Version Reviewed: 1.86
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Tower defense games are among my favorite genres, especially for iOS. Many are just clones or so similar to other TDs that the only real difference is the themes: fantasy, cute, horror, etc. Pew Pew Land II is similar to most TDs (this one has the “cute” theme), but it has some fresh ideas that I enjoyed.
The game includes 100 “arcade mode” levels split between five different themes. There’s also, of course, an endless mode that no TD can do without. Each level can also be completed in different difficulties, rewarding the player with more money ($) for higher difficulties completed. Money can buy more towers and some upgrades. I found that element unique. It isn’t often I get to pick the order I unlock towers.
In quite a few levels, I couldn’t spend my money quick enough. The waves came too fast for me to build and upgrade quick enough to spend the money (probably because I was supposed to buy more expensive towers from the store). The extra money often wasn’t necessary though, because I could beat quite a few levels with well-placed, upgraded laser towers. It’s a problem I expected from seeing so many different towers available for purchase in the store; some are bound to be overpowered (this tower was a cheap one I bought after the first few levels...a “mega laser” exists too). It’s also quite possible that the “normal” difficulty levels are too easy for an experienced TD player.
Take a look at this screenshot on the right for an example. For this level, I simply covered every available tile with an upgraded laser tower. I beat all 50 waves of the level and at the end of the level I had an extra $10000. Now, an upgraded laser tower costs around $300. I had enough money to buy over 30 more of the towers I had covered the map with. I didn’t even have 30 of those towers on the board in the first place.
Later in the game it feels like some levels are impossible to beat without buying the incredibly expensive weapons that take a long time to save money for.
While I’ve complained extensively about the difficulty and lack of difficulty in the game, Pew Pew Land II is actually a decent tower defense. The ability to buy towers as the game goes on is unique, even though it may throw off the balance of the game. There are more arcade levels than I’m used to in a tower defense, providing plenty of playtime for the $2.99. And at the time I’m writing this, the game is available for free. Be quick. It can hike back up to $2.99 at any time.