Version Reviewed: 1.1.2
Graphics / Sound [rating:3/5]
Game Controls [rating:4/5]
iPhone Integration [rating:3/5]
User Interface [rating:3/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:2/5]
The TD (tower defense) genre in the App Store is really beginning to expand. We’ve got the likes of Fieldrunners, 7Cities, ElementalMonster TD, Sentinel, The Creeps, and probably a half-dozen others that I’m too lazy to list. It takes a good game—nay, a great game—to stand out. Does Circuit Defenders accomplish that?
Not quite. It’s still a decent game, certainly, but with its competitors selling for under a buck, I wouldn’t leap to grab this one. While it’s got some features that others lack, it’s got a ways to go before being truly competitive in the App Store’s ecosystem.
For those of you who are new to the TD genre, most games follow a similar vein. Enemies march down a single path, moving from Point A to Point B. If too many reach Point B, you’re dead. By placing towers alongside the path, you can defend yourself; the towers will attack enemies within their range. Usually, you can upgrade current towers, and there’s typically a variety of tower types, each tailored to attack a certain type of enemy.
For the most part, Circuit Defenders sticks strictly to TD conventions. In this game, Point B is the CPU, and the enemies are little virus armies. There’s a single path for the viruses to take, you set up towers, the viruses are grouped in waves…you know the drill. There are eight different types of towers, but the variety doesn’t end there. It differs from some other TDs in that each individual tower has its own attributes, including health, range, firing rate, and damage amount; like enemies, your tower can take damage. Each individual attribute can be upgraded…for a price, of course. Killing an enemy nets you a nice cash prize, so you can continue to build up your forces.
Also, in a rather large departure from other TDs, in Circuit Defenders the levels don’t end once you beat a predetermined number of waves (groups of enemies). The result is a near-endless Classic mode, which lasts until you keel over or get bored, whichever comes first. There are other modes available, too: you can set a fifteen-minute time limit, play with only six towers, or restrict your monetary funds. Either way, there’s no way to beat a map; you can just attain a high score, which, in my opinion, gets rid of some the sense of accomplishment. With no set milestones, the game just sort of…lasts.
Graphically, Circuit Defenders is very simple. You can pinch, zoom, and swipe as much as you like, but the level of detail just isn’t there. While the graphics are adequate, towers don’t have too much personality, which is a pity. The audio is simple too, but it suits the game fine. I have to admit that I like the virus vs. CPU theme, but the game just doesn't have enough personality to fully flesh out the idea.
My overall complaint about Circuit Defenders is the lack of variety and polish. While the fact that you have control over each individual tower and its attributes is nice, I felt as if I was engaged in a mindless management game with no end in sight. With no set goals, no alternate paths, my games descended into repetitive mindlessness, with none of the usual adrenaline. The game doesn’t look exceptional, either, which makes it less of a joy to play.
For a basic TD, Circuit Defenders isn’t bad. But as it stands, there’s just not enough innovation here to keep me hooked.