
Jan. 10: At this point, I've finished every track at least at a bronze level, so if you need tips on a specific level, comment below. As I revisit the levels attempting to obtain gold, you'll see those successes. Here's three to start you out.
Ok, did you learn anything?
I think that Grub Guardians is fantastic, but maybe I'm biased because I have played tower-defense style games before, and have always loved them. I do know, though, that everyone is sick of the pet games, and here's many new opportunities to more effectively train pets in an interesting way. That being said, the game codes, for those of us not in the middle of training a pet, are not very good. They need to be based off of the score, if they aren't already, and they need to be changed a little. I HAVE received two pets, but they were a Heckhound and Dragon, basic purchases from shops around the Spiral. The only other complaint that I have is the connection, and logging in. If you're playing for pet experience, you must be connected to the network, so it will verify that before you start, but if you're playing for codes, it doesn't worth the same. I earned gold medal on several levels only to find, after logging out and back in, that my session hadn't been valid any longer, and I'd have to redo them. This also happened with completing the last levels. Believe me when I say, I wasn't happy to have to redo Stormriven and the Trial of the Spheres.
Keep watching for more! Thanks for reading, and see you in the Spiral!