Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third generation)
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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Tower defense games flood the App Store because the genre works well with touch controls. Every once in a while we'll come across a great one, but Empire Defense 2 has some polish problems and gameplay issues that make it only enjoyable for true tower defense fans.
Empire Defense 2 has an incredibly unique tower defense element; it combines heroes with the ability to plan out a path for the enemies. I've played a ton of tower defense games and I've never seen one that let's users pick the path the enemies follow before. The player moves the hero unit throughout the level by using action points. The enemies follow the path the hero took. This adds an even further strategy element to the already strategic standard TD gameplay.
The game doesn't have a ton of polish. There are quite a few typos and grammatical errors throughout the game. This is one of the many reasons app developers should budget for good writer/s to work out some of those problems and have stronger storylines (a bit of self-advertisement there). Sometimes, the text even goes off of the designated textbox area. If a piece of dialogue is over three lines, it just flows over the textbox and into the background.
I thought the sound in the game was very good overall. The sound effects each tower/unit made fit well. I also liked the music in the title and level select screens. But the music during actual battles encountered the same problem that I often complain about in iOS games - it's a short piece of music put on a loop. This, as always, becomes quite repetitive. Also, it's obvious that it's on a loop. Most games loop the music in a way so that it's seamless and can almost trick players into thinking it's one continuous song (almost...). This music has a brief beat of a pause before the music starts back up. It's jerky and disruptive. It could've been done better.
The levels were much too long. The first level after the tutorial was 40 waves. Even keeping the game on fastfoward mode the whole time, it took me a long time to complete. I didn't time it, but I would estimate it took about a half hour. While this may not sound like a problem, consider the implications. Such long levels punishes any mistake severely. If a player decided that he or she wanted to change their setup for the level and restart (something I do often in TDs), it's quite depressing to decide to dedicate another 30 minutes to the same level. This also makes failing a level quite depressing.
Because of the length of the levels and lack of polish, I would only suggest Empire Defenders 2 to hardcore TD fans looking to get their hands on something unique and challenging. This isnt' a game that everyone will enjoy.