Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Tower Defense titles tap into the primal part of your brain that focuses completely on protecting your home, or in the case of many of these games, your base. I've got no proof of this of course. It could be utter nonsense but it makes sense to me. Everyone wants to protect what matters and when a game tells you that x place is important, you listen.
Act of War: Urban Defense doesn't try for humor nor gimmicks. It focuses on all out war. You won't see any zombies, you won't see any South Park characters, all you'll be playing with are missiles of varying sizes as you defeat the horde of tanks coming at you. There's not even a plot to keep track of. It's all pretty streamlined.
The weapons themselves are fearsome enough. At its most basic, you have sandbags to block the way and provide some firepower. The more money you have to assign to things, the better the weapons. Eventually you'll end up with the likes of anti tank sentry towers, rocket systems and even Howitzers. In turn, your enemies get better too with even stealth units coming at you after a while too. Fortunately you can upgrade your weaker units providing you've got enough money. It's all just how you'd expect really.
The only real quirk is what makes Act of War: Urban Defense so challenging. The enemies don't follow one set path. You're given the location of where they start and where they want to go, but you'll be tested by their non linear pathing. They're quite happy to go around things and you can't easily block them in like you can in Plants vs. Zombies for example. The 10 different backdrops/levels on offer quickly get rather difficult because of this and you really have to adjust conventional strategies to succeed.
Unfortunately though, other than this change in the formula, Act of War: Urban Defense is very typical of the genre. If you're mad keen on Tower Defense games, you'll find enjoyment here but don't expect to find originality. This is a very by the book game.