Defense Grid 2

Defense Grid 2 is the much anticipated sequel of Defense Grid: The Awakening. It’s a quintessential tower defense game released in 2014 and remains one of my favourite games of all times.

It has a simple premise and game play mechanics – waves of aliens are invading and it’s up to you, Commander, to stop them by building towers that destroy them. There is a large range of towers with various abilities and upgrades, a large range of enemies with different strengths and weaknesses and some very well designed maps on which the action unfolds.

Product Information

Retailer: Steam

Price: RRP £10.99 – £14.99 (Digital download)

About Hidden Path

Hidden Path Entertainment is an American development company founded in 2006 in Washington United States. Their first game – Defense Grid – was critically acclaimed and a commercial success and they’ve followed it up with several collaborations with Valve in the Counter-strike franchise, an updated Age of Empires game with Microsoft and Defense Grid 2.


  • Genre: Tower defense game
  • Target age range: Teens, Adults, Older adults
  • Target gender: Unisex/gender neutral design
  • Optimized for left or right handed, one or two handed use

Game accessibility

Visual accessibility
Colour blindness

Visual accessibility

  • Font size is large in a clear type, no cursive
  • Text and interactive elements displayed against a high contrast background.
  • Highly visible interactive elements and cursor
  • Field of view customizable
  • Essential, temporary information is provided within eye-line
  • Voice over for all essential text, including menus & installers
  • Multiplayer supports voice communication


  • Mild flash and flicker effects

Colour blindness

  • Essential information is never conveyed by colour alone
  • A choice of text colours/colour blind mode is available


Hearing impairment

Audio accessibility

  • Full closed captioning
  • Full subtitles that indicate who is speaking
  • Subtitles are on by default at the start
  • Minimal background noise during dialogue
  • Supports text-based communication in multiplayer games
  • Visual communication options, like emotes are available
  • Essential audio cues are distinctive and have a directional visual counterpart


  • Global mute option
  • Individual volume control for speech, music, ambience, special effects
Ergonomic accessible controls
Gameplay dexterity

Ergonomic accessible controls

  • Adjustable sensitivity of controls
  • Windowed mode enabled
  • Full button remapping
  • Multiple input options fully supported
  • Input options: Keyboard & mouse, Mouse only, Controller
  • Simple, ergonomic controls (single presses, few buttons in close proximity that match hand anatomy)
  • Playable with either hand

Gameplay dexterity

  • Range of difficulty levels that reduces speed and accuracy requirements
  • Tricky gameplay elements can be bypassed without completion
  • No repeated, timed input (quick time events or button-mashing)
  • Ajustable game speed where speed is an essential gameplay component
  • Assist mode (auto-aim, assisted steering) available for tasks that require precision or timing
  • Hit boxes are accurate and well proportioned
  • Essential interactive elements are stationary
Motion sickness
  • Synced movement (walk/weapon bobbing) or option to turn off effect.
  • Minimal simulated vehicular movement
  • Minimal screen shaking, jitter cam or other motion based special effects
  • User controlled perspective / adjustable view point
Language & literacy
Executive functions
Cognitive challenge

Language and literacy

  • Some language & basic reading requirement
  • Text can be read at own pace with voice over available
  • Simple, easy to follow or inconsequential narrative
  • Complex instructions and information recorded in an accessible log
  • Voice over available for menus and installers
  • Symbol based and voice communication an option in multiplayer games
Executive functions
  • Basic memory requirement or memory aids built into complex games
  • Minimal navigation required or breadcrumb trails available
  • Indicator of current objectives/tasks in progress with option to focus on one task at a time
  • Simple, shallow, well-organized menu and user interface
  • Game starts on the first/second level of the menu
  • Tutorial available
  • Practice mode or easy early restart an option
  • No sudden, unexpected visual/audio effects as integral part of gameplay
  • User settings are automatically saved and remembered
  • Planning and organization is not essential
  • No strategy required

Cognitive challenge

  • Adjustable difficulty levels that include challenge modes
  • Multiple, complex game concepts to be mastered
  • Strategy, planning, memory and precision timing essential to master challenge modes
  • Basic numeracy essential to gameplay
  • In-game currency, budgeting essential
Social interaction
Trigger warning

Social Interaction

  • No social interaction required for campaign
  • Option to opt out of social interaction in game with multiplayer modes
  • Text-based communication option always available
  • Vibrant, active, friendly and welcoming on-line game community

Trigger warnings

  • None

Environment & People

destress 100gameaccessibility100genderneutral100annoyancefactorlow100


It’s priced well and for anyone who enjoys tower defense games, will offer dozens of hours of game play with 20 maps, co-op, multiplayer, a map builder and multiple modes for each of the maps.


Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: tower defense, strategy
Layout: Map-based.
Length of game: 7+ hours
Number of players: single player, PvP and co-op
Recommended length of play sessions: Easy to play for hours, just as easy to play for a few minutes with Pause anytime and autosave options.
Difficulty settings: easy, standard, hard


internet access
* Internet access required to download

System requirements (PC)

OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.0, Windows 8.1
Processor: Dual core CPU 2.0Ghz or faster
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 10 video card with shader 4 support and Passmark Video Benchmark of 160 or above such as the following: ATI Radeon HD3650 or better (HD3650-HD8000, RX200-RX300+) (Radeon HD 4200 and HD 4250 not included) NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or newer (8800, 9600-9800, or 100-700+) (GeForce 8600M not included) Intel HD Graphics 2500 or higher
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 2 GB available space



Defense Grid: The Awakening was the first tower defense game I played. It was also the best tower defense game I ever played. It hooked me on the genre and I have moved from one game to the next for the last 5 years looking for another good game in a genre filled with many mediocre choices.

Even the best choices never made it to the top of my list. Until now. Defense Grid 2 is wonderful. It has everything I want in a tower defense game and a few things I didn’t know I wanted until I saw them. Passive tower abilities that tweak damage, local co-op where one player uses the mouse and keyboard and the other a controller, coordinated defense mode where each co-op partner have their own portion of the map and independent resources. Many maps, many modes and hours of fun. It is magnificent.

Highly recommended.

essential200The review is based on Defense Grid 2 played on PC. Read more about Ergohacks’ eco and access  used in reviews. This article was first published on 10 September 2014.

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