Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. One heck of a buy for $10. For anyone who has yet to venture into the Tower Defense genre of gaming, it provides a uniquely appealing style of RTS/puzzle gameplay that is sure to addict most everyone who gives it a go.
  2. Defense Grid is one of the best Tower Defense-games and offers a great introduction to the genre on the Xbox 360. The game is well build, very addictive and even a pleasure to watch.
  3. The pinnacle of design for tower-defense games, and not just because of its fancy Gamebryo-powered 3D graphics. It’s challenging and complex without breaking the same simple rules that all tower-defense games follow, even the most unsophisticated ones. Taking a simple yet classic game design, then adding depth and polish to it, is probably the purest way to make a great game.
  4. It’s a great buy but be warned: once you place your first tower, you’ll be hooked for many, many hours of alien blasting fun.
  5. I never would have expected such as basic game as “Tower Defense” to be given such a great make over with some gameplay tweaks and be such a worthwhile and addictive game. While you can play a very basic version of this type of game on thousands of websites, if you enjoy playing them this is one of the few commercial ones that is worth your gaming dollar.
  6. 90
    Overall, this game is for you. Intimidated by a tower defense? Don't be. It requires some heavy thinking and brain power, which is good for everyone. Since no one reads books anymore, you mind as well play a game that requires you to think on your feet. Defense Grid: The Awakening will love you if you love it.
  7. 89
    A great value on Xbox Live Arcade. It's a fantastic tower defense game, costs half what it does on PC, and throws in bonus levels for us. Strategy games aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if you count yourself a devotee of the genre you won't want to miss this one.
  8. If you are a tower defense fan, you need to download the full version of this game. And if you are a not a fan of the genre, Defense Grid just might have enough in its bag of tricks to convert you.
  9. One of the finest examples of the burgeoning tower-defense genre on Xbox 360. [Nov 2009, p.70]
  10. Defense Grid takes about five minutes to learn, then slowly gives you more tools over the course of campaign mode.
  11. Defense Grid: The Awakening is not overly original within the tower defense genre, but does everything so exceedingly well in an anemic XBLA genre that it is impossible to resist.
  12. Defense Grid provides all that is great about Tower Defense games and suffers from none of the pitfalls.
  13. It's half the price of the PC version and comes with a few extra maps after the original campaign is over, adding even more value where, in all honesty, none was needed.
  14. If you don't like tower defense games, then Defense Grid won't change your mind about the genre. However, if you do enjoy the occasional tower game or enjoy strategy games in general, Defense Grid is definitely worth your time.
  15. Defense Grid: The Awakening offers what is easily the best tower defense game on the Xbox 360 and is a game that anyone interested in that genre should check out.
  16. Completely towers over the rest. [Dec 2009, p.107]
  17. This exceptionally balanced tower defense game will keep you coming back to fight off the alien invasion for just one more wave.
  18. The best tower game ever. [Dec 2009, p.104]
  19. Satisfying, to say the least. [Issue#51, p.104]
  20. Defense Grid breaks the mold enough to awaken dreary tower defense fans, but a few key issues keep it from achieving greatness.
  21. A nicely put together game in an increasingly crowded genre.
  22. With enough content to make it worth the price, but not enough unique content to make it stand out from other free titles you can find online, Defense Grid: The Awakening is a slightly above average tower defense video game.
  23. It's still just another Tower Defence game, but at least this one requires some genuine strategy.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. NickBrooks
    Sep 15, 2009
    Pretty much perfect implementation of a tower defence game, lots of small tweaks and features that show attention to detail. Graphics and voiceover are also very polished.
    Such a shame the metacritic score is dragged down by the idiotic 60 from Teletext (that great bastion of gaming journalism), who admits that it's a great game, but gives it a low score because he doesn't like tower defence games (hint - get someone to review it who at least likes the genre/concept).
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 18, 2013
    The graphics, music and sound effects are high quality. I was able to get through the Awakening capaign fairly easily, but got mopped up on Boderlands. I couldn't complete a single level. There is no difficulty switch and it feels the game is geared towards only a couple possible solutions. To echo Shinigurai's comment very frustrating. I've been playing games for a long time, and fortunately it's rare that I run into games like this where the levels are too extreme. Full Review »
  3. Jul 5, 2013
    Weirdly additive game. Spent hours on it. Will never purchase it (not my type of game), but as a free game for xbox gold member, I give it a soild 7.... Full Review »