Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Brave Guardians, like so many other games on the App Store, is a pretty standard tower defense game. It looks good and has a few intriguing gimmicks, but don’t expect it to reinvent the genre.
Taking place in a vague fantasy world, in Brave Guardians players place towers in pre-determined locations to protect the kingdom from invading monsters. At first the tower selection seems rather limited. Players only get four to choose from; like weak, cheap crossbow towers or stronger, more expensive catapults. Although upgrades change the towers significantly, like adding more guns or increasing the range, the number still feels low. However, in reality the player’s arsenal is doubled thanks to the titular guardians. While towers cost coins earned from vanquishing foes, by spending some of their regenerating mana players can also place one of four different guardians anywhere on the map. Guardians engage enemies directly with special skills like freeze spells or anti-air cannons. But, unlike towers, guardians can be destroyed. Incorporating both towers and guardians into one’s strategy is pretty much the one interesting thing Brave Guardians has going for it. After beating levels players can even replay them using guardians only - a very challenging task.
The rest of the game, though, is fairly standard by comparison. There are four worlds, each with a boss fight, and they’ll take a while to get through. Especially when the game is running on its default speed. The levels themselves feature colorful, detailed 3D environments with art pleasing enough to make up for the relatively uninspired aesthetic. Spinning the map around is also surprisingly satisfying. Unfortunately, the game has some typical freemium elements as well. In-between levels players can increase the base stats of their towers and guardians using crystals. However, while crystals are slowly earned through victories they can also be purchased with real money. The game gets very tough very quickly, even on the lowest difficulty, so players who choose not to pay may start feeling unfairly punished.
Even with its technically impressive graphics and one legitimately cool mechanic, Brave Guardians does little to stand out in an extremely crowded genre. Still, that doesn’t make it bad, and that certainly doesn’t make it not worth checking out.