Defenders of Ardania Review (iOS)
- Updated: December 7, 2011
The Tower Defence genre has gotten a little stagnant. There’s very rarely a great amount of innovation. Somewhere along the line we collectively decided that you have a base near an enemy entry point where you’ll have to fortify buildings that help stave off encroaching hordes of nebulous monsters. It works, but when you’ve played one you’ve pretty much gotten a sense of everything the medium offers.
That’s why Defenders of Ardania initially seemed a rather noble idea. The developers have taken tower defence and tried to shake up the stale formula by adding the ability to fight back against the opposing side.
Shame is it that it doesn’t really work and it’s not fun. Those are pretty key issues.
Making a tower defence game and putting a focus on offense leads to the core base protection component feeling a little underwhelming. The amount of towers you’re able to build is limited and assuming you upgrade all of your allotted number you’re unlikely to ever face much of a threat. Attacking the enemy’s base is as simple as selecting the fastest unit, spamming as many as you can and unleashing a shield power the moment they get too close to anything that can hurt them. Any other tactic doesn’t seem nearly as effective.
As a result of this relative ease you never feel like you’re particularly under a real threat. Rather than playing to Tower Defence’s strengths in bunkering up and surviving while frantically trying to adding new forms of security, Defenders of Ardania is about pressing a few buttons at your own pace until you win. There’s no excitement to what you’re doing, it’s Battling By Numbers.
On top of the game not quite working, the product doesn’t feel all that finished, the opening tutorial consists of a single page littered with concepts that you’ve initially no context for. Rather than introducing ideas to you slowly the game’s content to let the player flail around wildly trying to remember which button does what. This lack of clear explanation carries into goals. In one mission I wasn’t aware that I needed to attack multiple bases or that I could even change the direction of my units. Information is conveyed poorly all around and the story is unloaded in almost hilariously massive word-chunks within pre-level load screens.
Defenders of Ardania isn’t a quality product and you probably shouldn’t spend money on it.