iPhone Game Review: Townrs Defender
"Luke, you're my only hope." Just like Luke was called upon by Princess Leia, apparently you are this town's only hope as its lone defender against incoming waves of enemies. Armed with only your trusty shield and a few magic spells, it is up to you to withstand the onslaught.
Townrs Defender currently has a single map. At the top is the town and on either side out in the wilderness are two outpost towers. You are also provided with a healing fountain and a fixed destination teleporter.
Incoming attacks come in the form of enemy waves and can originate from three different directions. Your defender will find him or herself running across the map frequently. Enemies will preferentially attack you first, but if you are not in the area they will head for the nearest tower outpost. These towers can defend themselves, but they do not have a lot of health or firepower. It is to your advantage to make sure they don't fall; otherwise, enemies will head towards the town's gates, and if those are defeated it's game over for you.
You attack enemies using a gesture-based spell system that is well explained in the game's tutorial screens. You'll be tapping and drawing lines to invoke individual spells...each of which has a cooldown timer.
To use the teleporter, you merely need to walk onto one end and you will be transported to the other. The healing fountain is equally easy to use; you just stand near it and your health will be rapidly replenished.
Enemies come in a variety of forms and include melee fighters, archers, more powerful Water Knights and Death Mages, and boss characters that use elemental attacks.
Your character earns experience during the course of battle and you receive a skill point each time you reach a new level. You can spend skill points as soon as they are earned...even if that's in the middle of a battle. Also, when you level up, your health is fully replenished; this can be, literally, a life saver.
While the main town gate still stands, you essentially have infinite lives, and believe me, you will be dying a lot. This is one part of the game I find fairly tedious. There is a 15 second respawning penalty after which you reappear next to the healing fountain, and then you have make your way back to the enemies that killed you. If you have kept the outpost towers alive, then they will be attacking one of those; however, if those outlying towers have been destroyed, the enemies will now be assaulting the town gate.
All in all, the gameplay is pretty fun, if somewhat frustrating at times.
The graphics in Townrs Defender are really nice looking. The backgrounds, town gate, and towers all look very neat. The enemies and defender also look good and their movement animations are smooth and realistic. I like the spell effect graphics as well. Graphically, the game is pretty nicely polished.
This is where this game has an epic fail. There is absolutely no sound. No background music and no sound effects. Why developers are willing to publish their game with no sound, especially one this graphically polished, I will never understand.
That being said, the developers have announced that sound will be forthcoming in the first update.
-interesting game concept with the player as the "lone defender"
-easy to use, gesture-based spells
-good tutorial to explain gameplay
-good looking graphics
-challenging gameplay with attackers coming from multiple spawning points
-no sound - this is just unacceptable to me
-respawning time is somewhat tedious
-game crashed on me a couple of times
-does not save your progress after each wave
-sometimes the defender moves in response to a spell gesture instead of unleashing the spell
Townrs Defender has a lot of potential, and its "lone defender" premise is pretty unique. It's fun and the spells are well implemented. The graphics are nice to look at and are well polished. It just has some rough areas that really need some immediate fixing or tweaking. The major issues include having no sound, the saving of progress, and crashing. I think the respawn time for dying could use a small adjustment without affecting game balance or challenge. Overall, I say this is a game to watch once an update or two has come down the pipeline.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4- smooth animations and appealing appearance
Sound: -1- the sound of silence is deafening
Controls: -4- gesture based spells are well done
Gameplay: -4.5- unique and fun premise, challenging
Playing Hints and Tips:
You will have to balance the time it takes to return to the healing fountain to heal versus simplying fighting until you are dead and taking the time to respawn.
Be aware of the effect area of each spell you are casting to maximize its impact.
Developer: Prophetic Sky, Inc
Release Date: July 29, 2009
Price: $ 4.99
Buy Game: iTunes App Store
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