Tower defense games have just about been done to death on the iPhone, but we continue to welcome them as long as they bring new twists to the genre. Defender Chronicles doesn’t dramatically alter the tried-and-true formula, but it brings enough new ideas to make it a worthwhile purchase for most fans of these games.
In Defender Chronicles, you’ll take charge of warriors, archers, beserkers, mages, rangers and halflings. You have to build and upgrade their posts along a path to make them stronger, faster and more numerous to combat the increasingly battle-hardened waves of enemies rampaging through your territories. The more you kill, the more gold you earn, which you can use to activate additional upgrades.
Fly, my pretties!
Matches can take upwards of 10 minutes and typically feature a boss character like ogres, slimeballs and golems. Battles rapidly ramp up in difficulty, but there are four difficulty settings to choose from, so even newbies to the genre should be able to quickly figure out the mechanics and enjoy themselves.
The most noteworthy aspect here is the implementation of classic tower defense elements within an overarching story. A slain human king, an evil orc empire bent on the destruction of man, and five unique locales in which to wage your war won’t win awards for originality, but they bring a Puzzle Quest-like feel that is needed to spice things up.
The story plays out through voice-over monologues before and after each major skirmish in the campaign. Unfortunately, while the story is interesting enough, the voice acting is subpar. It features odd accents and sketchy delivery that make them too laughable, given the serious tone of the script and the dramatic soundtrack.
Rock me gently.
The visual presentation fares much better with a side-scrolling perspective, hand-drawn backdrops and a number of visually distinctive enemy units. The animation is a tad on the choppy side, but is sufficient given the insane number of on-screen enemies.
Five modes of play including classic, classic endless, extended and extended endless add variety once the campaign has been completed. The game also keeps track of your high scores, but lacks an online leaderboard, which should be standard.
Defender Chronicles is an easy-to-play game that utilizes the touch screen well, supports fast-forwarding to speed up the action during slow moments, and looks great to boot. If you’re like us and already own a number of tower defense games, the price might not be worth it. But if you are hankering for a new and well-executed entry into the genre, your money will be well spent.