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After a thousand years of peace, the aliens have returned to invade once again. The only hope of stopping them is to activate the Defense Grid and drive them away, as was done before.

Defense Grid: The Awakening is a tower defense game, in which you control the placement of various kinds of towers and defend against the invading aliens. The aliens come in waves, and as the game progresses the aliens become more powerful and more numerous. The game consists of a number of missions, each of which is to be completed in succession by defending the power cores from the aliens.

There are several types of towers, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and each of which can be upgraded to increase its effectiveness. Placing and upgrading towers costs resources, which can be gained by destroying the aliens, or from interest on your current stock of resources. In addition to the towers, the player will acquire an orbital laser which can be fired, rarely, to destroy the aliens at its point of impact immediately, with the drawback that no resources will be gained from them.

If the player can complete the missions successfully, he will be awarded a medal (bronze, silver, or gold) for completing the mission, based on the number of cores that remain, as well as the number of points acquired. Completing missions unlocks later missions as well as alternate play modes for the mission completed, such as a challenge mode with more powerful aliens or a mode in which only a limited number of towers can be placed.


Defense Grid: The Awakening Windows Right-clicking an enemy gives status information as well as a brief description.
Defense Grid: The Awakening Windows Main Menu
Defense Grid: The Awakening Windows The beginning of a mission in an abandoned city setting
Defense Grid: The Awakening Windows When the tactical view is on, you can see the range of towers, the path any flying aliens will take, and the entry/exit aliens will use.

Promo Images

Defense Grid: The Awakening Screenshot
Defense Grid: The Awakening Screenshot
Defense Grid: The Awakening Screenshot
Defense Grid: The Awakening Screenshot

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User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews Xbox 360 Sep 09, 2009 9 out of 10 90
GameFocus Windows Jan 09, 2009 9 out of 10 90
GamingHeaven / DriverHeaven Windows Dec 30, 2008 87 out of 100 87
Gamers' Temple, The Xbox 360 2009 84 out of 100 84
Thunderbolt Games Windows Aug 13, 2009 8 out of 10 80
Tap-Repeatedly/Four Fat Chicks Windows Feb 25, 2009 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
JustPressPlay Windows Jan 03, 2009 8 out of 10 80
Gaming Age Xbox 360 Sep 16, 2009 B 75
Destructoid Windows Dec 17, 2008 7 out of 10 70
Gaming Nexus Xbox 360 Oct 08, 2009 B- 67


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1001 Video Games

Defense Grid: The Awakening appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Retail release

The retail release published by Aspyr in the US contains two different versions of the game. On the disc is a DRM free version that allows local profiles for saves, achievements and score ranking. For players who want to have Internet leader boards, and online rankings and achievements, a code is included in the box which allows them to download the Steam version of the game for no additional cost.

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Contributed to by havoc of smeg (22273), Kabushi (221022) and Tracy Poff (2025)