[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DefenseGrid_6656.jpg]]

Developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and released for the PC in December 2008 (and XboxLiveArcade in September 2009), ''Defense Grid: The Awakening'' is a TowerDefense game that's been hailed as one of the best in the genre.

Over a thousand years ago, an AlienInvasion on your planet was beaten back. Now, the aliens are invading again, and your world is in peril. They've besieged your city, cutting you off from your home. In the nearby ruins of an old military base, you find a dusty terminal and reawaken an ancient ArtificialIntelligence--who, in reality, is the very general of the previous war! After the war his brain was [[BrainUploading uploaded]] into the planetary defense grid, in case the aliens ever returned.

With the help of the General, you've jumped into the command chair to re-[[TitleDrop awaken]] the grid and SaveTheWorld.

Hidden Path has given the sequel ''Defense Grid 2'' [[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hiddenpath/defense-grid-2?ref=live the Kickstarter treatment]]. Though they didn't get enough money to fund it, the project [[http://www.strategyinformer.com/news/23002/report-single-investor-helped-back-defense-grid-2-crowdfunding was funded]] by AscendedFanboy Steven Dengler, who also helped co-produce various DoubleFine projects.

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''Defense Grid'' provides examples of:
* AirborneMook: Darts and Mantas. Both of which do not take the usual route which the other mooks do, and instead travel another fixed path and if they manage to steal one of the cores, they're considered to be lost immediately and can't be recovered even if you manage to shoot them down before they escape.
* AlternateRealityGame: Is one of the 13 indie games that form the bulk of the material of Creator/{{Valve|Software}}'s "[[http://valvearg.com/wiki/Valve_ARG_Wiki PotatoFoolsDay]]" ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' ARG.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The end of the ''Containment'' campaign, presumably to set up a SequelHook for ''Defense Grid 2''.
* AntiAir: Missile towers can only attack air units, but they do a very good job at it and have a large radius.
* AscendedFanboy: Steve Dengler, see above.
* BigGood: General Fletcher.
* BoringButPractical: Once they're fully upgraded, Gun Towers are one of the best damage-dealing towers available. They're also the cheapest tower to buy and upgrade, and they're effective against nearly everything, working against both flying and ground enemies and rapidly destroying shields.
* BottomlessMagazines: Gun towers are explicitly stated to have infinite ammo, yet the last step of their unfolding animation when you build or upgrade one involves audibly reloading their guns.
* BrainUploading: General Fletcher, who stopped the previous invasion is now the AI running the defense grid. He often talks about things he would do if he was still in his body. Mostly eating raspberries.
** The ''Containment'' campaign introduces Cai, in control of a different planet's defense grid.
* CanonImmigrant: [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Guess who stars]] in the expansion ''Defense Grid: You Monster''? [[http://www.hiddenpath.com/games/defense-grid-you-monster/ Hint: Not Chell.]]
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Spending over a thousand years uploaded inside a defense computer network has left the General a little... odd, [[SubvertedTrope but he realizes how he's acting]] and resolves to stay focused on repelling the invasion.
* {{Crossover}}: The ''You Monster'' expansion crosses over with the ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' series.
* DeathFromAbove: The Meteor tower; incredible range and deals area-of-effect damage.
* DeflectorShields: The Bulwark uses these to protect itself. The Spire's can protect other aliens. The already unfair [[MightyGlacier Crasher]] is given these to make TheJuggernaut. Inferno and Laser towers can barely scratch them, while Tesla towers are SuperEffective.
* DoWellButNotPerfect: If you are having problems getting a gold medal, sometimes it's better to go easy on the final enemies and let them live live a little longer with a softer defense while the interests rack up your resources towards the gold score.
* DownloadableContent: In the form of map packs. The Resurgence series is four packs of two maps each, Containment is a short campaign of eight maps, and You Monster is a crossover with ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}''.
* DungeonBypass: Later levels have you build TheMaze yourself using towers. [[AirborneMook Flying enemies]] go right over it, and instantly leave the map when they reach your power cores.
* EliteMook: The description for the Rhino states that it is the basic elite unit of the alien army.
* ExcusePlot: [[TropesAreNotBad A well-done example of one.]] It's a rare thing to see a Tower Defense game with CharacterDevelopment.
* ExpansionPack:
** ''Borderlands''; four extra levels included as free DLC.
** ''Resurgence''; four smaller [=DLC=]s with two new levels apiece.
** ''You Monster''; a ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}''-themed campaign.
** ''Containment''; an eight-level campaign funded by the ''Defense Grid 2'' Kickstarter, and some community-made levels included for no extra cost.
* ExpositionFairy: The General himself.
* FragileSpeedster: Racers can only take about as much damage as a regular walker, but they are a lot faster.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Laser towers, which are good against the two fast enemies, the Racer and the Rumbler, both because the said enemies keep taking damage from being set on fire by the laser after they're out of their range and because lasers don't have to waste any time pivoting to aim at an enemy when it enters its range.
* GatlingGood: The level 2 gun tower swaps out the chain gun with a tri-barreled gatling gun. The level 3 gun tower adds a second one.
* TheGoomba: Training drones in the first stage are very weak and can only carry one core. That's the ''only'' time you will fight them, though.
* KillItWithFire: Inferno and Meteor towers are strong against [[ZergRush Swarmers]].
* KillSat: The orbital laser obliterates anything, but is slow to charge and enemies killed by it give no metal to build and upgrade towers with.
* LightningGun / ShockAndAwe: The Tesla tower. Its attack is stronger if given time to charge up, and it can [[ChainLightning chain enemies]].
* MeaningfulName: Almost all the {{Mooks}}.
** Swarmers ''always'' [[ZergRush appear in swarms]], unless they're periodically released from a [[MookMaker Seeker]].
** Rhinos are [[HeavilyArmoredMook heavily armoured]] and can take more damage, similar to how the real life rhinoceros has a thick armour.
** Racers are [[FragileSpeedster very fast enemies]].
** Darts have a dart-like appearance, and they can [[AirborneMook fly]] like one too.
** Mantas looks kind of like manta rays, and also [[AirborneMook fly through the air]] in the same fashion the manta ray glides underwater.
** A bulwark is a protection against external attacks. Bulwarks have DeflectorShields that protects them from damage.
** A spire in real life is a pointed structure. Spires in this game are shielded aliens that have a pointed head.
** Lurkers have the ability of stealth protection and can "lurk" away from your towers.
** Decoys give stealth to units around it but do not have stealth themselves. Thus, they act as a decoy and attract attacks from your towers towards it, instead of the enemies it gives stealth to.
** Turtles have heavily armored shells, like a real life turtle.
** The Crasher tends to inexorably crash its way straight through whatever you throw at it, while its shielded counterpart TheJuggernaut is, well, nigh unstoppable unless you have strong weapons.
* MarathonLevel: The Grinder and Super Grinder challenges pit you against '''99''' waves. And yes, you ''still'' must finish to obtain medals. The score requirements are quite low in proportion (ideally, you'll hit ''at least'' one million on these sorts of challenges out of the 100,000-200,000 needed for gold), but if you so much as lose a single core, there goes about an entire hour of your efforts.
* TheMaze: Making them with towers is necessary to slow down alien progress long enough to keep them continously exposed to your attacks. The DLC map Height of Confusion is nothing but one big grid of tower slots, requiring you to structure the level yourself.
* MemoryGambit: Fletcher deliberately omitted certain memories when he was uploaded, to ensure the aliens wouldn't find out about them-- namely, the existence of other human colony worlds and [[PortalNetwork the portal]] that led to one of them.
* MetaPowerup: Command Towers are these--they don't add any extra power for your towers, but they will reveal Stealth units and also allow you to gain more [[YouRequireMoreVespeneGas resources]] from any enemies killed in its range.
* MightyGlacier: Crashers and Juggernauts. These guys can make off with three power cores at once, but due to their size and weight, they are slooooow (in fact, they are the slowest of all the aliens).
* MinimalistCast: Just the unnamed player character and Fletcher. ''Containment'' adds two more, Cai and Simon Ritter.
* MoodWhiplash: If you [[GameOver lose all of your cores]], [[ItsAWonderfulFailure you get to hear Fletcher's melancholic last words as the grid shuts down]]. Right afterwards, the post-battle menu screen shows up and Fletcher cheerfully encourages you to try again.
* MookMaker: Seekers periodically open a portal to the enemy aliens' home planet, allowing (usually) smaller but weaker aliens to join the fray. In the final campaign level, there are Seekers that will generate nigh-endless waves of Crashers and Rumblers if they aren't dealt with.
** Turtles are heavily armored boss enemies that carry weaker Mooks inside, which are released when the Turtle is defeated. In later levels, they carry [[LightningBruiser Rumblers]]!
* MultiMookMelee: The standard gameplay, taken to the extreme in the Grinder and Super Grinder modes.
* NoFairCheating: If you completely block the aliens' path to the cores, they'll simply walk right past the offending tower. Depending on your tower composition, this will result in a shorter path than you planned for the aliens, which is very, ''very'' bad.
* OneHitPointWonder: Some stages have challenges that give you only a single core.
* RidiculouslyFastConstruction: Towers rise up almost fully assembled from hatches in the ground. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that you are re-activating an existing defense grid, and the resources you are gathering are effectively repair parts for existing components.
* ScoringPoints: At the end of a mission, you're given points based on how many Resources you have, the sell value of your towers (which is always less than the buy value, ensuring that buying and upgrading towers will reduce your score), and how many Cores you have intact. You're also given medals for hitting point milestones. Thus, maximizing score and getting those gold medals is based around efficient Resource use while preventing your Cores from being stolen.
* ShellShockedVeteran: The General is often overcome with the tragedies he's experienced a thousand years ago. At one point he briefly thinks he's still fighting the previous war.
* ShoutOut: [[Theatre/HenryV Once more into the breach!]]
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: The General really loves raspberries, although he also enjoys blueberries too.
* TurtlePower: One of the enemies is actually called the "Turtle". It has a lot of health, and just like a turtle, contains [[MookMaker stuff]] inside its hard shell.
* UnstableEquilibrium: If you design a very efficient layout minimizing cost, the unused energy generates interests, in turn making the game easier as you'll eventually reach a MoneyForNothing point. If however, your defense is hard-pressed, you won't have much help from the interest rate. In addition, unreturned cores (which also lower said rate) are harder to defend so the next wave of enemies gets more dangerous than it should be with a static defense, relay-races with cores are common and pestering in that scenario.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: The General.
* YouRequireMoreVespeneGas: Towers are built and upgraded with a single Gold-type resource from killing aliens which doubles as your score, along with the remaining cores and total sell value of your towers at the end of the level. The game encourages minimal use of resources through interest.
* ZergRush: Swarmers. Weak health, but damn, they come in large ''swarms''!
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