Developer: Zynga
Price: FREE
Version: 1.1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4s

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

KRE-O CityVille Invasion is a city management game in which players operate as the commander of a security force placed in charge of rebuilding and defending their city from the evil Dr. Mayhem. This setup translates into a game that is one part action shooter and one part city management, making for an interesting and compelling title even if players don’t know what the heck KRE-O is.

photo (22)In Invasion players begin the game by watching the Dr. Mayhem destroy the titular island city. From here, it becomes the players task to rebuild the city while keeping henchmen invaders at bay. Invasion offers five unique city areas that unlock along the way, where buildings must be rebuilt and defense towers can be constructed and upgraded. Once a city section has the proper amount of things built in it, missions unlock that initiate battles.

Battles in Invasion are where players can expect to earn all of the resources necessary to keep building up their city. In these encounters players take control of a member of the police force and have to defend their city structures from invasion. With 35 unlockable characters – each with different weapons, hats, and suits – there is a lot of variety to be explored during battles, keeping everything feeling fresh. On top of this there are challenges players can complete during these battles, power-ups to be collected, and strategic maneuvering around the battlefield that all can impact the outcome of these fights.

If players lose a battle there are no huge consequences. Players still earn some amount of experience points and money for their efforts, but the main drag of defeat is the amount of time it takes to repair buildings and turrets. Much like many free-to-play city management games, if things need to be repaired or built it takes a designated amount of time. On top of this there isn’t much to do if players are waiting around to repair their buildings, since having buildings is a requirement of performing combat missions. Patient players may not mind this system and be satisfied by having to wait, but others may be frustrated at being asked to pay for a quicker recovery.

photo 5 (51)Beyond the issue of the cooldown timers, the controls in Invasion‘s combat sequences could also be another frustrating issue. Fortunately the game’s auto-aim makes attacks easy enough, but something about the virtual joystick for movement keeps it from working perfectly all the time.

All that being said, Invasion is still a heck of a free game. It’s actually more like two games in one! If players have the patience for games with timers, Invasion offers a nice twist on the more traditional city management genre. Otherwise, it might be best to pass this one up.

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