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App Review: Coast Defense by Elene Kim

November 20, 2009 by Rob  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games

coastdefense15 300x200 App Review: Coast Defense by Elene KimCoast Defense is an excellent twist on your typical castle defense style games. Similarly to other castle defense games you have one base that you must defend. However, in this game you are in a dugout to the side of the invading army and you “pick ‘em off” one by one as they run across towards your base which is to the right of the screen. In a way, it reminds me of Normandy, however here we’ve got soldiers, jeeps, tanks, personnel carriers and helicopters that are trying to get to your base and destroy it.

You are in a bunker to the side of the invading army. As they enter the battlefield you pick them off one at a time, or depending on your chosen weapon you can get more than one. To the right is your base, which you must keep the invading army from reaching. If they reach your base they will open fire and your base’s health will decline quickly. Each wave of attacks gets stronger and harder to kill. So, in the first wave it’s just soldiers, then they add jeeps (?) then personnel carriers and so forth. Once you get into the high teens the waves have a lot of everything and you must be fast with your weapons and accurate with your shots.

If you get overburdened with a particular wave you can call in an aerial bomb drop, providing you’ve purchased it prior to needing it. Or if you’re really in trouble then there’s a nuke that you can drop on the battleground (once again, providing you’ve purchased it). At the end of each wave you have the change to upgrade your base and buy new weapons and ammo. Some of the guns are not worth buying and I found that going straight to the M16 then to the M-60 worked best. While some of the other guns are more accurate, it’s the rate of fire that matters most when you have several vehicles and soldiers running across the battlefield towards your base, trying to destroy it. Not to mention, shooting the M-60 in full auto mode is just more fun than a sniper gun, but that’s just me.

I really like Coast Defense. The game provides excellent castle defense style gameplay but with some minor twists. Couple the cool gameplay with the $0.99 price point and Coast Defense is an easy recommendation, especially if you like castle defense or war style games.

What we liked: Gameplay was great!, fun and addicting.
What we didn’t like: Nothing, really.

App Review: Boom Brigade by 10tons ltd

October 5, 2009 by Rob  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games, Staff Favorites

boom brigade21 300x200 App Review: Boom Brigade by 10tons ltdAccording to the 10tons’ description of Boom Brigade, the game is a cross between tower defense, line drawing and top-down style games. I’m a huge fan of tower defense games and have been recently playing many of the line drawing games as well. So, to take these genres and attempt to mix them up, well, we just had to give it a try. Read on to see how we liked it…. Read more

App Review: GeoDefense Swarm by Critical Thought Games LLC

September 16, 2009 by Rob  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games

geodefenseswarm18 200x300 App Review: GeoDefense Swarm by Critical Thought Games LLCTower defense style games are definitely a big favorite of ours around here at AppChatter.com. So when Critical Thought Games released a sequel to GeoDefense this past week we couldn’t pass it up. GeoDefense Swarm incorporates the same awesome neon, line art graphics of the first game but makes a major change in game play. In GeoDefense Swarm, creeps are not limited to following a set path but rather take the shortest path to the exit while diverting around towers that you place in the field (similar to FieldRunners).

When you launch the game you are given a menu to select from Easy, Medium or Hard levels. There are 10 of each, for a total of 30 levels. However, each level has several rounds of creeps in which you must build towers to defend your exit and kill the creeps. Combined with all of the levels and rounds there is easily several hours of game play in GeoDefense Swarm.

Unlike other tower defense games where things remain constant (ie: certain towers always cost the same), GeoDefense Swarm takes a different approach. While playing the Easy levels, you may find that things change from one level to the next. Where towers cost $5.00 on the first level the same tower will cost $8.00 on the second level. Also, creeps that were slow and relatively easy to kill become faster (right from the start) and harder to kill. Also, where one level seems surprisingly easy to earn money on the very next level money will be extremely difficult to come by. This randomness is part of the game, part of the puzzle approach to solving each level. However, it is this non-constant approach to the game that also makes it frustrating and difficult.geodefenseswarm6 200x300 App Review: GeoDefense Swarm by Critical Thought Games LLC

You may select any level from any group of levels at any time. There’s no need to unlock levels in GeoDefense Swarm, so if you want to start with the hard levels you can start there if you’d like. There is also two types of game play that you can change under the options menu: Hardcore mode or Novice mode. Hardcore mode is actually just the normal mode and novice mode disables high score keeping while giving you more cash and wimpier creeps – thus making everything easier.

As I mentioned earlier, the inconsistencies in game play make GeoDefense rather frustrating at times. For example, level 1 on Easy is simple, rather, well, easy to complete. However, level 2 on easy is significantly harder and requires multiple attempts to clear. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that you can select any level you want while not having to beat the previous levels before moving on, I’d probably still be stuck on level 2 – easy. However, moving on to level 3 and I found that it was fairly simple to beat again. Things change dramatically from one level to the next and frankly, we’d prefer to see some consistency.

While many will disagree with our take of consistency from level to level, there is one thing that’s for sure: GeoDefense Swarm delivers on many fronts. Game play can last for hours or just a few minutes, whatever you have time for. Graphics are amazing, as usual, and just like the first version of the game. Challenging levels will keep you coming back and playing, time and time again. If you’re a tower defense fan, then GeoDefense Swarm is a must own game and we recommend it especially if you liked the first version.

What we liked: Same excellent graphics from GeoDefense, open playing field with no pre-determined path, ability to select any level you wish to play.

What we didn’t like: randomness in tower values and creep strength and speed, different money earning rates

Tips:

  1. Don’t worry if you take a few tries to complete a level.  If you need to, choose the next one and come back to the one you skipped.
  2. Turning on novice mode may help you figure out those difficult levels, however be sure to play them in hardcore mode to share your scores on Feint.

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.

Developer’s Website: http://www.criticalthoughtgames.com/Welcome.html

App Review: Sentinel 2: Earth Defense by Origin8

sentinel2 1 150x150 App Review: Sentinel 2: Earth Defense by Origin8The latest and greatest tower defense game is here.  Sentinel 2: Earth Defense by Origin8 is a very well designed sequel to the popular Sentinel: Mars Defense.  The mission to save the mining colony on Mars has failed and all personnel were lost.  Two months later, unidentified ships were picked up on radar heading towards the Earth.  In preparation for battle, your ship, the Sentinel, was given a full weapons upgrade and is now fitted with deadly weaponry.  Your job is to defend the Earth from the alien invaders.

Sentinel 2 is a great sequel to the first Sentinel.  It has the same graphics and controls as the original game.  There are many things that have changed, though.  All for the better, I think.  There is a wider variety of aliens that you must fight against, including some that can teleport when struck by the slowing towers.  There are also more weapons to choose from.  There is now a booster tower that boosts the power and range of the other defenses around it.  There is also an ion tower that can be very useful in fighting all types of enemies.  The use of repair drones to harvest and repair for you has also been improved upon.  Now, when you buy these drones you can specify what you want their priority to be.  You can tell it to repair your gates as a first priority or to harvest only and never repair.

One of the biggest enhancements to this version of Sentinel is the addition of the weapons on the Sentinel itself.  Now you have a whole new line of defense.  There are four different weapons that your ship can provide.  First, you must charge them, though.  At the end of each attack wave, energy is beamed up to the Sentinel from one of your gates, but only as long as it is not destroyed.  You can also buy drones, similar to the repair drones, that have the ability to synthesize energy for your ship’s weapons.  There is a button in the bottom right corner of the screen that allows you to toggle back and forth between the towers you place on the ground and the ship’s weapons.

In this second version of Sentinel, Missions were also added.  These are short games with specific objectives.  Many of them involve you keeping invading aliens at bay with some specific limitation.  For instance, in one, you must defend your gates without any monetary resources or towers at your disposal.  Luckily, you only have to survive one wave of attackers.  Each time you complete one, the next mission is unlocked.  There are a total of 8 missions.

Another new addition to Sentinel 2 is the integration of OpenFeint into the app.  When you first launch the app, it asks whether you want to allow Feint to run or not.  OpenFeint is, according to their website, “The premier Social Platform for iPhone games made by Aurora Feint with friends lists, social profiles, leaderboards, chat rooms, facebook and twitter integration, cross-promotion, achievements and more!”  If you choose to allow OpenFeint to run in your app it will allow you to access chat rooms and  leaderboards directly from your app.  You can also import friends from Twitter or Facebook.  Then, you can allow your friends to see what you are playing and the achievements you get, as well as keep track of their stats as well.  The biggest complaint I have about it is that after letting OpenFeint run for awhile on my iPod, I decided to turn it off and could not figure out how to do that.  So, make sure you turn it off from the beginning if you are not interested.

Sentinel 2 has 4 maps to defend.  You can play in assault mode where the attackers come in waves or endurance mode where they come continuously.  There are also 4 levels of difficulty.  I appreciated that the easy mode was, in fact, easy.  So many games are way too difficult even when you play in the easiest play mode.  With so many play options and so much variety, Sentinel 2: Earth Defense is sure to be a long term favorite. homebutton icon App Review: Sentinel 2: Earth Defense by Origin8

Developer’s Website: http://www.origin8.com/

App Review: Sentinel Puts Fieldrunners on Notice

March 26, 2009 by Dorothy  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games, Staff Favorites

sentinel1 150x150 App Review: Sentinel Puts Fieldrunners on NoticeSentinel by Origin8 is a great tower defense game worthy of competing with Tap Defense and Fieldrunners.  The game takes place in the year 2029.  Mankind has established a mining colony on Mars.  However, after only 2 short years in operation, a distress call is sent back to Earth.  The message cannot be read except for the word “invasion.”  You are commander of the ship Sentinel, which is sent to Mars to help.  Once you arrive, you must help defend the colony from the alien invaders.  When you launch the game, this story is told to you with scrolling script in similar a style to Star Wars.  At once, you can see that the graphics are great and the music fits the game very well.

Sentinel, like many other tower defense games has a fixed path that the enemy attackers follow.  However, there are 3 different maps, 2 different battle modes, and 4 difficulty levels.  Only the first map and battle mode are unlocked in the beginning.  To unlock the others, you must prove yourself by defeating the ones that you have.  The two battle modes are Assault and Endurance.  The main difference between the two is that Assault has a fixed number of waves of attackers, Endurance does not.  The second and third maps have the added difficulty that there are two places on the map where the aliens enter.  You must defend two different pathways.  Your money is a very limited resource so be sure you only build as much as you need.  The money that you save will accumulate interest at the end of each attack wave.

To defend your colony, you have the typical choice of 5 towers (laser, bomb, slow, beam, and sniper).  The sniper tower is locked in the beginning.  To place a tower on the screen simply drag it to the spot where you want it to be.  As the game gets more and more difficult, you can upgrade your towers to make them stronger.  The defense that Sentinel adds that I have not seen in other tower defense games is barriers.  There are physical barriers in the way of your attackers.  If they make it past all of your defense towers, they must still break down the barrier before they can invade your facility.  These barriers are quite strong and are flanked by sniper towers.  Sometimes they serve as a good place to trap your enemy and kill them.  However, the enemy will break them down over time (Some more quickly than others).  This is where the second unique trait of this game comes in; your repair drones.

sentinelr2 269x180 custom App Review: Sentinel Puts Fieldrunners on Noticesentineld1 269x179 custom App Review: Sentinel Puts Fieldrunners on Notice

Repair Drones are fairly expensive, but they automatically find weakened structures and repair them.  They can help your barriers stand longer.  If you have no repairs to do, the drones will mine for you to get more money that you can use to buy more towers. You can only have up to 3 repair drones, and sometimes even with three the repairs happen too slowly to keep up with the damage being done.  Another feature that I found I really liked was that before each wave of enemy attackers, the app flashes on the screen what type of attacker is approaching.  This warning gives you a chance to prepare and upgrade your defenses with those that work best against that particular attacker.

Sentinel is a very well designed game that is quite challenging.  It is a lot of fun to play and has lots of options to keep you coming back for more.

Sentinel is $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Sentinel Lite is free in the iTunes App Store.  (This free version lacks Endurance Mode, some of the maps and structures, and the ability to compete with the online scoring system.)

Developer Website: www.origin8.com

App Review: 7 Cities by Neptune Entertainment

March 25, 2009 by Bret  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games

7cities4 150x150 App Review: 7 Cities by Neptune EntertainmentPirates are overrunning the city and it is your job to stop them.  7 Cities by Neptune Entertainment is a fun and unique tower defense game.  There are three modes of game play: New Campaign Map.  New Survival Map, and Open Waters.  The goal in the Campaign Mode is to see if you can survive the attack waves and save the seven cities.  Survival Map is very similar to the Campaign Mode, but the waves of pirates don’t stop coming.  You have thirty lives in both modes. Open waters is a fun mode because there is no set path for the ships.  You place the towers wherever you would like them, and the pirates try to find the quickest way to the city. All of the basic rules still apply.

There are three difficulties levels in the game.  The harder the difficulty, the less gems and gold you begin with.  The towers available include: Arrows, Cannons, Tornadoes, Lightning, and Obelisk.  These towers must be unlocked by completing stages.  To place a tower, select any point on the map, select your tower type, and then click to build.  This game is unique because the towers gain experience points to gain additional powers.  The gold is used to buy towers, and the gems are used to upgrade them.  There are five buttons at the bottom of the screen.  The first is a pause button.  The second, one of my favorite features, is a fast forward button. This button gives you the option to multiply the speed of the game by two or three times.  The next is a grid toggle.  This button  gives you the option to see, or not to see, where towers can be placed.  The next is a button that gives you the option to trade in one hundred gold for a blue gem.  The final button, the menu button, lets you restart game, quit game, exit to the main menu, and save and quit.

7cities3 200x300 App Review: 7 Cities by Neptune Entertainment7cities1 200x300 App Review: 7 Cities by Neptune Entertainment

Once you have completed a level, or failed, your score is placed on the high score board with the option to submit it on the online server.  The options menu lets you change sound and music levels, turn tool tips off, and reset profile.  The skill unlocker is where you go to unlock new abilities and powers.  Each power and ability costs one red gem. Once you have chosen which power you would like, hit confirm and you will be able to use that power in the game.  The archives let you view your high scores, and watch the credits.

7 Cities is a great tower defense game with several features, which make the game more enjoyable.  It is a great way to pass the time and fun for all the boring meetings in your life.

7 Cities is available in the iTunes App Store for $0.99

The Creeps: Not just another tower defense game.

February 23, 2009 by Jeff  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Games

22223 150x100 The Creeps: Not just another tower defense game.The Creeps by Super Squawk Software is a fast-paced, hands-on tower defense game. The object is to keep the monsters from getting into your bed. The monsters come out of a vortex in the closet and try to make it to the bed at the other end of the path. There are 16 different levels in this game, each offering a different challenge. Each level has a different path the monsters follow. Depending on what level you are on, there will be different towers available for you to attack the monsters with, and a different number of waves of attacks. The number of attack waves can vary between 20 and 60. Each wave consists of about 10 monsters. At the end of every tenth wave, a new boss exits from the closet. The bosses are bigger and have more life, making them much harder to defeat.

There are four basic towers you can use in this game. A laser gun, a bottle of glue, a boomerang, and a flashlight. Each of these can be upgraded to be faster, more powerful, and have a longer range. The Creeps also offers some very cool towers that use the accelerometer controls.  These towers include: oil, spider, tornado, and UFO. When using the oil tower, you can make the monsters slow down by tilting your iPhone/iPod the way in which you would like the monsters to slip. You can use the spider to put a web around the monsters feet, this will slow them down until the web wears off. The tornado allows you to pick up the monsters and place them anywhere on the track you want.  The UFO will take a large portion of the monsters life away when it is placed over the creep’s heads. All of these are very useful but after using them they take several stages to recharge.

Like any tower defense game, The Creeps is great for killing time.  However, The Creeps sets itself apart from the others in use of the accelerometer and its unique style.

The Creeps is available on the iTunes App store for $0.99

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Quick Look: Fieldrunners by Subatomic Studios, LLC

February 17, 2009 by Rob  
Filed under Games, Quick Look

fieldrunners4 150x100 Quick Look: Fieldrunners by Subatomic Studios, LLCSo, by now you’re wondering why are we writing about apps that have been out for months? Well, it’s easy: they’re still popular and people are still buying them.

Fieldrunners, in my opinion, is the best “Tower Defense” style game in the App Store. It is one of the only ones that allows for an arbitrary path for your enemy to follow. That’s right, unlike many other TD games, in Fieldrunners, you layout the path (by virtue of setting up your towers in a way that causes the enemy to go around them). You layout your map however you like, providing that you leave a path for the enemy to get from one side of the map to the other. However, you can divert them back and forth as many times as you like to make sure they get exposure to all of your weapons and defenses.

In the last update, Fieldrunners adds yet another map (bringing the total now to three) and a couple of new weapons to use against your enemies. There are also three play modes for each map, once you reach level 100 then these are unlocked which allows you to play the same map endlessly which is just fun to see how long you can last. There are various videos on YouTube on how to get past level 160, which appears to be a tough one.

In all if you are a fan of the tower defense games and you haven’t yet considered Fieldrunners then this is your app this week.

Fieldrunners is $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.
fieldrunners4 300x200 Quick Look: Fieldrunners by Subatomic Studios, LLCfieldrunners1 300x200 Quick Look: Fieldrunners by Subatomic Studios, LLC
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