Developer: DaSuppa

Price: Free
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics/Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use/Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Mobile platforms are quickly becoming the go-to place for tower defense strat-em-ups. One seems to appear on the marketplace almost every week; competition is clearly fierce. So for a game to appear and simply dub itself ‘Total Defense’ is pretty ballsy. Fortunately, this effort from DaSuppa is actually a good one.

Openly inspired by Starcraft, Total Annihilation, and Command & Conquer, Total Defense puts players in charge of a rebellion, and right in the line of fire. The game allows discovery of far-off, undiscovered planets, and challenges players to defend their established footholds with advanced technology. Players start the game on Earth where the Tyrant’s tax hike has made even oil a luxury. People can’t afford to fuel domestic robots anymore and families starting and robots rusting.

The game is split into twenty missions, and are usually broken down into waves which players must survive. The objective of each mission is to defend a base at all costs from incoming enemy legions. That may sound simple, but these forces are unrelenting savages that attempt to overwhelm and bombard at any opportunity. Fortunately, the advanced technology comes in the form of turrets that can push them back. The turrets vary in ability, and so a mix of them will be required to survive. For example, one turret slows down the enemy considerably, leaving them exposed and vulnerable for armor piercing bullets, or rockets.

Turrets are purchased by collecting minerals, either by harvesting them out in the field, or by defeating enemy vehicles that drop crates full of resources. Once enough energy has been acquired, players can upgrade the turrets to make them stronger and have a better line-of-sight. They can even change the type of turret and pump them full of new types of ammo.

At the end of each level, players will be able to access a skill tree and develop their abilities. Here, players can upgrade the power of a turret, it’s durability, the rate of fire, the types of ammunition used and more. Skills can also be downgraded if a player accidentally spends a point, or they find the ability they’re using isn’t working out for them.

Other planets can also be unlocked and purchased with real money. Either players can buy them individually, or in bulk for a 30% discount. There’s also the opportunity for players to donate to the developers should they feel a bit charitable.

Total Defense offers a quite beautiful, free-roaming 3D world. The environments really look the part on iOS, and save for the extremely small text and difficulty in achieving pin-point accuracy when accessing turrets, make for a great game. Players can scan the area by holding their finger down on screen and moving it around. Also, if they press their finger down, then circle with a second using multi-touch, they can turn the world around 360 degrees. Pinching the screen will also cause the view to alternate from a top-down, god-like view, to an almost-first-person perspective. It controls well, save for some slowdown during strenuous activity.

The in-game music is quite dreadful, but fortunately players can pump their own tracklist in the background.

On the whole, Total Defense is a decent tower-strategy title. It’s not the best, but certainly not the worst. At the unmissable price of free, we encourage at least a fleeting glance.

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