Jelly is good with peanut butter, it’s delicious on toast, and as it turns out, jelly’s not bad at fighting wars, either. Jelly Defense is a tower defense game, a genre that is admittedly not lacking for entries on the App Store. However, Jelly Defense makes some gestures to separate itself from the crowd, and in some ways, it succeeds. Otherwise, it’s a solid tower defense game, and even in a crowded market, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Each level of Jelly Defense charges you with protecting a nest of green jewels, which are an important energy source for your blobby people. The jewels are coveted by enemy blobs, who shamble onscreen and offload dozens of smaller blobs to steal the gems. If all your jewels get carried away, it’s game over.
Luckily, you’re not defenseless (if you were, this would be a pretty rotten tower defense game). You can build towers that zap the invaders, or you can poison them, slow them down, and otherwise keep them from their goal. Red towers fire on red enemies; blue towers fire on blue enemies; and hybrid towers fire on both, albeit with less power. As you zap enemies, they drop coins, which are necessary for building more towers and upgrading their range of attack. As the game progresses, you can also invent new towers that have different enemy-stomping effects.
Someone better clean that up.
Each level has indentations in the ground, which is where you must place your towers. This means completing each level takes considerable trial-and-error, as many battlegrounds have forked paths and alternate routes for your enemies to slide past you and rip you off. Achieving victory in Jelly Defense means a whole lot of starting over again.
Being expected to try and try again at every level gets old pretty quickly, because every battle throws wave after wave of enemies at you. Defending the same ground for ages can get frustrating, especially if you screw up towards the end of a campaign and have to start over again from wave one.
But there’s a lot to like about Jelly Defense, too. The monster designs are unique, and animate smoothly (as they should, as they have no bones or tendons slowing them down). There is also a lot of thinking on your feet, as you must destroy useless towers and build up new ones according to how the winds of battle change.
Jelly Defense is flawed, but it certainly has its charms. If you’ve had enough of the tower defense genre, this War of the Blobs won’t do much to re-kindle your interest, but otherwise, it’s good, jiggly fun.