Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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The tower defense genre is certainly a crowded space on iOS, but the sheer number of games available shouldn't preclude you from checking out the really great ones. Chillingo seems to be the king of the genre, and it has struck gold again with iBomber Defense Pacific. If you're a fan of strategically placing turrets to hold make increasingly challenging waves of enemies, then this one is for you.
iBomber Defense Pacific follows in the footsteps of its predecessor by taking place during WWII. As the name suggests, the battles take place on the islands and atolls of the Pacific, with players defending their bases from relentless enemy squadrons. There's not much of an overarching plot to speak of, but the game still does a good job of trying to convey the sensation of desperately holding onto key strategic elements in the face of overwhelming opposition.
The period-specific weapons include basic turrets, artillery cannons and flamethrowers, as well as more exotic fare like radar stations and anti-air guns. There's a nice variety of weaponry, and the ability to upgrade your defenses - as well as equip perks to bolster your chances of success - make for a robust offering. You'll need every bit of it though, as enemies will attack from land, sea, and air, and some units even stray off the beaten path to flank and ambush your fortified positions. Even though the basic forumla may be familiar, iBomber Defense Pacific packs in enough twists to keep things fresh.
A great additional feature is the inclusion of secondary objectives on each map, which diversify gameplay beyond the old "keep the baddies away" mentality. Some of these additional goals are defensive in nature, such as protecting a specific location on the map, but others let you do a bit of attacking on your own. After all, there's no better way to get revenge on the bad guys than by dropping bombs on their base or taking out an important link on their supply chain.
Even though iBomber Defense Pacific does a decent job of portraying the landscape, the visuals can be a bit bland and boring. Spice Bandits proves that Chillingo can make art that pops, but that soul seems to be missing from this title. It's not that the game is bad-looking, but it isn't a visual treat either.
Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that the current version of the game does not seem to play well with the iPad. I personally tried to launch it several times on my device with no luck, and the app page is teeming with angry customers experiencing the same issue. The game ran fine on my iPhone 4S and we're hoping Chillingo launches a fixed version soon, but if you only have an iPad then you may want to forestall a purchase.
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