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 IPAD Top List

The 25 best tower defence games for iPhone and iPad

Top tactical TD to take up your time
Product: Best iPhone games | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: iPhone, iPad
Updated October 11, 2018: New entries

Looking back, we hadn't updated our list of the best tower defence games on iOS for two years prior to today.

There's a good reason for this, and it's nothing to do with negligence or laziness. Well, not entirely.

Put simply, the tower defence genre isn't anywhere near as popular as it used to be. We can count the number of notable TD releases since September 2016 on one hand.

Still, it remains a fun and mobile-friendly strategy sub genre with some downright classic games. What's more, you still see a little TD magic sprinkled across some of the popular hybrid genres of the moment.

#1 Kingdom Rush

Product: Kingdom RushFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Ironhide Game StudioPublisher: Armor GamesGenres: Tower defence

Kingdom Rush
If there's a king of the mobile tower defence games, it has to be the Kingdom Rush series. The original (together with its two follow-ups) sports a near-perfect mix of tight strategic gameplay, intuitive controls, inventive and balanced levels, and beautiful comic book graphics.

#2 Fieldrunners 2

Product: Fieldrunners 2Formats: Android, iPhone, PS Vita, SteamDeveloper: Subatomic StudiosPublisher: Subatomic StudiosGenres: Strategy, Tower defence

Fieldrunners 2
The one iOS series that challenges Kingdom Rush for the TD throne is Fieldrunners. The second game in particular takes the classic tower defence template to its natural limits, with an impressive mixture of open and funnelled levels, loads of tower and enemy types, and slick graphics that can still impress four years on.

#3 Plants vs Zombies

Product: Plants vs ZombiesFormats: Android, DS, DSi, iPhone, PS Vita, Xperia Play, SteamDeveloper: PopCap GamesPublisher: PopCap GamesGenres: Strategy, Tower defence

Plants vs Zombies
You might say that Plants vs Zombies is a lane defence game rather than tower defence. We say it still involves defending your base by building, positioning, and upgrading automated defences. And it's still awesome.

#4 Clash of Clans

Product: Clash of ClansFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: SupercellGenres: Strategy, Tower defence

Clash of Clans
Is Clash of Clans really a tower defence game? No more or less than it's a strategy game, or a resource management game. The truth is that CoC pretty much established its own hybrid genre. It's a game of marshalling your resources, arranging your defences, and so much more.

#5 Kingdom Rush: Frontiers

Product: Kingdom Rush: FrontiersFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Ironhide Game StudioPublisher: Armor GamesGenres: Action, Tower defence

Kingdom Rush: Frontiers
Never has the phrase 'more of the same' been less damning and more welcome than it is with the Kingdom Rush series. This second game doesn't change the core gameplay at all, but it does provide an all new setting and a completely fresh set of towers, heroes, and enemies.

#6 Fieldrunners HD

Product: Fieldrunners HDFormats: AndroidDeveloper: Subatomic StudiosGenres: Tower defence

Fieldrunners HD
It lacks the scale and sophistication of its sequel, but the original Fieldrunners remains an excellent game in its own right. Subatomic's game established the blueprint for a particular brand of mobile TD that requires you to create snaking death-paths for waves of attackers.

#7 Clash Royale

Product: Clash RoyaleFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Supercell

Clash Royale
Another game from Supercell that has us umming and ahhing about its inclusion. Clash Royale is another brilliant hybrid, combining classic tower defence with MOBA and card battling elements.

#8 Kingdom Rush Origins

Product: Kingdom Rush OriginsFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Ironhide Game StudioGenres: Action, Strategy, Tower defence

Kingdom Rush Origins
Yes, we're including a third Kingdom Rush game on this list - not because it does anything particularly fresh, but because it's so much better than most of its rivals. Again, there are completely new towers, enemies, and heroes, and that's more than enough.

#9 Royal Revolt!

Product: Royal Revolt!Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Keen GamesPublisher: FlaregamesGenres: Tower defence

Royal Revolt!
Royal Revolt is a game in the sub(-sub?)-genre of tower offence. It sets you in a similar asymmetrical battlefield, but switches the perspective so that you are the aggressor. It nails the twist, too, with bold 3D graphics and frantic gameplay.

#10 Castle Creeps TD

Product: Castle Creeps TDFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Outplay Entertainment

Castle Creeps TD
As one of the more recent additions to this list, Castle Creeps TD is a highly polished example of the tower defence genre. There's not much new here, but like we said in the intro, games like these don't come along as often as they used to.

#11 Crystal Siege HD

Product: Crystal Siege HDFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: FDG EntertainmentGenres: RPG, Tower defence

Crystal Siege HD
Chrystal Siege goes with the Kingdom Rush approach to TD, which as you've already seen, is no bad thing. The key twist here is that you can take direct control of your hero and set about laying into baddies directly.

#12 Anomaly 2

Product: Anomaly 2Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: 11 bit studiosPublisher: 11 bit studiosGenres: Action, Strategy

Anomaly 2
The Anomaly games are another highly esteemed mobile TD franchise, and they come with a similar twist to Royal Revolt - this time you're the attacking swarm running the gauntlet through the enemy's static defences. Anomaly 2 in particular is a total visual treat.

#13 Sentinel 4: Dark Star

Product: Sentinel 4: Dark StarFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Origin8 TechnologiesGenres: Strategy, Tower defence

Sentinel 4: Dark Star
Sentinel 4 arrived blinking into the light some four years after Sentinel 3. As a result, its old school and decidedly hardcore brand of tower defence - packed full of systems and lacking much in the way of hand-holding - is surprisingly refreshing.

#14 Anomaly Defenders

Product: Anomaly DefendersFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamPublisher: 11 bit studiosGenres: Tower defence

Anomaly Defenders
Somewhat confusingly, Anomaly Defenders's big twist is to reverse the twist of the earlier Anomaly games. Which essentially means it's a traditional tower defence game - albeit one with some uncommonly accomplished visuals and deeper-than-usual gameplay mechanics.

#15 CastleStorm - Free to Siege

Product: CastleStorm - Free to SiegeFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Zen StudiosGenres: Action, Strategy, Tower defence

CastleStorm - Free to Siege
This console conversion covers an awful lot of ground for a tower defence game, mixing in elements of Angry Birds-like pinging and hack-and-slash action. Perhaps surprisingly, it all sticks together very well indeed.

#16 Castle Doombad

Product: Castle DoombadFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Grumpyface StudiosPublisher: Adult SwimGenres: Action, Arcade, Strategy, Tower defence

Castle Doombad
Castle Doombad's big contribution to the tower defence genre is in flipping the gameplay to a side-on perspective, and then putting you in control of the super villain as hordes of do-gooders storm your trap-laden castle. It's gleeful fun.

#17 Tiny Defense 2

Product: Tiny Defense 2Formats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Picsoft Studios

Tiny Defense 2
Tiny Defense 2, like its predecessor, flips the TD template around to a side-on perspective and makes everything look like a 16-bit mascot platformer. The result is one of the more welcoming TD games of recent times.

#18 Unstoppable Gorg

Product: Unstoppable GorgFormats: iPad, SteamPublisher: Futuremark Games StudioGenres: Puzzle, Tower defence

Unstoppable Gorg
It's amazing what a fresh setting can do. This iPad-only tower defence game adopts a 1950s sci-fi B-movie aesthetic and a planetary defence angle, and hey presto! We have a genuinely unique tower defence game.

#19 Dead Island: Survivors

Product: Dead Island: SurvivorsFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Deep Silver FishlabsGenres: Action, Tower defence

Dead Island: Survivors
The Dead Island brand name is here put towards a surprising mixture of TD strategy and hack-and-slash combat. It's not the subtlest slice of strategy on this list, but defending a band of survivors from waves of the undead is sure to put a grim smile on your face.

#20 Block Fortress

Product: Block FortressFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Foursaken MediaGenres: Strategy

Block Fortress
It might look a bit (okay, a lot) like Minecraft, but Block Fortress hones a surprisingly tight 3D tower defence game out of those familiar building blocks. Pick a place to make your stand, build a fortress, and fend off the enemy waves, jumping in for some crude FPS action where necessary.

#21 Bardbarian

Product: BardbarianFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamDeveloper: TreeFortressPublisher: BulkypixGenres: Action, Arcade, RPG, Tower defence

Another fine TD mash-up. Bardbarian takes a lane defence structure, and then proceeds to stir in some RPG and arcade shooter magic. It shouldn't work, but it does.


Product: OTTTDFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamDeveloper: SMG StudioPublisher: SMG StudioGenres: Tower defence

The title stands for Over the Top Tower Defence, which is a pretty accurate description. OTTTD lays it on thick with the silly humour and cartoony gore. It also folds in some neat RTS elements to further spice things up.

#23 Radiant Defense

Product: Radiant DefenseFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows PhoneDeveloper: HexagePublisher: HexageGenres: Tower defence

Radiant Defense
Developer Hexage has always given its games a unique flavour, and in Radiant Defense it has added the ability to erect barricades to divert the flow of enemy swarms.

#24 Jelly Defense

Product: Jelly DefenseFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Infinite DreamsGenres: Tower defence

Jelly Defense
Jelly Defense isn't remotely original - in fact it's all very Kingdom Rush. But it's uniquely pretty, to the point that you almost feel bad mowing down its waves of googly-eyed monsters.

#25 Bloons TD 6

Product: Bloons TD 6Formats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Ninja KiwiGenres: Tower defence

Bloons TD 6
Bloons TD 6 feels like something of an anachronism, with its classic static TD action and its cutesy graphics. It's a proper blast from the past, but with the lovely sharp visuals of a modern game.


Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 11 October 2018
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