The Excubitors were an order of imperial guards from the Byzantine Empire that was formed in the 5th century common era. If you knew that without having to do any research, you are smarter than the writer of this article (if you were able to read the previous sentence you are also probably smarter than the author of this article–Editor). That useless bit of trivia has nothing to do with Kasedo Games upcoming title Excubitor, which I am glad to say is exponentially more exciting and fun than a history lesson. Excubitor is a hybrid between a tower defense game and top down aerial shooter. Each level focuses on defending a central point on the map from enemies with a variety of gun turrents, which range from typical antiaircraft weaponry such as missile launchers and machine guns to more unusual choices such as electromagnetic pulses that slow down enemy advance, making them easier targets.
In addition to the standard strategy of defense turrets and resource management that are staples of tower defense games, you take an active role in the defending process flying around the map. The automated turrets assist greatly in the defense but it is necessary to maintain the automated defenses all over the map while engaging in dogfights with all the advancing enemy ships. Defeated enemies can leave behind materials that can be spent to build generators on the battlefield which give you more energy. Energy is used to power the turrets, ergo the more power you have the more weaponry you deploy.
While strategy is essential for success in this game, it needs to happen on the fly, pun unintended, as the action Excubitor is very fast paced. There are several gargantuan boss fights that occur, and the tower defense component of the game does not let up even when you have to take on these mechanical behemoths. After spending some time with a beta build of this, I can say that even in its unfinished form it is a very enjoyable game. Combining gameplay elements of real time strategy, tower defense, and top down shooters such as Raiden sounds like an odd amalgamation of styles but Kasedo was successful and making this work. Excubitor is slatted to be released this spring. While the build I played may differ slightly from the final product, this looks like it going to be a quality game.