It’s been a while since indie developer Origin8 came out with a sequel to their award-winning tower defense (TD) series, Sentinel. However, Sentinel should be familiar to those who’ve been gaming on the iPhone and during the time when tower defense games were just starting to shine. With a long absence from the TD scene, does Sentinel 4 – Dark World measure up to the TD games that have come out since its hiatus?
Prime World: Defenders was released for the PC/Mac sometime in 2013 – last month, this card collecting tower defense (TD) game, now simply called Defenders was released for the iPad (you can also check out appSIZED’s review of Man At Arms TD, which employs the same mechanic).
There is a story to this game and your mission mainly is to defend powerful and valuable prime (crystals) from the Touched (enemies or creeps, in TD parlance) who want to take it for themselves. Caught in the middle of two warring groups trying to control the resource, your job is to keep them away using various powerful towers.
It has taken me a month before sitting down to write this review largely because I’ve been doing nothing with my free time except play Man At Arms TD for iPad ($4.99). After many hours logged in making maps, playing online, replaying levels and combining cards, I have finally finished the lengthy campaign mode and am left wanting even more!
At first glance, Man At Arms TD is not as slickly designed as its tower defense (TD) counterparts. In a genre where games are getting more attractive by the day, Man At Arms TD is rather plainly designed with some awkwardness in the animation. Gameplay wise, Man At Arms TD does not reinvent the wheel with its gameplay.
You are running late for class and try to sneak into the crowded classroom as quietly as you can. Unfortunately, that snarky grad assistant who gives you dagger looks is waiting by the door. Not too long after, you are deluged by bluebooks and exam papers being lobbed at your head. You make it past her, barely, only to be confronted by the dean, who is quite a heavy hitter himself.
No, this is not a stress dream related to college. Welcome to Ivory Tower Defenders a new tower defense game for the iPhone and iPad.
As I’ve said many times, tower defense games are a dime a dozen in the App Store and it takes a lot for one to stand out.
Myth Defense – Light Forces sounded intriguing enough when I first checked it out. Unlike most games, it offers extensive customizability of its towers and offers a skill tree of sorts where you can choose what kind of upgraded towers you want, say whether you want it launch arrows or fireballs. You can also boost tower performance by combining various runes and enlisting the aid of dwarves, elves, etc. to create more powerful towers.
As more and more games and apps flood the App Store, it’s getting harder to find apps that truly stand out. For 2012, I expanded the list to include 12 notable games.
The following were chosen because they feel like they were made for the iOS mobile device and make good use of its touchscreen (this applies to PC/Xbox/PSN ports, too!), flawlessly designed, and bring something new and/or great to their respective genres. In addition, as a casual gamer, these games are relatively light, fun and quick to play.
In no particular order, appSIZED’s notable games of 2012 are:
FIELDRUNNERS 2 HD
The much awaited sequel to the iOS tower defense (TD) forerunner Fieldrunners does not disappoint. It’s gorgeously designed, flawlessly implemented and fiendishly difficult at times. I love the cheeky humor, too! Despite their notable hiatus from the iOS game development scene, the guys at Subatomic Studios were clearly cooking up this masterpiece. (Read the full review here)
In my yet another foray into tower defense (TD) games, I was asked to check out Toy Defense HD, a TD aspirant from Melesta Games, the guys behind … the Farm Frenzy series, among others. Farm Frenzy?! You may ask. Well, given that it’s one of my favorite time management titles, I was incredibly curious to see how Toy Defense HD would turn out.
I love strange little games and I love developers who never seem to run out of interesting ideas. Some of these games infuse quirkiness and style into tried and tested genres or just simply original in concept and execution.
High on my list is Pizza vs. Skeletons ($2.99/Universal), a former iPhone Game of the Week pick by Apple (I’m a little late to the game, I know!) and currently on sale til tomorrow. If you’ve always wanted to know what it was like to be a 10-foot tall pizza on a mission to crush skeletons in Santa hats, consider your wish granted! The whole premise is just so strange that the various missions in the 110 levels available – from rescuing puppies to outwitting a giant skull, you just find yourself going along on such a madcap ride. The best part? You can style your pizza any way you want it – right now, mine is sporting leopard print.
Imagine this: an epic battle of the undead in the hands of two schoolkids. Corpse Craft: The Incident at Weardd Academy ($0.99/iPad only) feels like a cult favorite, incredibly good but known to a few, and ironically featured by Apple in its underrated apps selection. The ornate drawings, Tim Burton gothic art style – drawings of witches and a giant ball of a monster (who’d go with my giant pizza nicely) feels like something straight out of a deeply twisted children’s book. Even stranger is the marriage of match three mechanics and real time strategy (RTS) which work spectacularly well in this creepy crawly world.
Speaking of zombies, Frederic Chopin is back from the dead! The reanimated classical composer is back in fighting form in Frederic: The Resurrection to take on musical battles all over the world, with musician wannabes unworthy of his greatness. Apart from the interesting comic-book style drawings and slightly cheese voiceovers, it’s the various musical styles showcasing Chopin’s most famous pieces that really get to you – from reggae to J-rock. Hitting the right notes at the right time is another story, however, ’cause the game can be a little bit tough. You can also compete with a friend via Bluetooth for your own version of a musical duel.
Football fans currently keeping track of this year’s draft picks would probably find Fans vs Franchise, a Plants vs Zombies lane style of tower defense, sufficient to scratch that football itch. I can’t say I like the art so much, but the bizarre idea of lining of animated footballs and popcorn to take down crazy football fans kind of goes well with the overall look. This game doesn’t boast of the depth of PvZ, but it gets pretty challenging after the first few levels.
Finally, the Unstoppable Gorg. Sci-fi geeks will surely love this tower defense game which is delightfully stylish and offbeat. Don’t you just find black-and-white B-movies charming? Unstoppable Gorg has awesome art and little movie clips that put you and the planet Earth on the defense after some ugly alien – conveniently disguised as a pretty lady, falls in love with you and will stop at nothing to make you her alien consort. The attention to detail is incredible and the game is simply gorgeous. What makes it even better is that it puts a whole new twist on your usual TD game. Enemies come from various locations, and you only have a fixed path, and need reflexes to diffuse attacks coning from all sides.
Did I miss anything? feel free to leave ac omment!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and people are: (a) hooking up; (b) making up; or (c) breaking up. Whether you’re on your way in, out or just looking around, here are some fun and games and apps to keep you occupied on one of the busiest days of the year.
Defenders of Ardania proclaims that it is the future of tower defense (TD) games and it’s not an empty boast. Defenders of Ardania blends tower defense and offense, resource management, and action into a unique, complex and addictive strategy game perfect for the jaded TD gamer.
Defenders of Ardaniapackages itself into a tower defense game but it is much more than that. Drawing from the quirky and magical world of Ardania first seen in Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim (lone purveyor of the indirect real time strategy game), this game offers a unique challenge: can you defend and attack at the same time?