Frantic mode is in many ways the “original” Totem Topple game with other modes coming later. In fact, Totem Topple was first forged in the fires of a 48 hour competitive game jam, meaning that there wasn’t time to implement many of the typical features of a tower defence game.
Instead it became an exercise in stripping back all extraneous elements and focusing on a single question: “What do I build next?” Place more wings now or try to build the totem pole up a bit further? Concentrate on damage dealing beaks or health boosting wings?
Once the decision is made though, it’s a simple case of pressing the right button. Unlike many tower defence games, the single tower concept means geography isn’t so much a factor in the game. There’s no need to navigate around different parts of a battlefield. There’s far less emphasis on building the right turret in the right place.
These combine, along with fast moving enemies and rapidly ramping up difficulty levels, to accelerate pace to the game, pushing the player to make their decisions faster. The overall effect creates the frantic, arcade style action of Totem Topple, offering a fresh twist on a genre usually associated with developing complex strategies and careful planning. (Don’t worry though, as that stuff can still be found in “Classic mode”).