Developer: Fire Torem Arena
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆


At their core, tower defense games are basically streamlined real-time strategy games, some of the most popular multiplayer games out there. Just look at the huge, professional, televised Starcraft industry. However, competitive multiplayer tower defense games are still the exception instead of the rule. Funkin’ Arena shows that it’s an interesting idea but the game itself isn’t quite ready for primetime.

Funkin Arena’s only mode is its multiplayer battle mode. The screen is split down the middle with the players facing each other. The fundamental tower defense premise remains. Players build towers to prevent enemy units from reaching their base. The difference here though is that those enemy units are being generated by the other player. Therefore, the strategy comes from knowing when to spend resources on defense and when to buy more troops to continue the assault, an interesting trade-off. Cash replenishes at a decent rate, with extra bundles occasionally appearing on the map, and each side is given a free unit periodically. However, to keep the game moving and interesting it’s up to both players to try to eliminate the other as quickly as possible. Tower positions are preset which limits experimentation but towers also tend to be interactive. When players want to bomb a unit or launch an attack plane, they’ll have to drop that bomb and guide that plane by hand.

These are a few neat ideas to be sure but those are really all Funkin’ Arena has going for it. There are no other modes or maps. The generic cartoon visuals are fine but plain and there are only a handful of units and towers. Players will probably see all the game has to offer in a single match. The only remotely intriguing aspect of the presentation is the one musical track and its odd combination of warlike marching drums and peaceful Zen tones.

Funkin’ Arena’s multiplayer twists on tower defense are worth checking out but the game itself can’t coast along on those alone. Hopefully they’ll show up in another, more fully-featured product.

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