Hydraulic Empire


Included in the Batholith Bundle

About Hydraulic Empire

"Hydraulic Empire looks to be that entry into the genre that I have been waiting for." - indiegames.com
What is it?
Hydraulic Empire is a Tower Defense game with RPG elements focusing on strategy, interactions between mobs, and persistent upgrades. What we are doing with Hydraulic Empire is taking the best of what we have experience over the years, and then we are adding elements that are unique.
How much Content is there?
We have over 20 levels (21 at launch and we will continue to add more as time goes on), 10 mobs, 10 towers, a builder that levels as you play, and tons of mob interactions. All in all at launch there is about 15 hours of gameplay.
Whats Different about our TD?
Tower Defenses are not new, and they are not evolving much anymore. We aim to change that by adding in a variety of unique mob interactions. We are also adding in tons of RPG elements and we have a hero/builder that will allow you to take part in more of the battle.
Mob interactions are our major innovation. Where as they are not 100% new to the tower defense genre, they are typically simple or not very interesting. We have taken this to the next level, and centered our game squarely around them. Mob interactions will take place all over a level, and will change where and how you choose to build in a level. The interactions vary greatly based on which mob die in which order. This aspect of the game has given the game almost endless replay ability. Most of our mobs will interact with at least 2 or 3 other mobs. Some interactions open up new interactions, and others will lock out some interactions.
A Taste of the Story
"Peace had been a dream, and the light of its hope has been overshadowed by a new enemy. My own people have turned on me. For what reason, I do not yet know. But there is no option but to fight, if for nothing else but the undying dream of peace at least. I am the First Lieutenant General of the Great Mech Army, but you may call me the Keeper, for I protect the dreams of many. And I call to you for aid. The mobs close in, thirsty for the land we won through fearsome attrition. And I am the only one who now stands in their way."
Hydraulic Empire Reviews
This game deserves to have an overall "Very Positive" review. I have played many games over the last 30 years and this is one that I actually played all the way through. It's not a perfect game, just a little rough around the edges, but definitely worthy of any strategy and/or tower defense fan. $10 is a fair price, but you might as well wait for a sale.
Hydraulic Empire is a good tower defense game, and it's also a big mess.

It's hard to get beyond the first bad impression. The presentation is terrible. Lack of Menus, Lack of tutorials, Royalty free Elevator Music, Poor Graphics, everything has "Mobile port" written all over.

And that said, if you manage to get beyond your initial reaction and start playing, you will notice it's actually a very competent hex tile based tower defense game.

The gameplay is spot on. There is no major innovation in the system and the stages and enemies are just varied enough, but the mechanics are solid and the challenge level is just about right.

Be warned that there is a serious difficulty spike for the last few missions, but it's not impossible. To be frank I found the balance perfect. You will not succeed if you try the same things over and over again and just sit back and grind, like a lot of other tower defense game out there.
Hydraulic Empire encourages trying different tactics out after you fail.

But you must get past your first impression. Boy this game is shoddy! The controls can get fiddly when the map is cluttered, and so can finding your hero be. There are even some upgrade menus that are never explained, you just find them by clicking around random stuff and wonder what in the hell you've just opened and what it does.

If you can live with these issues, and know your way around TD games, you won't be dissapointed.

Oh, by the way, I cannot quit the game, only way is to shut it via target manager every time...
Hydraulic Empire is a tower defense game with enough new wrinkles to it to make it worthwhile to play, especially at its low price.

There are a dozen towers in the game, including a mud slinger (to slow down enemies), a bomber, a tesla tower, a gattling gun, a netter (to knock down flying enemies), and more. However, you can only take five of these towers with you into a level.

The enemies are fun. They're robots, and while most just simply try to make their way to the exit, others spawn more robots, or repair destroyed robots (so they get back up and start heading for the exit again), or carry smaller robots on their back, or disable your towers, or more.

There are 21 levels. Each level is made up of a hex grid, with start and end points, and possibly some rally points that the enemies also have to visit. Enemies travel on and you build on the hexes, and since enemies can't travel through most of your towers, you can create a circuitous path for them to follow. If you've played Defense Grid (which I'd recommend over this), then it's the same sort of idea.

Each time you complete a level (even if you lose), you earn cogs, which you can use to upgrade your towers. You can grind cogs if you want, or try out extra difficulty settings for extra cogs, but it's not really necessary. I completed the campaign only repeating a few levels.

You can upgrade your towers, both inside and outside the levels. The outside upgrading is sort of confusing, and it isn't explained well in the tutorial. On the "factory" screen (where you upgrade individual towers), you get 14 hexes. On one hex you have to place a tower, but then around it you can place upgrades. That means you can't upgrade all of the towers. You can only pick out like four and give them 2-3 upgrades each.

You build towers using your Keeper. You have to move your Keeper to the hex where you want to build a tower, which can get tricky because your Keeper can also damage enemies and improve the capabilities of nearby towers, so there are usually 2-3 places where you'd like him to be at once. Along with cogs, after each level your Keeper also earns some experience, which leads to levels and upgrade points. So you can improve your Keeper as well as the towers.

The only problem I had with the game is that it stopped recording my progress. It unlocked new levels properly, so I was able to complete the campaign, but it stopped saving my scores, which means it currently doesn't think I've completed most of the levels (and the levels where it did record a score, it recorded the wrong score). So it's not giving me credit for completing the campaign, which is annoying.

But overall, Hydraulic Empire is fun enough. I got it for $2, and it was more than worthwhile at that price.