Developer: Josh Presseisen
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 2 and iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Tower defense games are abundant in the App Store. There are quite a few of these games that have set the standard high for others in the genre. With that said, my first impression of 300 Dwarves is that it looks to be inspired by Kingdom Rush. After playing through the short 12 levels included in the game, I still had the same impression. While it is ideal for gamers looking for a new TD game to play, it fails to add anything revolutionary and new to the genre.

Much like the title suggests, this game depicts 300 Dwarves who have set out to defend their kingdom against goblins and “greenskin” enemies. In order to accomplish this, players must choose from the five different types of upgradable defense towers and place them strategically on the spaces available on each map to find the best combination to take out all the waves. Killing the enemies earns money, which can be used to buy more towers and upgrades for the ones on the map.

The towers include such weapons as axes, rifles, mortars, magic and fire. In addition to these towers, players can also use special powers like battle horns, rune magic and artillery barrage. Successfully completing each level earns skill points which are in the form of treasure chests. These treasures may be used to purchase upgrades on the skill tree to help players take out tougher enemies.

300 Dwarves has a decent amount of replay value as gamers can go back and replay previous levels to earn more treasure, which is recommended since the levels and enemies become more difficult to defeat.

Unfortunately, the downside is that there aren’t many levels to play. Once all the treasure is earned on the 12 maps, it’s game over unless players wish to go back and try to complete the 13 Game Center achievements as there aren’t any leaderboards to climb. The other pitfall is that there is no way to zoom in to see details on the map to get an idea of what’s going on as things get hectic on the smaller iPhone screen. It’s especially difficult to read the small text.

Being inspired by another game isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 300 Dwarves comes complete with impressive graphics, decent gameplay and a solid storyline. Ultimately, the disappointment is that it could be better. It doesn’t offer anything new and exciting and it feels more like a sequel to a game I’ve already played. Those looking for a new TD game will enjoy picking up this title, but don’t expect to be blown away by it. It’s also available in SD for anyone looking for a cheaper version.

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