Developer: Jason Poots
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

dwd04As I know I’ve stated repeatedly I always love it when I assume a game will be “okay,” but it turns out to be awesome. Such is also the case here. At least the assuming part. Unfortunately they can’t all be fun surprises, and DWD never manages to amount to much more than an admittedly pretty but rather awkward middle of the road first-person defense game.

Players assume the role of a recently deceased wizard by the name of David William Dagenhart (get it?) as they attempt to fight back against an invasion from the Dark Servant’s army. With each successful defense of a magical artifact they’ll unlock new powers to help them face off against more and more powerful hordes. After a couple of introductory levels they’ll soon be unleashing the fury of the elements with area effect attacks, defensive barriers, and more. Of course the Dark Servant’s forces aren’t about to sit idly by and get vaporized. Each new level introduces another monster into the mix; some of which use different tactics or have elemental resistances. At least it seems that way although nothing ever specifically states this.

It’s pretty obvious that DWD is a great-looking game but there’s also a decent amount of variety to the enemies, although their animations can be a bit awkward. I was also impressed with the variety of spells to acquire and their various strategic uses. It’s also possible to activate temporary abilities and bonuses by blowing open barrels and chests scattered throughout each level, although sometimes there won’t be enough time for that as skeletons and gargoyles and such close in from all sides.

dwd05While DWD is impressive looking, it’s not quite as impressive to play. Dagenhart stays rooted to the spot for the most part, although he can sometimes warp to specific areas throughout a stage at specific times. So players pretty much just sit tight and keep an eye out for any nasties headed their way, which involves a ridiculous amount of spinning around over and over again. Sixth Sense helps by activating temporary wizard radar of a sort, but its use and range are fairly limited. Aiming also doesn’t feel quite right as lining up a shot can be difficult in a pinch and it’s possible to miss by inches. Then of course there’s the issue of running out of mana while frantically casting as many spells as possible, which leaves the zombie wizard open to attack with no hope of retaliation for a few precious seconds.

I do think DWD has some cool ideas, and it’s definitely pretty, but it’s more than a little awkward to play. And it’s just not that much fun, honestly. It’s hard to care about stopping the Dark Servant’s armies when it feels like such a chore.


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