Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Giants. Dwarves. One cannot live while the other still draws breath. The sides shall clash, but who will be the victor? Let's find out.
This introductory stage is a straightforward two-path course. For the first half of the stage, the bad guys will wander along the bottom solely. Halfway through, a Golem will show up, and once it's trundling through the stage the enemies will begin ascending to the upper platforms and using them to cross through the stage.
- Set your Hero front and centre. You want him to counter the initial waves as soon as they show up, and having him scale the Golem when it first appears is preferable.
- Set up Swordsman towers on the bottom path. Establish these first. They'll be able to hold back the runners and stall the Golem when it appears.
- Place Archer towers on the upper platform. These will pick off the enemies that climb to run through, and they're at a perfect spot to hit the Golem's head from above.
The second stretch of giant-filled fun is a bit more complex than the first. All of the enemies come from the same spawn point, but partway through the level they have three possible avenues of movements: straight across, up a stone hill and back down, and down a slope to a second, underground exit point. You'll won't see a ton of enemies go down the slop, but enough make the trip that it can't be avoided. Three Golems will come through the stage at various times, so your damage output has to be substantially higher than on the last map.
Fortunately? You now have access to new towers. Even better, you can upgrade them all to level two. Let's get to work.
- The Hero has two options. Either he can be the defence underground (only advisable if you've been upgrading him substantially) or you can leave him to deal with the Golems.
- Swordsmen remain a stalling staple in this level. Set up two on ground level: one near the spawn point, one near the exit point. Upgrade them when necessary to make them better blockers. Archers are a good choice as support towers to pick off baddies who slip through.
- The rise doesn't see much action, making it a perfect place for setting up Cannon emplacements. They're expensive, but nothing in the game is better at bringing down Giants, and you'll want the extra firepower. Get two set up, and if possible (probably after killing one of the giants), commit to an upgrade. The firepower boost is substantial.
- The underground needs at least a little defending if you're to prevent bad guys. At first all you need is an Archer tower. A bit later, add in Swordsmen. Upgrade one or the other and you should be fine for killing whatever goes down the slope.
- In this level you gain access to the Wind power. Select it and drag the cursor towards enemies to send them sprawling. You'll probably want to save this power for attacks on the underground.
Your third battle against the forces of the big is set on a series of cliffs overlooking bridges. The enemies spawn from three points: on the right side of the upper bridge, on the right side of the lower bridge, and from the bottom of the cliff whereupon is set the exit point. Several Golems will be spawned during this battle, and a Treant will join their ranks near the end.
- The easiest way by far to complete this level is using all Archers. Upgrade Archers to max before you enter the battle and begin the fight by deploying Archer towers on the upper bridge. Once enemies begin appearing on the bottom, set up one or two towers near the exit point. Continue to expand and upgrade until virtually every spot on the screen has an Archer tower.
- The one exception is at the juncture point near the exit where the two paths combine. Use this spot to set up a Mage tower. This map has a few Ghosts tossed in with the hordes of other baddies, and your Hero may not be swift or strong enough to stop them all. The Mage tower will take them down, and many other enemies besides.
- Near the end of the level the Treant will show up. It has substantially more health than the Golems, and is capable of spawning Weeants. Counter this latter with Wind when necessary.
- You'll also receive the Meteor spell in this level, allowing you to target a single area for massive amounts of damage. If you decide to target the giants, watch where your other units are hitting. If you don't target this exact spot, you won't do any damage. Golems are weak in the head; the Treant's weak point is the blue fruit in its boughs.
The battle is getting ever rockier as you move into the fourth confrontation, and the map reflects that by being much more vertical than horizontal. Enemies spawn from two places: ground level, which is primarily where the Golems and Treants wander in, and from the tops of the cliffs. You'll have to deal with both streams as they make for the western exit point.
- Once again, Archers are your best friend in this level. Perhaps even more so than last time, as they're very good at shooting enemies off of the vines leading down to the ground. Set up Archer outposts at the bottom and work your way up, upgrading steadily.
- There are a few more Ghosts here that will require either your Hero's attention or Mage towers, and the latter are helpful against most other enemies as well. Set one up at the edge of the map, before the exit, and the other on the cliff above.
- Enemies will spend a lot of time scaling vines, and when they're just getting on the vines they stand to suffer a lot of damage if they fall. Upgrading Wind is a fantastic way to deal a lot of damage: just swipe them off of the vines. With enough height you can kill most enemies this way, and Wind regenerates quickly.
- Meteor is not as helpful as you'd think here, because it has a long way to fall. Unless you're targeting enemies at the top of the screen, don't worry about using it too much. You'll want to reserve it for the long line of Orc Warchiefs that show up at the end, as arrows aren't quite as effective on them as you might hope.
- You get the final spell, Berserk, while playing through this level. Berserk will allow you to enrage several of your troops. Use this if the Warchiefs are proving too troublesome.
From cliff sides to castles, the fifth level in Giants and Dwarves TD takes you to the defense of a fortress that's under siege by all manner of creatures. This is a long fight; be prepared for trouble. You'll have to face three enemy entry points here: from the two sides of the castle's roof and on the ground, from whence spawns the level's giants.
- Archer towers are again useful here, though not as useful as before. Starting out with several on the middle platforms isn't a bad idea.
- With all the avenues of movement through this level it's easy to lose track of the baddies. Set up two, possibly three spots on the ground for Swordsmen, and keep them upgraded whenever possible. At first you'll want to leave them near the exit, but it's not a bad idea to set a few up near the lower spawn point later on.
- Cannons are your best friend here, particularly when dealing with the giants. The platforms give them a lot of range. Set up and upgrade two or three of them once your Swordsmen and Archers are firmly entrenched.
- Wind is amazingly effective here if you catch enemies the moment they begin to descend the right ladder. Blow them towards the lower spawn point and you can kill even the hardiest of fiends with sheer gravity.
- Partway through the level your troops will encounter a new breed of giant: the Trojan Horse. They have more health than Golems or Treants, but they won't attack your troops. Your soldiers will happily cling to the top of the Horse as it trundles along and beat it into submission. The horse will drop enemies when it dies, so try to take it down before it can reach the slope down to the exit point.
- There are heaps of explosives that are seemingly in the background of this level. Hit them with Meteor to set them on fire. They'll burn for a while and hurt anybody who tries to pass.
Time to take on the two towers. Your sixth battle against baddies is set on two spiraling towers that jut out of the earth, around which enemies walk towards the exit point in the west. Most of the time they'll spawn from the top of the west tower, though as the game proceeds they'll begin to appear from the east and from the eastern tower as well. What are good guys to do?
- Your first goal is to get rid of the enemies on the bridge that separates the two towers. Send your Hero over to wipe them out. Don't worry so much about the guys on the opposite tower - you can use Meteor during the early stages to kill them. Set any ranged tower you like on the bridge, preferably a Cannon.
- A solid wall of Archer towers will serve to protect the base and the second floor of the western tower. Make building these up your first priority. They'll help chew up the giants (Golems and Treants) that plod down the thin walkways. They're especially good for getting rid of the Weeants that get shaken off of any Treants which make it to the edge of the top floor.
- Set up Swordsmen in the tower nearest the exit point. These will intercept the inevitable enemies that get past your troops. This is also the best spot for setting up your Hero in case Ghosts come along. You can substitute in a Mage tower here, as well, but it's a riskier gambit because of the falling Weeants.
- Later in the stage Trojan Horses will show up from the east. Set up Swordsmen along the path and they will happily climb the horse and hack away at its health before it can reach your Archer towers in the west. A Mage tower to stop Ghosts isn't a bad idea for this section either.
The battles continue, and this time they're set in a waterlogged valley where giants rumble out of the sea to do battle. Your seventh fight takes place on three levels, each of which spawns enemies on the right that can make their way to opposite three sides on the left. There are caves through which enemies (and your Hero) can travel to get around, and there are several scaling points that will take the bad guys from one side of the map to the other.
- There are several ways to conquer this map, but the easiest seems to be upping your Hero's stats to max (notably his Speed and Attack power - Health isn't as much of a concern) and placing Mages on the majority of the free spots. Start by placing one or two Mage towers on the bottom-right, where enemies first spawn, and slowly make your way up as more spawn points open up. Once your towers are large enough they'll be able to target multiple levels.
- Your Hero will be doing most of the damage to the giants in this level, save perhaps for the Treants. The Golems are the most troublesome adversaries here, as several of them spawn in the water - and anything that's atop the Golems when they die will fall into the water and also perish. Get your Hero on top of them early so he respawns before the next wave hits.
- Using the caves to your advantage will make this level much easier. Enemies clump up as they're exiting the caves, and they make great targets for your Hero or nearby Mage towers. Watch where each cave leads and be ready to strike enemies as they leave.
- To aid in this, your Meteor attack is capable of affecting your surroundings. There are rocks above some of the caves, and using Meteor you can knock them down and crush enemies below. You can also use Meteor to set the patches of grass on fire for a short period of time. Both measures will kill the smaller enemies with ease.
- Wind is fantastic in this level, as enemies spend a lot of time shimmying along the netting. Use the spell to knock them down to lower levels where you have more towers. You can minimize the number of towers on the top level by doing this whenever Wind recharges.
Cliffs continue in battle number eight. There are two spawn points in this level: one on the upper cliffs (which is more frequently used) and one on the lower cliffs (which is less frequently used, though it's still important to watch). All of the enemies go to two exit points that are near one another, so it's at least easy to track which villains are too close for comfort.
- This is another level best handled with a mighty Hero and a slew of Mage towers. Set up your first towers on the lower rise, before you hit the stationary enemies, while the Hero stays on ground level. Use Wind to blow any enemies down the hills which threaten to get past your initial Mage towers. Don't worry about using the Hero to take out the enemies sitting on the cliffs when you start - your towers will eventually do the job for you.
- At first it's best to let the buffed-out Hero deal with any foes that ascend from the bottom stretch of land. Later on you can build towers on both sides of the second vine they climb to handle these guys. You'll never have to build towers on the lowest part of the level. If you're having trouble with bad guys ascending too quickly, use Wind to knock them off of the vine.
- As before, the Hero will do most of the work on the giants, particularly the Golems that stride through first. Halfway through the level you'll be introduced to Mammoths, a new breed of giant with small riders on its back. Blow them off and chip away at its health. Its weak point is its head. Berserk, especially when there are Swordsmen or the Hero on its back, is incredibly handy while taking on a Mammoth.
Trees, trees, everywhere! The ninth level takes place in a massive forest, and your army must prevent passage along some truly impressive tree branches. There are three spawn points, two in the trees and one on the ground, and given the sheer verticality of this level you might have a tough time covering them all.
- Above all else, it's important on this map to pay attention to the small map screen in the top-right corner. It's way too easy to lose track of enemies sneaking by along the top path, and glancing at this reduced map every now and then will betray them.
- This map is best handled with a combination of Mage towers and, on the ground, Swordsmen. Set up several Mage towers on the middle-to-upper branches to start, and let your buffed-out Hero deal with the baddies on the ground while they're still trickling in. Slowly beef out your defences as you go along, concentrating first on numbers, then on quality. The uppermost path is your last priority most of the time, but don't neglect it! A lot of enemies will come through there near the end.
- Wind is fantastic in this level, because the bad guys have so far to fall. You can use it at almost any time to good effect.
- Mammoths will typically prove to be your most formidable foes, hence the emphasis on Swordsmen on the ground. Send your Hero onto a Mammoth's back the moment it appears so he can hack away at it throughout the level. The more melee units you have on its back at a time, the less likely it is that the Hero will get swept off by its spout.
(From this point on it's quite difficult to play without a maxed Hero, because giants show up much earlier, before you're prepared to take them on. Your Hero will have to solo early Golems.)
Getting' close to the end. The tenth map is another cliff-filled bonanza, wherein enemies are coming towards two exit points in the east. The paths intersect briefly, but for the most part you'll have to set up independent lines of defense. As with the previous level, the mini map is invaluable here.
- For much of the map, Mage towers and Swordsmen again rule the day, as well as a strong, fully-upgraded Hero. Start at the intersection so you can split your attack, then make your way along each path, laying down defenses. It's good to have a mix of Swordsmen and Mages on both paths, though try to keep at least one slot open on both…
- … for Cannons. Though they're often not that useful, Cannons become somewhat indispensible here because of the Skeletons that roll through. They are quite resistant to any attack that doesn't come out of a Cannon, and even your Hero will have trouble bringing them down before they can flee the area. One Cannon on each path will make your job significantly easier.
- This is the first area to feature Dragons, a flying form of giants. Though they soar above the land, Dragons are vulnerable to Swordsmen and your Hero, as they'll use their towers to get onto the Dragon's back. Start chipping away at their health immediately, like any giant. Mammoths remain the more dangerous type of giant on this map, as they seem to toss enemies off of their backs more often than Dragons.
Ridges, ridges, and more ridges. The eleventh level is a land of hilly terrain, where enemies are constantly splitting off in different directions to reach three end points at the far end of the level. Once again, they're all quite a ways from one another, so you'll have to set of defenses on all three levels.
- Mage towers have proven very useful in the past, and you can get through this level by completely tricking out your magic users. Set up a Mage tower on every spot on the map, then begin to upgrade them, and you can deal with the baddies. The primary exceptions are Golems and Skeletons, and these…
- … fall under the blade of your Hero. Send him off to cling to every giant you see. With Mage tower backup the Hero can kill most of the giants before they get halfway through the level. The main exception are the Mammoths, which move a bit faster than other giants and knock melee units off of their backs constantly. The Hero is a necessity for slowing them down. Without the Hero pestering the Mammoth, your towers won't be able to bring it down fast enough.
- This map introduces a newcomer in the Tortoise, an enormous turtle with some support troops on its back. The Tortoise is strong, but it doesn't knock units off of it nearly as often as Mammoths, and it moves more slowly. If you have to choose one to concentrate on (and you will, at one point), attack the Mammoth first.
Icy levels have been conspicuously absent so far, and the twelfth level makes up for it with a rumble in some of the coolest conditions yet. This level has three entrance points to match three exit points, and some of the most intricate and confusing geography you've seen yet. It also has the biggest HP sponge you're ever likely to meet…
- Arrows aren't that effective here, so you're going to have to rely on the usual Mage and Swordsman combo with a smattering of Cannons. Set up the Mages and Swordsmen along the edges of the level while clustering a few Cannons near the middle. Upgrade the Mages first, Swordsmen second, Cannons third. You'll need all three in the fullness of time.
- Your Hero will have to move around a lot here, as there's a ton of ground to cover and not quite enough money to get yourself up and running on all spots immediately. Concentrate more on his actions than your towers, at least for the first half. In the early waves he can cover entire sections on his own, so long as he's facing slower enemies (and is fully upgraded).
- Enemies spend a lot of time crawling up and down ladders here, but most of them are protected from Wind. Nevertheless, you can use Wind to blow enemies that are avoiding your towers into the proper range. This is especially effective on the two ring-shaped paths: blow enemies upward while they're walking along the outer edge and they'll land on the inner edge, probably closer to your firepower.
- A little after the halfway point a new giant will take the scene: the Flying Castle. Though it does no damage of its own, the Flying Castle will drop minions onto the paths in relatively large numbers. It's wise to concentrate more on the minions than the Flying Castle itself, as they'll go for the exits. The Castle will meander around the level lazily, largely ignoring the exits. Taking down its health will force the Castle down, where it will spout legs, regenerate its HP, and continue its walking - though it will now drop incredible amounts of tougher enemies. Again, concentrate more on the minions. (Though if you can manage to kill the Flying Castle you'll make a ton of money.)
The game is coming to a close. You only have two levels left to go, and this penultimate challenge will send you atop ancient structures to duke it out with the usual bunch of miscreants. The level has three spawn points, three levels, and three exits. Some doorway shenanigans aside, each level will generally face the same amount of opponents over time. All must be protected.
- Setting up the level doesn't require a ton of thought, because the monsters don't change much between levels. Starting with the bottom and working your way upward, set up Swordsmen, Mages, Swordsmen, Mages, and so forth. The Swordsmen will greatly slow down any giants that lumber through their sections (and there are a fair number of them) while the Mages whittle down on health in general.
- Your Hero needs to remain highly mobile in this level, and should always be engaging any nearby giants. The Swordsmen will reduce the chances that he'll get thrown off each time the giant rears back.
- The doorways aside, the only real trick here is the netting between the top and middle levels. Keep an eye on it, lest enemies slip up or down it and throw you off guard. So long as you keep the levels evenly-defended, this won't be a problem. (That said, the top level doesn't seem to need quite as much protection as the other two, so leave its top-tier upgrades for last.)
This is it. The big one. The forces of evil have been pushed into a corner, and they're making one final push against a massive, heroic statue. The last level of Giants and Dwarves TD has three spawn points: ground, boardwalk, and along the top of the statue. Shut them all down!
- Archers aren't that great, and Cannons aren't fast enough. Once again, Mage towers and Swordsmen are your best bet. The melee fighters can hold enemies in place while the Mages pummel them with spells. The escalation of troops is swift in this level, so you'll have to set your towers up on all levels within the first two or three waves.
- The giants are particularly dangerous here because they generally come in twos, and those twos are usually on different elevations. Send your Hero after the tougher of the two first. Mammoths and Tortoises take priority over Golems, Treants, and even Dragons. Trojan Horses shouldn't prove much of a threat at this point.
- Perhaps the strangest aspect of this level is the background ramp that provides cover for enemies as they ascend to the upper levels. Be prepared for large swarms of baddies, and even the occasional giant, to suddenly appear on this ramp.
- The last wave of this level is by far the most dangerous, as it consists of a ton of Minotaur Lords. They're incredibly buff, will mow through all but the highest-level melee fighters, and are quite numerous. Save your spells for this part of the fight, and only use them if you think a group of Minotaurs is about to break through your ranks. It's tough to get them all, but it's possible with careful use of Wind, Berserk, and Meteor coupled with the boxes of explosives on the upper levels.