Developer: PlayShore, S.L.
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Who knew that the tower defense genre was so versatile? It has been melded with real time strategy, brawlers, and now first-person shooters, all with an eye towards adding diversity to an otherwise established gameplay formula. PlayShore’s new FPS/tower defense title Skull Legends hopes that undead skeleton armies are just as susceptible to a bow and arrow as they are to cannonballs. Thankfully, this is a match made in undead maiming heaven. Err hell. Purgatory?

IMG_0220Though a tower defense shooter sounds like an odd combination Skull Legends proves that, not only does it work, but it can actually bring out the best of both genres. Tired of having to split attention between on-screen enemies? Drop a turret and allow it to handle all of the adversaries on one side of the map. Sick of a straggling peon slipping through the cracks of an otherwise impenetrable defense? Use a bow to pick them off, one-by-one. These are just a couple of examples of why this hybridization works so well.

As with most tower defense titles, all of the enemies stream towards the player following a clearly defined series of paths within the environment. There are many different enemy types – all of which are derived from the skeleton family – essentially consisting of different levels of armor. The base campaign is comprised of twenty four stages, most of which end up being repeated several times due to failure. That’s right, the name of the game is trial and error. Yet to the game’s credit most mission failures can be directly attributed to a mistake made by the player, not some trick designed to intentionally derail a stage.

IMG_0217For everything that Skull Legends manages to do right, it does tend to become monotonous when played in large doses. Using minor variations on the same tactic time after time tends to grate on one’s patience, even if the experience is still fun. Furthermore, only offering up six different tower types seems a bit stingy.

Despite its name sounding like the most generic fantasy novel ever imagined, Skull Legends manages to deliver a solid single player campaign that still has room to grow. Even those that have tired of the traditional tower defense rigmarole will find that the first-person shooter pieces help build upon the detractions that most associate with the genre. Downloading this title would be $2.99 well spent.


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