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DevilishlyGood
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iPhone Game Review: Townrs Defender
      #33848 - 08/02/09 01:05 PM

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.

Gameplay
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.

Graphics
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.

Sound
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.

Pros:
-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

Cons:
-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

Conclusion
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.

Game Facts:

Developer: Prophetic Sky, Inc
Release Date: July 29, 2009
Genre: Strategy
Price: $ 4.99

Buy Game: iTunes App Store

Edited by Tong Zhang (08/02/09 01:51 PM)


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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: iPhone Game Review: Townrs Defender [Re: DevilishlyGood]
      #33849 - 08/02/09 01:48 PM

Here is a gameplay video:



-----
MTR


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LordGek
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Re: iPhone Game Review: Townrs Defender [Re: DevilishlyGood]
      #33850 - 08/02/09 01:50 PM

So IF this game gets its due polish it could become pretty cool you say? Have the devs given any indications of additional content planned beyond just general spit and polish of the existing game?

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DevilishlyGood
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Re: iPhone Game Review: Townrs Defender [Re: LordGek]
      #33851 - 08/02/09 02:03 PM

Well, these are the only things I've seen speaking to that.

Quote:

"This is our first of several 'Townrs' branded games in the pipeline, and we'll be building a mythos over time."

"Additional Heroes will be added with updates."

"Sound effects will appear in the next update!"

You?ll be seeing content arrive here over the next few months, as we chronicle the activities and events behind-the-scenes at Prophetic Sky.




...I wish I had something more concrete to tell you


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NicholasElliott
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Re: iPhone Game Review: Townrs Defender [Re: LordGek]
      #33852 - 08/02/09 03:08 PM

Quote:

So IF this game gets its due polish it could become pretty cool you say? Have the devs given any indications of additional content planned beyond just general spit and polish of the existing game?




I'm the lead developer on this game. We'll actually be posting a roadmap on our blog, OnStories.com, tomorrow. However, to give you a quick overview, our first update will include: Sound Effects, Save and Resume, and at least one additional map. Our long term update plan includes many more maps, and additional heroes with their own unique spells. We're currently investigating additional play modes, as well.

Thanks for the review and feedback!
Nicholas M T Elliott
CTO, Prophetic Sky


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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: iPhone Game Review: Townrs Defender [Re: NicholasElliott]
      #33853 - 08/02/09 03:16 PM

Thanks for the info, Nicholas! The update sounds exciting!

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NicholasElliott
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Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #34148 - 08/20/09 05:33 PM

Townrs Defender, typically $4.99, is now only $2.99 (US) until our Update Pack goes live!

Our Update Pack will add sounds to combat, epic music, save and resume and many many bugfixes and improvements. Buy early and save some money! Pick it up on the iTunes store at http://bit.ly/PurchaseOnline

Townrs Defender is the iPhone's first real Hero Defense game, with tactile combat and role-playing elements. You can read all about it on our blog at http://www.propheticsky.com/blog and a trailer is available at http://bit.ly/TDTrailer


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LordGek
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: NicholasElliott]
      #34164 - 08/21/09 01:52 PM

Quote:

Townrs Defender, typically $4.99, is now only $2.99 (US) until our Update Pack goes live!

Our Update Pack will add sounds to combat, epic music, save and resume and many many bugfixes and improvements. Buy early and save some money! Pick it up on the iTunes store at http://bit.ly/PurchaseOnline

Townrs Defender is the iPhone's first real Hero Defense game, with tactile combat and role-playing elements. You can read all about it on our blog at http://www.propheticsky.com/blog and a trailer is available at http://bit.ly/TDTrailer




Cool, these sound like some much appreciated fixes, I might have to pick it up once it goes live (hopefully you can at least extend this sale UNTIL the update is up).

--------------------
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DevilishlyGood
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: LordGek]
      #34166 - 08/21/09 02:45 PM

I hope so...I am really looking forward to seeing the update come out. The game has a lot of cool potential.

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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: DevilishlyGood]
      #34167 - 08/21/09 02:56 PM

I would like to check out this game as well since DG recommends it.

Let us know when the new update goes live.


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NicholasElliott
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #34278 - 08/27/09 12:06 PM

8/27/2009 ? Update Pack 1 Released for Townrs Defender, download it if you already own the game, or buy it from iTunes: http://bit.ly/PurchaseOnline

Highlights:

- Sound and Music added! Now you can listen to an epic score whilst surrounded by thunderous battle.
- Save and Resume! No longer will you lose your game if you want to take a break, or are interrupted. Simply choose resume, and pick up automatically from where you left off!
- Interface updates! Now you can tap and hold to run in a direction, rather than tapping continuously.
- Gameplay balance, and many bug fixes. The game is now even more fun!

Settings Panel:

Added a panel in the settings app to control preferences. You may toggle on and off the music and sound effects individually. In addition, you can elect to have errors and gameplay statistics uploaded to our servers, so that we can better improve our game!

Gameplay:

Easy is now easier. Medium and Hard have been rebalanced to distribute the difficulty better.

User Interface:

Tap and hold to run in a given direction. Releasing over an enemy will still attack that enemy.
Heroes should run around less when casing the second (cone) skill.
Added additional messages to remind a player to level up, and why a spell doesn?t cast when it is still recharging.

Artificial Intelligence:

Fixed several bugs where enemies would stand around after the player died in certain situations.

Crashes:

Fixed a bug in the map code that would cause a crash.
Fixed a bug in the position code that would cause a crash.

Save and Resume:

Automatic saving is now implement at the beginning of a wave, and whenever the game is terminated. Choosing resume on the main page will restore a previous game.

Sound:

Sounds added for all combat and game effects. Title music will play in the menu screen, and several combat music pieces will play as long as there is sufficient memory available. In the event the iPhone is low on memory, you will be alerted, and the music will discontinue.


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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: NicholasElliott]
      #34279 - 08/27/09 12:11 PM

Cool!! That's a lot of updates!

Thanks for keeping us posted!




---------------
MTR iPhone Game Reviews


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DevilishlyGood
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #34289 - 08/27/09 11:52 PM

Just tried the update, and now the game is soooo much better.

-There is nice epic/heroic music now in the background and nice sound effects for the spells. Now we just need some more cool sounds for the bad guys, especially the bosses...like some mad laughter or something and maybe some foot stomping noises as they walk...I mean they're huge compared to everything else.

-It is much easier to move around when the defender will follow your finger around instead of having to tap, tap, tap.

-You now respawn in 10 seconds instead of 15...this is one of the best changes! It really increases the feel of the pacing of the game and you get more of a sense of rushing around to defend the different points. This to me breathed some fresh air into the game...before with the 15 second respawn the game really felt tedious and slow.

-The game has not crashed on me, which did occur with the initial release.

-Unfortunately, after doing a fresh reboot, I am experiencing some freezing of the game as enemies spawn.

Overall, this update has addressed a lot of the negatives I had in my initial review.

Great job, and look forward to upcoming updates and content.


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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: DevilishlyGood]
      #34439 - 09/04/09 07:47 PM

Check this out!

Are these screens of a new map??









---------------
MTR iPhone Game Reviews


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LordGek
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #34440 - 09/04/09 08:07 PM

The devs sent you these new images?

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DevilishlyGood
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: LordGek]
      #34444 - 09/04/09 09:44 PM

I like the look of that fire spell effect...and interesting, one map says "An item has dropped" ...hopefully this means we get more character customization and have loot to find and equip.

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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: Townrs Defender On Sale! (Update imminent!) [Re: DevilishlyGood]
      #34446 - 09/04/09 09:47 PM

Yeah, having loot definitely adds more RPG feel to the game.

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