iPad Game Review: Battleground Defense
Reviewed by JadeDragon
Battleground Defense is a new entry to the popular tower defense genre of iOS games, and it's a solid title that features a strong AI, nice graphics and decent amount of gameplay. Evelyn Software Labs did a good job with their first title for iPad as Battleground Defense is a good game for both novices and veterans of the genre.
Battleground Defense follows the traditional tower defense gameplay with 9 maps in three game modes for each map. Though that's not a lot of maps compared to leading titles in TD game collection for iOS, all 9 maps are very different from each other, so you don't feel that you've been playing the same map over and over. Of the 9 maps, there is one map (the last one) is a open map while others have set paths. Three game modes differ in number of enemy waves (30, 50 or 80) which is an easy but effective way to provide difficulty levels and to give you options to play either a quick game or a long battle. You will see more number of tougher enemies as you add numbers of waves you want to face.
Battleground Defense has 15 enemy units that include both ground and air units. The enemy units don't attack your towers, their sole purpose is to get through your defense. You get 25 lives and when those run out, it's game over. The tower selection is decent starting with 4 towers but you can expand them to different weapons depending on the paths you are taking. The more expensive the upgrade, the more powerful the tower becomes. The game's strong point is the AI behind it. The tower upgrades and attack powers match the enemy units' defense very well, you never feel your weapons are inadequate as long as you upgrade them at the right time and place them at effective spots.
The AI handles path finding and following smoothly as well. When you set up traps, enemy units respond very quickly and always take the most efficient route to the exit. The game has very responsive controls for placing towers, upgrades and more. It only drops some frames at the last open maps levels when you place towers on the entire maps at later levels when the gameplay becomes hectic. Although the game runs on both iPad and iPhone, it drops frames too much to run effectively on the iPhone 4/4S.
Graphics & Sound
Battleground Defense has effective and clear graphics that enhance the gameplay. It utilizes buildings, terrain and army equipments in large blocks for setting up paths, and each tower has its own very distinct look. Though the graphics are groundbreaking, you will never confuse one tower from another. Enemy units also have distinct looks, speeds and defense levels. The maps are very easy to see, but you can't zoom in or out for closer looks. The game has some basic animation when enemy units blow up, and when the towers fire their ammunition.
The game has only title screen music and in-game sound effects. Sound FX includes simple, echoing firing sound from the towers and explosion sound when enemy units are destroyed. It's pretty minimal in the audio department, but you can play your own music to company the in-game sound effect.
The game doesn't offer any scoreboard other than your own. That means no Game Center, no OpenFient, or any other scoreboards.
Battleground Defense is an addictive tower defense game that can provide hours of battlefield strategy fun. Though it doesn't have all the bells and whistles the top titles in this genre offer, such as endless mode, more maps, but it offers solid gameplay and three game modes to fit your playing style or time. Graphics looks clear and effective, controls are smooth and easy to use. The game lacks in audio department, and drops frames on iPhone 4/4S and in the last map on the iPad.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4- Though not groundbreaking, the graphics are very effective and even eye-catching.
Sound: -3- Just enough to help you with the visual, but no in-game music and has very basic sound FX.
Controls: -5- Perfectly smoothly and easy to use.
Gameplay: -4- Solid experience with 9 maps and three modes. Could use an endless mode, has some frame drops on the iPad and too much frame dropping on iPhone 4/4S.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Since you can trap the ground units but not air units, spend on air defense more and early even if you have to nickel and dime the ground defense a bit.
-There are usually two upgrade paths or more (other than the EMP unit) for each starting weapon. Experiment with all to see what's more effective against different types of enemies.
Developer: Evelyn Software Labs
Release Date: Nov 30, 2011
Price: $0.99 (currently Free)
Buy App: Katana Jack!!
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