Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Is there room in the App Store for yet another tower defense game? CP Decision Limited, the developer behind Little Bit Evil, seems to think so. The question is not so much about whether there should be another TD game, but if a game like Little Bit Evil brings something new to the table. The answer, unfortunately, is a little bit 'yes' and a little bit 'no'.
The game impresses from the very beginning. Dynamic acoustic music kicks in, indicating if nothing else that this will be a game with high production values. That initial impression does not disappoint. Whether it's the opening animations, the high-quality stills, the over-world map graphics, or the voice acting, all of these elements are outstanding. This is no run-of-the-mill tower defense experience.
Once the game begins however, many tropes of the genre become apparent. In a nice twist players control somewhat demonic hordes against computer-controlled humans/commoners, who must defend against increasingly difficult waves of enemies by strategically placing and upgrading a variety of towers. Many have probably traveled this road before - or at least defended this road before. There are some innovations present, like being able to pop gas bubbles that cause damage to incoming troops or being able to summon a variety of short-lived magical creatures to cause some much-needed chaos, but otherwise Little Bit Evil is a little bit redundant. Which is a shame, ultimately, because the game was clearly crafted with love and attention to detail. The world map is a beauty to behold, and the addictive qualities that apply to almost all well-designed tower defense games are in full effect here.
Two strange quibbles persisted. One is that scrolling or pinch zooming the map felt needlessly sluggish - it often took me out of the game because it felt so unnaturally slow. Zooming is also a fairly pointless exercise because the game doesn't allow much of a zoom on any of the maps. I really wanted a closer view of what appear to be keenly-animated figures and towers.
The second issue is with the saving mechanism. Anyone with an iPhone can attest to the need to play quick bouts of a game. Interrupted by a phone call or - ahem - work? Fine, usually. Just exit the game and pick it up later. Not so in Little Bit Evil. And this is a real problem given that some levels feature 40 or more waves of enemies. I usually don't have time to handle that many rounds in one sitting, and I'd really like to be able to finish a round an hour or more later if I can. Unfortunately, in this game I can't.
Fans of tower defense games will no doubt find a lot to love in Little Bit Evil. It looks great, plays smoothly (as long as players can complete a round at each sitting), and has a level of polish not seen very often. For me, it was fun. For a little bit.