Reviewed: August 3, 2009
Released: July 27, 2009
App Store Price: $2.99
If you own and iPhone or iPod Touch, you will know that there is a sea of games out there, and the most popular among them is the tower defense genre, which the iTunes store has in spades. I previously had the chance to review a tower defense game by Chillingo and it was totally addicting. Iíve also been given the opportunity to try a more traditional tower defense title called Defender Chronicles: Legend of the Desert King.
Defender Chronicles is a deeply balanced tower defense style title with elements of RPG worked in making it one of the most addictive iPhone apps Iíve ever played. The story of Defender Chronicles takes place in a fantasy world that is in peril. The Orc King, Baarug, has slain the human king, Lord Mark. The kingdom of Athelia has descended into chaos and it is your job as an inexperienced warlord to defeat the Orc King and seal your place as a hero.
Defender Chroniclesí gameplay utilizes a 2D gauntlet style interface that is simple and straightforward to use. Each of the hand drawn locations features a castle/key point that you must defend. This location varies per level but the strategy is the same, keep the bad guys out. Unlike many tower defense titles, Defender Chronicles differs in the way you would normally play. Instead of allowing you to place the defenses strategically wherever you want, there are chosen points that you must choose from to place your defenses. Now this may turn away some of the hardcore tower defense players, but personally I like it this way.
Defender Chronicles still requires some strategy to be successful. The game utilizes the standard currency to build defenses mechanism that most titles of this genre use. There are over six unique defenders to command in combat. The Warriors, Archers, Berserkers, Rangers, Halflings and Mages all have their own unique abilities that make them crucial on the battlefield. Each defender is upgradeable up to five times making their attacks stronger and even adding a second fighter per defense at level three.
The RPG elements of Defender Chronicles are one of the major features that make it stand out in a sea of photocopy clones. Upon gaining a level, the General receives skill point that you can use to improve certain aspects of his leadership such as morale, combat and cunning. You can also raise your skill in commanding the different units. The RPG elements really add depth to Defender Chronicles.
The hand drawn graphics of Defender Chronicles is probably one of my favorite features besides the gameplay. The beautiful landscapes are easy one the eyes and the characters, good and bad alike, are easy to see amongst the myriad of flying arrows. Itís also a relief to see that with all the action that is happening on the screen that the app doesnít lock up or freeze up at all.
The sound in Defender Chronicles is pretty good. The four original soundtracks were fun to listen to as I played. The voice acting I have mixed emotions about. Some of it I found a little off, but for the most part I like it. You can unlock menu music via Imperial Points such as a rock version of the main theme, which is pretty cool. One of the coolest features however is the ability to listen to music from your iPod while you play.
Defender Chronicles features the main story campaign as well as four other modes. Players can choose from freestyle, extended, classic and classic extended. In Freestyle you can use your General and artifacts against random waves of enemies while Extended Mode pits you up against wave after wave of enemies. The real fun begins when you have to play classic and classic extended. These modes make you play with a standard hero without artifacts. Itís a bit more of a challenge and adds a whole lot more playability to the title. Defender Chronicles is already a highly addictive title. Those additional modes make it so much better.
Defender Chronicles: Legend of the Desert King is one of the most addictive apps available on the iPhone to date. Itís beautifully drawn backdrops and characters make it one of the best on the market. Its multiple modes and difficulties make it a perfect choice for any tower defense fan. I highly recommend buying Defender Chronicles: Legend of the Desert King for the iPhone or iPod Touch.