Archive for the ‘Castle Defense’ Category

ZombieSmash

Monday, May 17th, 2010

ZombieSmash

ZombieSmash brings a lot to the Castle Defense genre and looks great doing it. Instead of troops marching in from a distant castle on the right, as is typical, zombies swarm in from either side of your broke-down shack. The zombies come in many flavors, including high-speed dashers, hoppers, bombers, and snipers. Killing a zombie produces a floating star that provides cash when tapped. Cash buys upgrades: mines, grenades, cement brick drops, wrecking balls, meteor showers, and many more. Weapons often require some level of skill to use effectively, which makes the game much more interesting than many of the competing products out there. The pacing is excellent and the challenge is high, particularly on the upper levels of difficulty. The artwork and animation are top notch. If you enjoy swipe-the-baddies Castle Defense games, this is definitely one to check out.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Castle Frenzy

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

A 3D Defend the Castle clone, with interesting special weapons like a Hydra, a Freeze Ray, and Fireball. Like other games in the genre, you primarily pick up an attacker with your finger and swipe him off the screen, but you can also slam them against the castle wall or hit them with a special weapon. There are various in-game challenges that are displayed before each level, which is a nice addition.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ icon
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Ego City Invasion

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Awesome single-screen, Castle Defense-style game. You control your army brat hero using tilt-to-move and tap-to-fire. Baddies stream in from screen-right to attack your bunker on screen-left. Paratroopers and weapon crates drop from above. You can interact with the environment by lighting trees on fire to burn enemies and also by dropping stalactites on their heads. The special items are killer like, for instance, a giant ram that charges across the grassy hills. All-in-all a quality effort with good graphics and gameplay.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Monsterkill

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

This is an interesting spin on the Castle Defense genre, because you take out the creeps with predefined finger motions. As the mummies, vampires, and werewolves stream in from the top of the screen, you can chop off their heads with a simple swipe or bring down lightning from above with a zigzag motion. There is a bit of decision-making involved too, since you have choose the best attack to combat their numbers, dodge capability, health, and attack pattern. Your goal is to keep the baddies from smashing through your defensive perimeter and ending the game. In between waves, you can upgrade your different attacks and/or the strength of your wall. The creeps looks great as you slice their heads off and electrocute them, which definitely sets it apart from the Stickwars style artwork in competing titles.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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A Quest Of Knight’s Onrush

Monday, August 31st, 2009

A Castle Crashers clone, from makers of Knights Onrush (which is really good). It’s a little buggy and the fact that you can’t jump past some obstacles is a bit annoying. Nor does it replicate everything that made CC great, but it does have great graphics and it is free. Be sure to try the lite version of Knights Onrush which is packaged in the same app.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Medieval

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

This game breathes new life into the Castle Defense genre, by introducing a new mechanic: aim. Please direct your attention to the ballista perched high atop the castle on the right. The player fires the weapon by dragging backward at the desired angle and then releasing. It takes a while to get used to, at first, but becomes second nature after a few games. You must defend your castle against footmen, archers, hatchet-men, knights on horseback, and catapults. You have to balance your defenses with firing offensive shots at the opposing castle, since the win condition is destruction of said castle. Each successful hit on any opposing troop, siege engine, or castle earns gold, which can be spent on any number of castle or troop upgrades. There are some UI issues, but nothing insurmountable. The whole game comes together nicely, now that the difficulty has been adjusted in the latest patch, and the graphics for each new level are top notch, although a bit staged.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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TowerLand

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

TowerLand

First and foremost, the most striking thing you’ll notice when you boot this up is how gorgeous the artwork is. The illustrator has painstakingly addressed every little detail of each piece and it shows. The world map looks just like a map from medieval times and a nice one, at that. It’s several screens tall and wide, so the player can freely pan around with a swipe. The background of the battle view has tiny blue waves that float back and forth and very stylish line art clouds and symbols that float through the sky. Definitely top-tier work.

The game itself consists of moving from location to location on the overworld map and then attacking enemy towers. This happens on a separate battle screen, upon which you’ll spend most of your time. As shown in the screenshots, you have a tower on the left and the AI opponent has a tower on the right. Each tower consists of an outer wall and an inner keep, each with a separate armor value. The end-game condition is destroying the opponent’s tower or building your own to a predefined height. I like having two different victory conditions and have won battles using both methods. Battle consists of the two combatants alternating cardplay, to damage the opponent’s tower or fortify their own. You are dealt a random assortment of 5 cards, at the beginning of the match, as is the opponent (although his are not visible). The card is played, the effects trigger, and then it is discarded and replaced with a new one. Each card has an arrow to indicate whether it is defensive or offensive, a resource cost, and the amount and type of damage or repair that does. Anyone that remembers the Arcomage mini-game from the Might and Magic series, will recognize this gameplay.

Some cards also provide Resource Points or Source Points; Resource Points are the cost to play the card and Source Points are the multiplier for when points are obtained. Each turn you get additional points added to your Resource Pools, which are then multiplied by your Source Points. There are three types of Resource Pools; Magic (blue), Spirit (green), and Material (red). They utilize a rock, paper, scissors mechanic, in which a certain color is more effective against the next one in line; Matter > Spirit > Magic > Matter (it wraps around to form a circle). This is important, because each tower section has an associated color, if you use the trump card for its color, you will do more damage. Terrain effects the outcome, as well.

All of the aforementioned factors are interrelated, and because the cards are dealt randomly, the battles can be quite interesting and even contain some tactical decision-making. There is some amount of strategy with how you move across the overworld map, as well, because different towers have different numbers of neighboring nodes. The game has a good number of Quests, which are the equivalent of an achievement system, there are ability upgrades that you purchase with experience points, you have a player rating and can upload your own icon art, a thorough explanation of each card, and even the instructions are beautiful.

As you can tell, I was impressed, partially due to the fact that it came out of nowhere and also because it is polished to almost to perfection. I say almost, because the story isn’t properly translated and I had some other minor quibbles. It may seem like I am gushing about this game, so I want to be perfectly clear; this is not Orions: Legend of Wizards level cardplay; the battles are more akin to Strongholds (which, surprisingly, I’m not really a fan of). It’s just a few simple variables, with no deck-building, no special abilities, and no card combos. I say this because the gameplay may not be for everyone, but for me, it was well worth the asking price and I look forward to playing through the entire campaign.

Update: Peer-To-Peer Multiplayer added, as well as, new music, sound effects, and animation.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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The Battle of Pirate Bay

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

The Battle of Pirate Bay

This is like a Castle Defense meets Harbor Master, but with guns! You have three ships, each with a different combination of movement speed, weapon range, and ammunition. These ships are charged with defending the central fortress, which takes damage from the attacking pirates. The fortress has a long-range cannon to defend itself, because when the fortress reaches zero “health”, the game ends. The levels aren’t as diverse as Sea Captain, but hey, you get to shoot pirates.

Update: The developers, Muteki Corporation, allowed players to cast votes on the inclusion of upcoming features, which garnered a favorable response from the community. They also added power-ups, which improved the game a lot and improved the tuning. Rating increased to 3 Stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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The Wars

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

The Wars

Much like the previously reviewed game, Castle Conflict (and the Flash game, Age of Wars, that it’s based on), the player’s goal is to destroy the opposing castle. The process involves selecting from a number of different troop types, siege engines, special attacks, and defensive upgrades. When to attack with what type of unit is the key. Knowing when to upgrade to a new age is important, as well, because not only does the effectiveness of the units increase, but so does their cost. This is where managing money obtained from kills comes into play. A decent effort, but not enough to deserve a recommendation.

Knights Onrush

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Knights Onrush

Defend Your Castle/Stick Wars clone…with a heart! These games charge the player with defending their castle from a horde of enemies that stream in from off-screen, by simply flicking them up in the air. What this game adds is stylish artwork, better and more upgrades, and better and more enemies. In this genre, this is the best of the bunch, so far, IMO (as of this writing).

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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