Play Desktop Tower Defense

Desktop Tower Defense (Desktop TD or DTD) is a classic tower defense game in which you have to protect your desktop from the incoming creeps. Strategically place towers to create a maze for the creeps. Use the gold you earn to upgrade your towers. Beware of the special waves with for example Flying creeps and Boss creeps.

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Desktop Tower Defense rules


Creeps will appear on the left (and top as of Normal mode) and make their way to the right (and bottom as of Normal mode). You have to prevent them from reaching their goal by placing towers that shoot at the creeps on the desktop grid.

You start with 20 lives. For each creep that reaches the other side, you lose a life. Once all your lives are lost, the game is over.

The creeps can not run through towers (except the ones in the Flying waves) so you can strategically place towers in a maze to make the creeps travel a larger distance and as such increase the amount of times they can be shot by your towers.

There has to be at least one path for the creeps to reach the end. If you try to place a tower that would prevent them from reaching their goal, a message saying ‘Blocking’ will appear.

Towers on the grid can be upgraded. After selecting a tower you will see an info screen with the stats after you would upgrade a tower. Press ‘upgrade’ or the shortcut U to upgrade.

You earn gold by killing creeps. The boss creeps earn more money than the regular ones.


A new wave of creeps arrives every 25 seconds, except if you decide to send it early. Each wave has 20 creeps (10 if you are playing in Easy mode).

Some waves have special abilities, e.g. the creeps in the ‘Fast’ waves move faster compared to the other waves, and the creeps in the ‘Flying’ waves go in a straight line from the beginning to the end, flying over the towers.

A Boss wave appears every 7th wave. It has one (or a few) strong creeps instead of a group of 20 creeps.


Players can build five different towers in Desktop TD. When you hover over a tower, information about the tower will be shown such as its cost, damage, range and speed.

If the tower is indicated in green when hovering over it, you can afford the tower. If it is indicated in red you don’t have enough gold.

  • Pellet Tower: Cheap and not so strong, mainly useful for creating the maze.
  • Squirt Tower: Can be useful against Flying creeps when placed in the middle of the grid.
  • Dart Tower: They have a large range so place them in the middle of the grid.
  • Swarm Tower: Can be useful against Flying creeps. Place it in the middle of the grid.
  • Frost Tower: They slow down the creeps they hit. This can be useful to keep creeps longer in the range of your strongest towers, and to break up groups.


Desktop Tower Defense has 4 difficulties:

  • Easy mode: Only 1 line of creeps, more gold available.
  • Normal mode: 2 lines of creeps.
  • Hard mode: 2 lines of creeps, with 50% additional health.
  • Challenge mode: Five different modes that each place a different restriction, e.g. not allowing to build a certain type of tower.

When first playing the game, it is advised to start in Easy mode.

Controls and keyboard shortcuts

  • N: send next level
  • 1-6: select a tower
  • ESC: deselect a tower
  • U: upgrade the selected tower
  • S: sell the selected tower
  • Space: pause the game

Strategy tips

  • Place some towers on the grid before starting the game, so you are ready for the first wave.
  • One highly upgraded tower does more damage than several level 1 towers.
  • Try to make the creeps pass your highly upgraded towers as often as possible.
  • Beware of the ‘Flying’ levels. The creeps in this wave will fly over your towers in a straight line to the exit, so make sure to have enough towers in the center of the grid targeting them.
  • To increase your score you can take some risk and send waves early.


Desktop Tower Defense is developed by Paul Preece and was first launched on 3 March 2007. To date, it has been played more than 70 million times.

The game was originally created using Flash technology. We are using a Flash game emulator to keep this game available for our players.

Several other games were developed in the Desktop Tower Defense series:

  • Desktop Tower Defense 1.2 launched on 21 March 2007
  • Desktop Tower Defense 1.5 launched on 22 June 2007
  • Desktop Tower Defense Pro launched on 13 October 2008
  • Nintendo DS version of Desktop Tower Defense in May 2009
  • Desktop Defender as Facebook application in early 2010

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