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KeroHarvestHarvest is an upcoming game by Oxeye Game Studio currently in open beta and available for Mac and Windows. It is survival-based game that combines elements from tower defense and other real time strategy games. Those familiar with these types of games should feel right at home.

Click on a building-type to select it, then place it anywhere on the map. It's just that easy. You should initially focus on establishing income for you to afford to keep building.

The level progression is measured in Threat Levels, which are displayed at the top of the screen. You will get a couple of minutes before the alien waves start to pour down on you so you're going to need to set up some defenses quickly.

To build any sort of building you are going to need two things:
  • Energy - which can be produced using the solar plants, and
  • Minerals - which can be mined using the harvesters.

While minerals are stored in some sort of time space-flux until you are ready to use them, your energy is quite clearly visible, bouncing around your base and putting on a pretty show. To transfer energy to where it's needed you will need to build a series of energy links to create a chain or web of energy around your base so all your buildings will have the power they require to function. Also when placing each tower it will show you the range that tower was to connect with energy links, so there is no guess work involved.

There are only 6 buildings to choose from, and yet most of them have a secondary function that will help you in your cause. The energy link is also able to force itself to overheat and explode in a pretty powerful bomb, which may be useful for damaging larger groups of units for a low mineral cost. The basic defense towers can focus their energy on other towers to make one tower much more powerful than the rest giving it increased range and damage, however the towers that are focusing their energy are always active even when the main tower is not firing, and thus will take a lot of power to sustain. The missile towers can be upgraded into one of two other towers, the Eagle Cruiser turret, which fires a very powerful long range missile, or the Tempest Turret which fires a cluster of weaker missiles at your foes.

Overall, Harvest is a great alternative to the traditional tower defense, and a lot of fun and refreshing to play. The graphics are very nice, and I just can't help but sit there and watch all the energy bouncing around. So if you are looking for a new twist in the Tower Defense genre I'd definitely recommend downloading Harvest and take advantage of the open beta period.

Download the open beta

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the open beta


Couldn't agree more about the energy visuals.

So purrrrty. :)


Looks pretty. *adds to her favorites and waits for the Mac version*


the review says:
"It is survival-based game that combines elements from tower defense and real time strategy games."

But wasn't tower defense genre itself a direct spinoff from real time strategy games?


Yeah, that was my addition, Noddy. But it's not strictly a tower defense game, so how would *you* have chosen to provide a formal definition?

Looking for some help here is all.


this is simply great fun.


Is it just me or this game impossibly hard? I can get up to around level 8 and then I get overwhelmed. It seems like the balance at lower levels is terribly off. By the time you get enough money there is not enough energy and then by the time you get more energy there are more aliens than your meager amount of linked lasers can take care of.

Maybe I just am having problems, anyone have any tips?

Covmeister August 12, 2007 6:50 PM

I also found this game to be incredibly difficult....

The key seems to be having an extra couple of power plants to fuel your miners, and keep your defenses firing at a high enough rate to keep you safe. However, the sheer amount of enemies that show up in the later waves are almost impossible to defend... Plus when the enemies arrive, they just mow through your buildings if not killed quick enough!!

I would like to see some different AI, i.e the enemies should stay at a short distance and fire at your base, ratehr than just mow everything down, i find that overly simple. Direct attacks could be reserved for the other types of enemies, like those speed bike things that arrive afetr a while.

All in all its looking promising, and would definitely try a full version... hopefully the gameplay will eb tightened up a bit!!


Just keep in mind that most TD type games aren't meant to be winnable.


Awesome game. Made it to lvl 36 before i died. Full version will be amazing.


I had trouble with the "ever expanding ring" situation that arises with mineral gathering. I could build adequate defenses, but it was near impossible to keep the ring of my defenses growing to include all the mining units I needed to replace the solar panels.

I made it to level 30 though on my third try. Once you get into a rythme it's not too difficult to build combination defenses including tempest rockets [very necessary in higher levels]. I would like to see a slower progression so that players can engage in the "long haul" organization of things instead of a ulser inducing rush.

Great game.


Uhm, how do you link the lasers?


You press and hold the left mouse button over one laser tower, then drag the cursor over another tower in reach and release.


This game IS excellent - perhaps the best TD ever as it has a bigger scope as a game. It is also very, very hard. I imagine that they only want people who are excessively good to apply for the closed beta, which is why it is so face-bustingly infested with alien saucers.

Time between waves, to expand and tweak, would be great.
Automatic systems of linking would be useful, as linking is tricky at hectic times, and pausing/unpausing constantly is a bit annoying. Imagine if you could prioritise one or more energy nodes by right clicking on it? The node is highlighted and draws energy from nodes around it. You could stack this - one click draws in energy from immediate nodes, two clicks goes two nodes back, and three goes three nodes back (hopefully enough for any situation). Middle-click, shift-click etc. to get rid of links.
Being able to link lasers in this way would also be great. You could specify one or more 'front line' lasers, and automatically have the links made. I imagine that this will be tricky to programme, though, if you want to have multiple such lasers, as the software won't be aware of what you want to do! Perhaps you could be able to define laser groups, in a similar way to grouping units in an RTS - click on a laser, press the group number and all the lasers in that group link up to the specified laser. This way you could choose between having two, three, or four groups of lasers quickly, depending on the threat.

I find it hard to progress very far because I either over-extend without energy, or have too much energy and not enough harvesters to build defences. Also, the missiles seem terribly useless to begin with, and even when I upgraded one to the multiple missiles it wasn't too helpful. Is there a particular way to use missiles effectively?

Ryan Dunn August 13, 2007 5:55 AM

Hey just wanted to say this is an amazing game. and comment on a few comments.

There is a pause for rebuilding but it only happens every 10 levels.

to get the missiles to work you need to charge them up which means you need a lot of energy I usually

Thanks for the explanation on linking.

And finally I'd like to point out something I noticed when you use the node as a bomb, if you can get two adjacent ones as bombs at the same time the 1st one will shoot the 2nd one off in a straight line hopefully to a bunch on enemies


Oh God.
First I thought: "Its pretty, but whats supposed to be so cool about it"

I've played 6 games so far.
Las try was a funny thing.
7 solar panels and a lot of energy nodes sourrounded by a triple ring of unlinked lasers.

whenever I needed minerals i just paused and built node-bridges to the nearest cluster of rocks.
I failed but it looked so awesome.
They breached my perimeter at 37, last building fell at 39.
I miss upgrades. there need to be more upgrades and more diverse ones at that.

For example:
- double lasers (2 times 0.6 the original with different targets)
- more range (on cost of power if necessary)
- more power (on cost of range if necessary)

Another idea would be that the enrgy-balls could slightly (0.5 times one unlinked laser-shot) damage the opponents if they hit them. You could create virtual minefields like that, although it would again take more power to support.

There are so many possibilities to somehow weave all the buildings together (miners can mine scrap metal that enemies leave behind, so you will have to think about recycling them) its mind-boggling.
I can't wait for the actual game (hopefully with more buildings no matter what the readme says)

FH_Shadow_Fox August 13, 2007 1:47 PM

There should be more buildings. And upgrades. Maybe towers with projectiles, or multi-bounce lasers.
This game is hard. It's REALLY hard after about level 35. My record is 45.


Wow. What a great and ,if not original, certainly fun game to play, it's nice to see something with this much potential and i would really love to see it do well when the full version is released.

I like the way it is not particularly complex, with only a few buildings to choose to place, however the amount it makes you think and consider what, where and when and the tactics of it is nice also. the replay-ability is also very good, i find rarely that there are games where i can get very far. Fail. And then want to continue, i think the save feature helps as you can save at a reasonably secure point and not worry terribly about failing. I like the variety of enemies and the way you have to structure your often reasonably simplistic defenses (or at least in my case they are) to compensate for different enemy types.

I dislike the slightly shoddy graphics, to be fair it isn't a particularly complex game and some more pleasing aesthetics couldn't have hurt; this is something i am sure they will fix in the full version however, so it does not concern me unduly. I also think an addition of an options menu would be nice, possibly including graphics, sound effects, difficulty etc options. I think everyone will admit it is a hard game, and i could probably use an option to turn down the difficulty.

I find that my favorite strategy at the start is to build 3 harvesters, centered around mineral hot-spots, then build another solar plant. And then rapidly expand my economy until i have about 5-8 harvesters and 5 solar plants, and then i start to build turrets. This is usually around the time when the first aliens are approaching the base. i then go with the circular base defenses and make sure to sell off any harvesters that are no longer in reach of minerals (this is shown by a purple light on top of them). I haven't as of yet gotten particularly far so my strategy may need some adjustments. However i find that solar plants are a lot more important than missile spots early on in the game, and whilst it certainly is fun to play around on your first go, if you are aiming to get far then i would save and invest in solar plants, rather than missile sites and their expansions.

So all in all, one of the best games of this genre to come through JIG in a while, thank you Jay and Kero and all the other JIG helpers for this wonderful site. :D


Man, I must be getting old. I had such high hopes seeing this game, but there must be something about the way I'm playing that I just can't get very far.

I'm assuming by "level" we're talking about the "threat level"? If that's the case I haven't gotten much farther than maybe 8 or 9. It's sad. I download a game in which I last maybe 3 minutes.

Not terribly fun if you ask me. I like building stuff and at least making a defensible position, this is scrambling.


Phew. Managed to reach level 41 this time before being totally crushed. It was pretty fun, but kinda exhausting, so I don't know if I'll play again.

I thought the graphics was pretty good, actually. Simple, but once a lot of things are going on, pretty enough.


Don't overbuild harvesters early on. Build three, and get a power plant. You need at least 5 power plants before you can even think of defending yourself. Keep harvesting to about +6 to +9.

Use the pause button. You can still build and give orders when the game is paused. This game is only as hectic as you want it to be. (I tend to play on slow/paused. Maybe the devs should think about slowing the whole game down further? I can't conceive of anyone really using the higher speed settings) Does this game have a pause hotkey?

Use your defense towers to establish a perimeter. To expand, try to keep within range of the old towers, so you can use linking.

Tempest launchers are godly, as long as they have defense towers first to pick off the survivors. Eagle launchers are useless until level 30 or so, when you need them to pick off teleporters etc.

The enemy tends to attack two sides at the same time. Build harvesters on the side not being attacked, and build towers once they turn to them.

Keep an eye out for purple (depleted) harvesters, and sell them. Sell buildings that are about to be killed by aliens.

Set priority for your towers to focus on shuttles (the fast, little things).

Micromanage your links so that all of your towers are involved in a battle. Unlink towers if enemies are in range. (it's more efficient, I think) This could really do with a hotkey, devs...

ZorMonkey August 14, 2007 1:25 AM

Played enough to make it to level 55 (well, 50 before I gave up and hit fast forward) before noticing the glowing "Attack Priority" button. Maybe with that I'll hit level 60! I doubt it. :P

Heres what I do:
- Start off making harvesters, but dont throw a bunch out there. Place one at a time, placing another as the others finish building.
- When you have enough money for a generator, build one. In fact, early in the game, whenever you have enough money for a generator, build one!
- As soon as you see red dots on the radar, build a couple lasers
- As waves come in from the 4 sides, build up a square wall of lasers. If they're ignoring one side, you should too! At least, until you have some extra cash
- Drop harvesters all over the sides that arent being attacked. I like to keep *at least* a +15 going, but the more the better
- Fill out the energy grid to expand your square, side by side. Expand sides that arent being attacked. Grow towards resource mountains if possible.
- Recycle lasers that are close to the inside of your square, and move them to the outside, making sure to keep solid walls.
- Around level 10 worry less about adding more generators, and stockpile cash. Add lasers as you need them though. Add generators when you notice building getting sluggish
- Around level 30 you should have plenty of money and energy, and the aliens are starting to get thick. Start dropping a few missle silos around. I usually upgrade a few with the 40cr upgrade (whatever it's called)
- Around the same time, it will be hard to expand your square to get more resources. On the sides that arent being attacked, extend a small finger of the energy grid towards resources, and pile on the harvesters.
- Keep an eye on your harvesters. Recycle those with a purple light on tope, and any that are about to get destroyed

Thats all for now. I'm up way past my bedtime. Dont tell my boss.

ZorMonkey August 14, 2007 1:28 AM

One thing I forgot to mention. Maybe everyone knows this but me, but to link several lasers together hold down the left mouse button and drag your mouse across all of them at once. You dont have to link each one individually. To unlink all of them, unlink the first laser in the chain (although that doesnt always get all of them, I think)

Volmarias August 14, 2007 9:13 PM

Pretty wonderful game! I got to level 44 or so before I noticed that my defeat was impending (who knows, if I unpaused I might have gotten to 45 or 46 before being completely crushed). For such a simple game, there's a pretty large amount of complexity, I must admit. Even something as simple as deciding where to link your lasers becomes a big, hectic decision.

I must say, though, I love me them tempest missile launchers, especially once the massive hordes start showing up!

Like most other people, I notice that my base seems to grow rather organically from the middle. So, rather than let my lasers in the center languish, I would cluster them together (groups of 4 or 5 or so), all pointing towards one laser, and then I would use that to direct my defenses.

I would like a breakdown on how much damage extra laser defenses contribute to each other, because it doesn't appear to simply be 1 to 1. Is it 0.8x per extra tower? Is it 0.9^n where n is the number of towers already involved? What's the secret?


Made it to level 49. I was finding it hard to manage my economy by that point, though I managed to maintain a very healthy power grid. Things started going south around level 45 and I just couldn't hold on any longer. A massive wave from the south started coming up and just chewed me apart from the bottom up.

I started my build like most other people... 4 harvesters, then a power plant, then 4 more, then power, then my first defences. I built a LOT of nodes too. In the beginning it really helps to be able to prioritize power to building structures but after a while that doesn't matter so much except when upgrading missiles. I didn't link any of my lasers, which was very useful when those little fast movers started showing up in larger numbers. I did keep them in pretty tight lines, though. I expanded my harvesting one small section at a time as needed, always making sure to sell off old ones. After a while it just became too much to handle.

Making progress, though... before this round the best I had done was around 20 or so


Made it to level 80. Beyond that is virtually impossible. Keep building layers of walls of lasers with some missiles in between. You can also link energy nodes to direct the flow of energy to outer reaches of your base. Double click on the node to disconnect. Have the center layers of lasers connected and the lasers at the front of the attack unconnected. Just keep building and building and building... Eventually the map expands when you reach the edges.


It is possible to get higher than 80 but you need a good strategy. (I stole mine from the oxeye forum, although the strategy is obvious [smacks himself])

I'm using a single spiral right now.
Have the energy nodes spread in a spiral design and link the nodes. Max the nodes range while doing so.
Then just ad harvesters to the spots with rocks keeping them close to the enrgy line.
after that, place lasers evenly among the perimeter. (2-3 per node-distance).

Have all the lasers that are not on the perimeter link inwards and create 2 omni-lasers.

Once you hit lvl 30-40:

have the 1-2 outermost layers of lasers link to the perimeter lasers (look after the range of your omni-lasers, have the range only show at the corners of the screen to kill most heavy-enemies while still off-screen). The ones deeper inside still linked to the omnies.

Theoretically it should be possible to, at one point redistribute the inner links to create 3 omni-lasers, but at lvl 57 there are not yet enough lasers to do so.

I stopped expanding at 57. mining at65. then cocooned myself in lasers and tempests (build some single lasers once you want to see how far you can go and tell the to primarily target the luittle shuttles).
Lasted 'till lvl118.

The downside of the spiral is that once the enemy penetrates your perimeter your outer layers are without energy. I'll try a double spiral once I lose here. Maybe that will get me even further.

Mongolian August 16, 2007 10:04 PM

ok..what really pee's me off before even trying to play this game seriously is knowing the facts:

- how much energy is each of one of these energy things doing>? as in, how many energy things are needed to support X amount of things.
- how much do each one of the mining things mine for?
- how much do bases support power/money?

There is no chart for these answers except guestimations. Well.. how do you want hardcore gamers to play the game if they don't know what is the core essentials are?


The fun in "arcade game" (as this was designed as one) is that you only have estimations based on surveillance.

Each miner mines for a +1, and mines 1 for each energy bauble that goes in it.

a single-laser needs about 1 full charge (4-5 baubles) to kill a ufo I think.

dead powerplants still give about 30% of the base energy.
how much energy they create, well just leisure the time while playing. I think its 2 seconds in normal speed.

I don't really understand your last question.

some information can be found in the relic-forum (google for 'harvest corsix' I wanted to find his hack) and the official oxeye forum.

Other than that, do what most people do, build a small base and measure it yourself. The goal of a game is to make you play, thrive, stumble, and swear yourself, not give you enough numbers to calculate your way through it (I did that with many games making them kinda dull)

The D'OH effect is what makes most games so fun.

To want the key to the game before playing it is kind of arrogant.

Should you actually decide to play the game, here is a Tip:
Linked lasers are way overpowered in the open beta, create laser flowers (many lasers around one central one for a super-laser, don't link too long a chain as the super needs a buildup phase that takes a while the longer the chain is.)

In regards to my last post.
I have built on to lvl 86 (or 88) and now have 4 central doomsday lasers while having the 3 outermost layers of laser to the perimeter creating a perimeter of 3xlasers. Spiral Design Rocks.

ZorMonkey August 17, 2007 8:46 AM

- how much energy is each of one of these energy things doing? as in, how many energy things are needed to support X amount of things.

Hard to say. A whole map of lasers could have enough power for a very long time with 0 energy collectors, provided there is enough energy stored in the grid. How do you quantify that? Plus, there really isnt a need to know. If your energy grid isnt bright, units aren't getting enough power, or construction is taking too long, you need more energy collectors - that's it.

- how much do each one of the mining things mine for?

Until the mountains around it are depleted. The bigger the mountains, the longer they'll harvest

- how much do bases support power/money?

They support power/money very much


What is the level cap on normal mode? I have made it to 140.. So i guess it's not 100.. The defense lasted till level 51, so not 150 lvl cap either.. Just currious...


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