Developer: Walt Disney
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4s

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Gravity Falls Mystery Shack Attack is a tower defense game set in the world of the “Disney Channel Original Series: Gravity Falls”. In the game, players are asked to defend several landmarks of Gravity Falls from attacks by supernatural creatures by building and using traps, defenses, and weapons. The result of this is a charming, fun, but all-too-familiar experience, regardless of whether players are acquainted with Gravity Falls or not.

Shack Attack begins with a small, tutorialized exposition that gives players the narrative setup for the game. The antagonistic Li’l Gideon has unleashed minions from the “Great Beyond” to scare main characters Dipper, Mabel, and Grunkle Stan out of town. In response, the three heroes rigged together defenses from objects within the Mystery Shack that players must place strategically to defeat zombies, bats, and other monstrosities as they attempt to overrun one of five distinct locations.

photo 3 (70)To play, Shack Attack operates very much like other tower defense games. On the side of the screen there is a menu of defenses which players can then drag onto one of four sections of the map to build. These defenses vary in power, cost, and usefulness, so it is up to players to decide how best to lay out weapons like whoopie cushion launchers and time tape. After laying these defenses there is also a cool down time associated with each item, so this forces players to use a variety of items if they wish to survive.

Perhaps the best thing about Shack Attack is that it is very accessible. Players who find themselves in trouble can unleash super moves that clear areas of enemies, and useful on-screen indicators show when enemies are coming from out of view. Even upon failing a level players can also spend money earned in the game to upgrade their arsenal before retrying. Beyond this though, players should not expect much other than familiar-feeling tower defense gameplay.

photo 4 (66)For the asking price of $1.99, I’d say there are better experiences for comparable prices or less. Fans of the “Gravity Falls” TV show may derive additional enjoyment from Shack Attack, but otherwise those familiar with the tower defense genre should look elsewhere. This isn’t to say that Shack Attack itself is necessarily bad (it’s actually a very solid game), but rather that it does not offer quite enough to justify its price.

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