Posted by: iRob in Reviews, iPhone News, iPhone apps, iPhone apps - 2$, iPhone apps - 3$, iPod
I thought I’d seen just about enough castle defense games on iOS to last me the rest of my life. There’s a trend for dumbing games down so much to appeal to the casual audience that’s been way overused in my opinion. Fantasy Defense doesn’t do that; in fact, with added RPG elements and fast-paced action, it should appeal to gamers who want something a tad more substantial. But it also has lots of potential to suck in the casual player, too.
Fantasy Defense gives you a standard goal and then dresses it up with plenty of features. Keep monsters from smashing the gate to your fortress—but do it by planning strategies, thinking on your feet, and managing your gold, mana, and hero points effectively. Some nice customization features make learning as you go possible for those who aren’t familiar with all of these bells and whistles, while letting you blaze ahead if you don’t need the practice. Your fighting force is human, and you’re defending your own fortress (and the world) from the army of the Wraith King. The Wraith King’s minions are a motley lot of monsters, zombies, vampires, and mythological baddies, each with their own characteristics that you’ll do well to learn.
Placing your forces is a drag-and-drop event. You need to use mages, archers, and warriors effectively, considering their attack power and range, in order to keep your gate in one piece. Waves of enemies will pour out of the Wraith King’s gate along increasingly complex paths that increase your challenge. As you kill enemies, you’ll gain gold, which you use to place more fighters. Be thrifty, or the game will get a lot faster paced than you can handle.
Really, this game has a lot going for it that should attract a lot of fans. The devs are obviously veterans of designing these types of games, judging from how well-executed the upgrades, currency, and combat systems are. Twelve different units of fighters and three hero types give your defense variety. I haven’t gotten around to counting the types of bad guys—there’s a truckload. Three modes of gameplay give this great replay value, and break it up some if it becomes monotonous. Changing the speeds of play is another very nice feature that allows users to tailor Fantasy Defense to their own levels of proficiency.
Graphics are not innovative in this game, but they’re pleasantly nostalgic. The only real issue I had with the look of the game is that it’s a bit cramped when the screen is overflowing with fighters and enemies. Since you can (and will want to) direct your fighters to prioritize from time to time, sorting out who you’re tapping on is necessary. This is more of a symptom of screen size than anything else, and Fantasy Defense does a good job of keeping on screen menus out of the way, so the bother is minimal.
It’s a great big li’l time waster, and it sells for only $2.99 in the App Store. It’s definitely worth trying out.