Developer: Glu Games Inc.
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

A sequel of sorts to Glu Games’ successful Samurai vs Zombies Defense series, Defenders & Dragons brings the action into the Middle Ages, and into the armored boots of a valiant knight responsible for protecting a powerful and mysterious crystal housed inside the castle walls. Unfortunately a horde of foul, mystical beasts have descended upon the castle to claim the crystal for their own fiendish schemes.

20140309-174615.jpgAs in the Samurai vs Zombies Defense series, the emphasis here is on tactics and strategic play rather than all out Orc-whomping. Players must build up a small army of companions to help fend off their attackers, using a variety of magic and super attacks to help them do so. To attack, players simply need to move their knight close enough to strike the enemy with his sword, or let their minions deal with the lesser foes as they deal with the bigger threat. They can also use their bow from a greater distance if needs be, and it’s all achieved by moving the knight with a long hold on the left or the right side of the screen. It’s a system that feels intuitive and right at home on a touchscreen, as the only buttons onscreen are those which launch the powerful attacks or call an ally into battle.

There are multiple character classes to unlock from a Ranger to an Archangel – each with their own beneficial characteristics and homelands to defend. However, what really increases the longevity of Defenders & Dragons is the versus Battle mode. After bidding souls against their opponent for the acquisition of an artifact (that can be then used in the Story mode), players then commence battle with each launching an attack on their opponent’s gate while defending their own. It’s great fun unleashing an army upon an unsuspecting foe, and definitely a feature I returned to multiple times.

20140309-174634.jpgFrom the medieval castle adorned with billowing flags and flickering torches, to the fantastical elven treetop kingdom with its marbled archways and shimmering waterfalls, Defenders & Dragons looks consistently wonderful and detailed. There’s a lot to get through too, with a lengthy Story mode, endless Battles, and a daily challenge to overcome. Its a great addition to an already excellent series, and one that fans of the Samurai games will love.

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