For a while there it seemed like every other app that came out was a tower defense game. This was fine at first, but soon even the most diehard fans started building towers of their own just to defend their iDevices from the onslaught of clones. We had a lull for a while, but now the genre reemerges from the edge of the screen in the form of Legends of Elendria: The Frozen Maiden. Does this game breathe new life into the bloated genre, or does it just add to the clutter?
Legends of Elendria is a path-based tower defense game, meaning that the waves of enemies stride along a set route to get to your castle. To stop them, of course, you build towers in strategic locations along the path. The towers fling harmful ammunition at the invaders (rocks, arrows, fire, or ice), but they have limited attack ranges as well as reloading times between shots. What this means is that if you don’t plan carefully you’ll quickly be overrun.
Feed them to the wolves.
As you battle your way through the campaign, you gain experience points and level up, which unlocks new towers and spells for you to use during battle. Once unlocked, each tower’s attack rating can be beefed up with upgrade points. Thankfully, you can clear and redistribute the points between battles, so you never have to worry about being stuck with unwise tower upgrades. You can also earn a number of spells that can help tip the battles in your favor.
The game’s storyline is told in text-based cutscenes between levels; usually your commander character is speaking to the ruler of whatever kingdom is under attack. It’s an extremely generic fantasy story about figuring out why the world’s monsters are becoming increasingly aggressive, but it helps break up the monotony of constantly defending towns and castles from waves of enemies.
Are you sure they’re not parrotcats?
The biggest problem with the game is that the pacing occasionally stumbles. Some levels are a breeze on the first try, while others will have you reshaping your strategy time and again before successfully walloping the invaders. It doesn’t make for a terrible gaming experience, but we wish they’d reorder the levels from easiest to hardest.
Legends of Elendria does plenty of things right, but it doesn’t add anything to the genre that tower defense junkies haven’t seen before. If you’ve been cursing the tower defense’s fall from popularity, Legends of Elendria will lift your spirits. But if you’re still feeling burnt out on the genre, feel free to wait for something revolutionary. Or just go back and collect all the achievements in Plants Vs. Zombies, because it’s unlikely that that excellent game will be outdone anytime soon.