Developer: Blowfish Studios and Crescent Moon Games
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Siegecraft TD, the open-field tower defense spinoff of Blowfish Studios and Crescent Moon’s 2011 trebuchet game, is backwards. It features a deep and involved multiplayer mode that’s difficult to grasp, and a single player mode that’s easy to get into but is held back by its overfamiliarity.

SiegecraftTD-07

The core gameplay is standard tower defense protocol. Place towers in strategic locations to impact enemies as effectively as possible, while also creating paths that are inefficient for the enemies. The singleplayer mode features twenty levels, where success ears experience points used to unlock new towers. Hard modes for each level provide opportunities to get higher scores to top Game Center friends. It’s not bad, it’s just not very compelling, in part because it’s so familiar.

SiegecraftTD-10

Now, the multiplayer is serious business, because it has a multi-step tutorial that lasts for far longer than a multiplayer mode tutorial should last. The multiplayer mode involves a fight over territory, and trying to conquer different territories, while hopping in to the TD mode to defend one’s home territory. It’s possible to send powerful enemy knights to make defense of a territory more difficult. The game ends when the enemy territory is captured. It’s a kind of turn-based strategy take on TD, with elements like persistent tower placement. It’s a very fascinating mode, albeit one that would have been far more interesting if it served as the backbone to the entire game, not just as a multiplayer mode with a very high barrier to entry. Seriously, that tutorial is downright scary and off-putting in its complexity. Anyone who doesn’t jump in to this mode? Well, I don’t blame them.

And really, that’s the problem: the interesting part of the game that would be best served by letting players get immersed in it by themselves, and something that would provide for a radically-different experience is instead left to a part of the game that many won’t touch. And the single-player mode just being by-the-numbers TD is not exactly inspiring.

The game as a whole is not bad at all, it’s just that it could be so much more.

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