Developer: Pomob Systems
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
\Just when it seemed like tower defense games could not get more played out, Coastal Command comes along with a slick presentation and a few, key twists to breathe some life into this tired genre. The style comes at the cost of substance, but this game will remind players why naval strategy games are so popular in the first place.
Coastal Command is a tower defense-style strategy game presented as a minimal, grid-based map from some high-tech Navy computer. The WarGames meets Tron look goes a long way towards evoking the 1980s, nuclear-era futurism the game seems to be going far. Combined with fluid, intuitive menus and touch controls, the game really gives players the sense of omnipresent yet detached power inherent to strategy games. Chilly, steely, robotic music and sound effects also add to the thick atmosphere. The presentation is the game's strongest attribute, but unfortunately the nature of the graphics means that levels can't look all that different from each other.
Beyond its visuals though, Coastal Command puts some neat twists on the tower defense gameplay formula. Instead of placing towers on set paths or creating lanes to funnel enemies, players are constrained to groups of islands. They can put up to four towers on each island but only after building a radar tower and making sure it's within range of another radar tower. In addition to the home base life bar, these radar towers are also open to attack and if one goes down a whole line of defense might be crippled. Players are encouraged to build towers specifically designed to destroy radar-seeking missiles alongside towers meant for shooting regular enemy ships. There are also touch-based powers like ship-slowing lightning storms, tower upgrades, target priority preferences, and a whole host of unlockable towers with their own intricacies. For such a sparse-looking game, there is a surprising amount of depth.
Unfortunately, that depth doesn't carry over into the content. There are only ten missions and they are all pretty standard. There's also the generator mode which allows players to create custom matches with however many enemies, amount of islands, and waves as they want. It greatly increases the replayability, but the game still feels a little thin.
However, anyone looking for a fun, stylish tower defense game should definitely check out Coastal Command. Maybe if it does well enough, someone will turn it into a movie too.