Beat the Beast HD Review

Our Review by Kevin Stout on May 3rd, 2012
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CIRCULAR MADNESS!
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Beat the Beast is a 360-degree tower defense with spellcasting.

Developer: Ashot Balasanyan
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third generation)

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Beat the Beast HD is a 3D, 360-degree tower defense where monsters climb in a circular motion up mountain-like levels. The game isn’t a revolutionary tower defense, but the 360-degree gameplay is interesting and a refreshing change from traditional TDs.

I find the magic house concept fairly interesting for a tower defense. I’ve played other TD games where magic can be used, like Magic Defenders, but the magic houses are a bit interesting in this game. I would describe them as “leak” machines. A leak in a TD is when a monster gets past all of a player’s defenses. Some TDs provide ways to catch the leaks. Magic houses give users a slowly growing mana pool (more magic houses equal more mana) that can be saved to use special spells to keep levels from being lost.

There aren’t any tooltips for any of the towers. It’s impossible to know what any of them do without building them and hoping they work. There is a book in the level select screen that describes all of the towers, spells, and monsters, but most players are going to ignore it and just get started with the first level (expecting tooltips or a tutorial) as I did.

For any experienced TD player, the earliest levels are going to be so easy and boring that we’ll be begging for the ability to pick up the speed. Most good tower defense games have a fast forward option. There’s no such option in this game and it needs it more than most. The monsters have a much longer way to go as they wind around the circular levels. The first level went so slow for me that I actually played Minecraft as I was waiting for the levels to end. A fast forward button is absolutely a must in a future update of the game.

In a 3D tower defense with various tiers to place towers on, I would have loved to see towers with a large range that could launch things down at lower levels. There’s a catapult, but it has a short range and doesn’t shoot at levels below it.

The app description is a bit deceptive. Right at the top of the description, the game is advertised as being “NEW iPad TESTED & READY.” Which anyone familiar with the new iPad and apps made for it would probably assume that meant it makes use of the Retina display. The game doesn’t make use of the Retina display screen. It’s quite easy to notice by the blurriness of the words and graphics. The game was made for the iPad and iPad 2 screen, not the third-gen iPad. I hope that the developer either updates the graphics or takes out the misleading new iPad line in the description.

Beat the Beast HD a decent tower defense with a unique twist. For $2.99, most TD fans should get their money’s worth but I would recommend trying the Lite version first.


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