We often enjoy the concoctions that come from Digital Chocolate. Some of our favorite iPhone games like Tower Bloxx Deluxe 3D, California Gold Rush, and Kamikaze Robots all came from the studio known for their unique, “snackable” style. However, Dictator Defense is one of those hideous missteps that, if we were not familiar with their past successes, might just spoil the brand for us.
Dictator Defense is a terrible strategy title that starts, and stays, incredibly dull throughout. You play on the side of a Rambo-like war hero, fighting against dictators who resemble Castro and a high-hat cowboy who we can only assume must be George W. Bush. The dictators will send slow, imbecilic soldiers in straight lines down towards your wall, and you must place gun encampments directly in front of them in order to stop their advance.
When Johnny comes marching home again.
We’ve never seen enemy soldiers who act so stupidly. Faced with a row of machine guns or flamethrowers, they won’t pause for a second before grimly marching to their doom. Ideally, they would swarm and overwhelm your defenses, requiring quick thinking and strategic planning, but the game falls far short of any sort of expected challenge.
That’s because the solution to winning every round comes down to a few simple steps. First, build a few “banks” on the battlefield to generate more cash. Then, when you see a soldier marching towards you, build one machine gun directly in his way. As long as you keep building banks while you wait for more bad guys to show, you’ll have enough money and arms to win every round with a perfect score.
Bush/Cheney 04: We Have Laser Eyes
We kept waiting for the challenge to ramp up, or for the necessary variety to surface. Some levels require you to tap on airdropped supplies to earn cash, which robs the game of its one strategic element: building banks. Despite this and a few war machines like tanks and helicopters in the later rounds, the action stays at the same, flat pace throughout. In fact, it never gets off the ground.
The graphics and sound are ripped straight from cell phone hell, completely undeserving of a spot on any iPhone gamer’s device. A tinny march loops endlessly on nearly every level (with one variation for boss stages) and the animation seems to consist of two or three frames. It’s subpar throughout, both in terms of the gameplay and presentation.
We expect much better from this developer. Barring a complete overhaul, we can’t see Dictator Defense ever being a game worth buying on the iPhone. It may sound harsh, but we expect a Truth and Reconciliation Commission after this awful experience.