Developer: Piezo
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Last Line of Defense is a classic dual stick shooter that suffers not from a lack of quality play, but from a lack of importance. The basic gist of the game is that you are a strange little circular machine that has to defend your small home base from oncoming robot bugs and their strange arsenal of large bombs. The gameplay mechanics are all standard, left stick moves, right stick aims and shoots, and there are a few temporary weapon upgrades and health packs, but there is very little excitement.

I’ll put it this way; to have a good dual stick shooter that people will really like, you have to have a certain level of awesome attached. Minigore had a whole boatload of awesome, complete with a Rambo-type character, dangerous jungle settings, and bad guys with attitude. Bug Heroes, a slightly off-kilter dual stick shooter, had RPG and tower defense elements thrown in. There are all sorts of ways to pump in some awesome, but Last Line of Defense just gives you a standard circular thingy with a gun and has you kill things.

Here’s my idea. As the game progresses, the circular “hero” should level up and become “Stage 2″ and “Stage 3.” Its appearance should change, its weapons should be able to be upgraded, and maybe it should even get some special abilities that it can use along the way. If Last Line of Defense has to use the circle, the only way people will start caring is if that circle becomes an awesome circle; better than all the other circles out there. Otherwise it’s just a circle.

The vast majority of gamers that purchase Last Line of Defense, I suspect, will pick it up and put it down, for good, in a 30 minute time span. The game really isn’t bad, and in some ways it brings some new elements to the genre (like the landmines that kill the big bombs), but the entirety of it just screams, “Meh.”

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