App Reviewed on: iPad
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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No matter if it is for having fun in science class or making music from popular pop-culture references, Tesla coils rock. It is this iconic device that now finds its way into a castle defense style game by the name of Tesla Wars. While this virtual static electricity device may not make the hair stand on the back of the neck, it is going to make those fingers work extremely hard.
This is a game of speed and tough decisions. The premise is simple: a Tesla coil sits in the middle of the screen with a fence connecting it to the top and bottom. Players will need to guard this structure from hordes of stick figures that run in from either side of the screen. If the fence reaches zero health, the army has won, and it is back to the drawing board for another retry. Of course the stick people are resourceful and will only get more ingenious with their weapons, like bringing in exploding oil barrels or launching rockets at the fence. The player gets some aids as well, like being able to call in an airstrike or increase the power of the electrical beam that is emitted. This game quickly becomes an exercise in fast reflexes and deciding if upgrading health or buying that new airstrike power is most important.
This is a simple looking, and sounding, game. The fence and tower never deviate from what is presented at the beginning of the game. Players will see the same stage settings, like an arid dessert, for ten levels before it changes to something new. The stick people explode with little bits flying across the screen and explosions leave craters for a short duration. The sound is where things really come together. Electrical beams are crackly and scratchy while explosions are loud and thuddy. Even the chainsaws against the fences are enjoyable, albeit unnerving, to hear. The audio and visuals work extremely well for this setting.
It is unfortunate that the controls can get so irritating and that they can lead to lost games. Hitting slow moving people is easy, but when a horde rushes in and then the game fails to recognize that the player's finger is on an enemy only adds an unnecessary difficulty to the game. When this happens, valuable seconds are lost as the player has to pick up their finger and reposition it so the game recognizes what is going on. While it doesn't happen often, it occurs enough to become annoying during this higher stages.
This is still an enjoyable game, regardless of the less than perfect controls. I had a hard time putting the game down long enough to write this, and I plan to go back and blast more stick people to bits when I am done here. Watch out for those in-app purchases and enjoy this free game, and it is also available on the iPhone!