Developer: Mean Bean Games
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2.5
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

With a sound ecological message as its backdrop, Forces of Nature is a quite charming take on the tower defense format. Just don’t expect it to give anyone an easy ride as it’s quite a tough game.

forces7The premise centers on the role of Sprout, out to save the natural world from the scourge of robots. Unlike other defense games, action is a bit more involved with players able to move around with Sprout in order to place defenses. Working on a side scrolling basis, Sprout can fight back himself but the core defenses come from placing other plants to also wander the path. It’s a little restrictive at times given that once the friendly plants hit the end of the level they vanish, but it’s relatively easy to adapt to.

Such plants are created through the gradual acquisition of water – the main source of energy from which things can be created from. It trickles along naturally, but can also be boosted by certain supply points. Things can seem a little slow at first, but that’s all part of the challenge. As the game progresses, new plant types unlock such as huge lumbering things that can withstand a lot of damage and a projectile-spitting plant. As always, there’s the constant balance between spending a lot on one unit or trying to overwhelm the robots with many of a much weaker unit. However, unlike other games of this ilk, controlling Sprout is just as important as placing defensive plants with his offensive capabilities proving quite essential.

forces3That’s also where Forces of Nature falters. Controlling Sprout can be a little awkward. While moving from left to right is simple enough, dashing from side to side (an important move in order to succeed) is a little cumbersome and not as accurate as one would like.

Forces of Nature is a game that’s going to last players quite a while, partly due to the number of levels and its never ending survival mode, but also because of its difficulty curve. I’d have appreciated the choice of different difficulty levels and a refinement to its control system, but I still enjoyed my time with Sprout.

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