Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad
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Some games don't seem very polished until they are played. Others have the veneer of polish, but that illusion quickly fades once the game commences. Unfortunately, War Grimoire HD is the latter of these two categories. It's a deceptively pretty game, but appearances can be deceiving.
It's become all too common to say, but War Grimoire HD is, yes, yet another tower defense game for the iPad. How many of these the iOS platform can continue to support is unknown, but clearly the genre is in need of an extreme makeover at this point. War Grimoire has a nicely-designed interface, but at its heart it's more of the same. Players control a variety of character/tower types - from soldiers, to archers, to mages, to dragons. each has its own skill set and three upgrade options. If this sounds like every other tower defense game out there, that's because it IS like every other tower defense game out there. The only thing that really sets War Grimoire apart is its nicely-designed, thematically-slick menu interface and its tendency to throw multiple enemies from multiple directions at once.
It's this second characteristic that can grow frustrating when playing the game. Enemies come from so many directions, and the maps are so difficult to interpret, that a loss can happen quickly and often inexplicably. Unlike games like Fieldrunners, however, rounds are mercifully short, so it's usually not too tough to go back and play them again.
Graphically, War Grimoire HD has a lot in its favor. As its title implies, the game uses an ancient book as its central motif throughout. each level is the turn of another page in the book, and all of the other menu animations are well-animated. What's not as well done is the tutorial. There is a help document, of sorts, but it does not explain very much outside of the most basic elements of gameplay. For example, there are upgrade paths and extras that can be purchased between rounds, but what these are and how they impact gameplay is something of a mystery. It also doesn't help that much of the English grammar is poor.
There are many good intentions behind War Grimoire HD, but these intentions never flesh out into a game that stands on its own. This is a book, alas, that is best left closed.