Alien Creeps & Castle Creeps: how to properly reskin a game

Tower defense games are a well understood genre of game, the player begins a level with some resources, a few choices in defensive structures to build along a path, and then begins the match.  As enemy march on down the path they must defend, the player gains more resources, upgrading their defenses and laying down additional structures to prevent any enemy unit from reaching their base.  This design has been tried and true for years and not much has changed in recent iterations.

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Starting a level in Alien Creeps TD

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Starting a level in Castle Creeps TD
Outplay Entertainment Ltd has done a wonderful job at presenting the player with the perfect tower defense experience in their titles Castle Creeps TD, and Alien Creeps TD, set in fantasy and sic-fi worlds respectively.

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World map in Alien Creeps TD

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Alien Creeps TD upgrades

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World map in Castle Creeps TD

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Castle Creeps TD upgrades
The way they won me over was their art style, it was both colorful and vibrant, it captured the feel of both themes, and unified the two gameplay experiences into a cohesive and recognizable art style that makes it clear that the games were developed by the same team.

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Combat in Alien Creeps TD

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Combat in Castle Creeps TD
In most cases an obvious reskin of a previous title would feel like a bad thing, but Outplay Entertainment has been able to do so in a manner which feels more like what Rockstar Games did with the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead franchises.  They’ve done enough to make each game feel like a unique take on the genre while still delivering the quality they developed in their first title and using a new theme to explore different tech and mechanics.

Have you ever played two games from the same developer and thought that they were too similar?  Do you enjoy being able to rely on a game developer to deliver the same quality experience?  Have you ever played a game where nothing had changed except for the theme? Did you enjoy it, or did you feel like it was a cheap way of releasing “another” game? I welcome discussion on this topic and if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please do so in the comments below, or write in to playprofessor@gmail.com.

Andrew Mantilla is a ludologist and video game journalist for Play Professor.  You can check out more of his content on FacebookTwitterInstagramand Youtube.

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