I played with Joseph which may partly explain why I ended with so much money. I also didn't buy too much only a single axe and gun upgrade and I chopped wood a lot. There were a couple levels at the end where I wished I could trade in money for more APs. Interestingly, I never ended up using the mortar or barrel. I preferred firewalls funneling enemies to a bait/spike trap combo.
Well that certainly shows how different the brothers' playstyles (possibly) end up panning out. I chopped zero wood.
Not a single mortar? Wow. I couldn't imagine. The damage and area of damage was immense, easily taking out most enemies in a single blast and leaving windigos on death's door. It also seems like you're mostly invincible while using them. I'd be fighting a pack of wisps in the middle of an activated cross trap, hear the bait start to be devoured, pop a nearby mortar, watch the mayhem, wait for the camera to pan back to me and be surrounded by wisps while only having lost a bit of health. Barrels...yeah I used a few of those. Ballistae were useful, too. I used my fair share of all traps / options, except bonfires, which I abandoned after the first few days. The trap diversity is great.
Fire-walling a pack of enemies into a bait+spike trap, hearing the impalement, followed by the death throes of the victims and the cash jump flash on screen, then watching the whole pack of enemy 'dots' wink out on the mini-map was so satisfying. You could also lay a spike trap around a zip line tower, which was a cool baiting option.
Sacred trees were also great. Activate a tree in between waves, sprint to a more populated site to defend, then eventually hear the tree batter enemies in the distance until they die.
I know I saved a bunch of APs by only ever needing three zip lines on the map. I saw a "Let's Play" type video on YT where the host had seven or eight at once! Master the wind.
If tower-defense games can be this fun, I've found a new genre to explore.