Reviewed: January 3, 2011
Released: November 18, 2010
App Store Price: $4.99
iPhone and iPod Touch gamers have already been enjoying the great tower defense title, Defender Chronicles and now those with iPad can enjoy this awesome strategy game, now enhanced with new graphics and plenty of new game content that might have existing owners tempted to double-dip into the iTunes app store.|
Defender Chronicles: Legend of the Desert King HD is just as addicting as ever; perhaps more so with the addition of new content including new units such as the Lizardman Sentinel, the Paladin, and the Marksman, each with their own special unlocks and abilities. There are now new sprite graphics and voices for Mages, as well as new graphics for General. The item enhancement for Halflings has been improved greatly and the max skill limit has been increased. Players also get more tokens per game and more skill points per level up. And you can expand your social networking beyond Crystal with integrated Apple Game Center support.
Well, thatís whatís new, but just in case you donít know what Defender Chronicles is all about, here is a brief overview of the gameplay. Defender Chronicles is a meticulously balanced tower defense game with elements of RPG worked in. The story takes place in a fantasy world where the Orc King, Baarug, has slain the human king, Lord Mark. The kingdom of Athelia has descended into chaos and you must defeat the Orc King to save the land.
Defender Chronicles features stunning 2D graphics with animated sprite characters and gorgeous background. Each of the hand drawn locations features a castle that you must defend from numerous waves of enemies. Strategically place your barracks to spawn defensive troops along the invasion path then upgrade those barracks to spawn more powerful troops.
The game utilizes a currency system to build and upgrade defenses using a slick touch icon menu system. There are over 20 units types including Warriors, Archers, Berserkers, Rangers, Halflings and Mages, each with 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 extra size of the iPad must makes it all that much better.
The sound in Defender Chronicles is excellent. The four original soundtracks were fun to listen to and you can even play your own music if you want. The Lord of the Rings soundtrack is a good choice. The voice acting is hit and miss, but for the most part its pretty good.
Defender Chronicles features the main story campaign as well as four other modes and five difficulty levels. 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. And Endless Mode plus unlockable items, achievements, and leaderboards will keep you coming back to this game for months to come.
Iím not the biggest tower defense player out there, but Defender Chronicles: Legend of the Desert King is one of the most addictive apps Iíve played on my iPad. Itís beautiful graphics and animated characters make it one of the best looking strategy games available, and its multiple modes and difficulties make it a perfect choice for those looking for a great value for their dollar. Even if you own the iPhone version Iíd seriously consider an HD upgrade. The improved graphics and new content are worth it.