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App Review: GeoDefense by Critical Thought Games

geodefense1 150x150 App Review: GeoDefense by Critical Thought GamesHaving been a big fan of tower defense games, I thought that the GeoDefense might just be my next favorite game.  After all it is the only tower defense to make Apple’s list of the top 30 games in the App Store’s first year.  I was somewhat surprised by what I found.  GeoDefense is different in many ways from all the other tower defense games I have played.

GeoDefense has the typical characteristics of tower defense.  You must defend yourself from wave after wave of creeps by placing towers along their path to destroy them.  Towers are placed by tapping on them and dragging them to a spot on the screen.  Towers can be upgraded to be more powerful and have a longer reach.  Killing creeps earns you points and money, which in this game is actually dollars.  It fits the description, but the game play experience for me was quite different.

The first thing that struck me with GeoDefense was the simplicity of the graphics.  The creeps are simple geometric shapes.  It seemed kind of funny to me at first to be fighting “pac-man” shapes, stars, and cyclones.   Another big difference with this game is that there is not a progressive sequence from level to level.  There are three different levels of difficulty, and within each of those there are ten or more levels.  Each level has a different path, different creeps with different features, and different towers.  The creeps even vary in strength from level to level.  Nothing that you accomplish carries forward either.  Basically, each level is a game in and of itself.

Because the levels are not interconnected, you can play them in any order that you want.  In fact, when you launch the game, all of the levels are unlocked.  You can play them in whatever order you want to.  If you are not familiar with tower defense games, you may want to start by playing a few levels in novice mode.  This mode can be selected from the options menu.  It allows you to get a feel for the game with weaker creeps and more money.  You cannot earn a high score in novice mode, however.  High scores are reserved for levels beat in hardcore mode.

There were a couple of features of GeoDefense that I found somewhat awkward.  Many tower defense games allow you to pause the game while you upgrade or add towers.  In many cases, the pause button is your best friend when you are getting trampled.  It allows you to upgrade your defenses before the enemy gets to them.  GeoDefense allows you to pause the game, but you cannot change anything while the game is paused.  You have to keep up on your own.  Second, I had a little trouble at first figuring out which way the enemy was going to proceed on the path when it crossed over itself time and time again.  In the other tower defense games I have played, the enemy can go wherever they want where there are junctions in the path.  In GeoDefense, however, the creeps follow the path before them until they have to turn.  They do not simply turn wherever they are able.  Once I figured out how that worked, it was no longer an issue.

Overall, GeoDefense is a good tower defense game that has enough content to keep you busy for quite a while, and now that it is on sale for $0.99 it is probably one of the cheapest out there.

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