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Two exits increases the difficulty

With two paths to take from the pirate ship, you'll have to find a way to defend both as wave after wave of enemies tries to get past your defenses.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

It gets harder later in the game

When you get to the later waves of a map, tons of enemies will test your tower layout.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Choose your hero

The three heroes on the left can be unlocked by playing, but the rest are available for purchase with real money. I found that the default heroes had plenty of power for my purposes.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Upgrade your towers

As you progress you'll unlock higher-tiered towers that let you specialize in specific abilities. Get used to upgrading your towers during the game whenever possible, because if you don't, you'll be overrun.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Add power between games

When you finish a game, you'll receive from one to three stars for your effort. You can spend these stars on upgrades to your towers and your special in-game abilities.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Did I mention boss fights?

Even with upgraded towers for maximum damage, the boss fights can be extremely challenging.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Spend your gems

You'll earn a fair amount of gems by playing, but you can also buy more with real money if you want more of the bonus items in the Gnome Shop.

Published:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
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