Prime World: Defenders Review

Prime World: Defenders Review

Jun 17, 2014

Prime World: Defenders is the latest in the very well-worn tower defense genre. Does it tower above the others?

Screenshot_2014-06-08-19-23-47Prime World: Defenders has a nice story which is impressive for a tower defense game. The world has ended and the past times are barely remembered by most. A new magical material called Prime, a source of endless energy and a great material for both magic and weapons.

Of course war breaks out for control of the stuff.

The player, however, plays as another group of hunters who are simply trying to uncover artifacts of the past in a dangerous area where prime was first discovered. Infested with the Touched, prime man monsters the player defends their band while they search for artefacts. Cool comic books style cutscenes help to explain the game’s story further.

Prime World: Defenders is a tower defense game. The player places towers of various types as enemies advance along a pre-defined route. Placing different towers smartly is key to stopping enemies before they reach their goal. There are basic arrow towers, poison towers and towers that simply slow enemies down so they can be picked off more easily by other nearby towers. There are flying enemies, slow, strong enemies and fast, weak enemies among others so it’s important to have a good mix between slow powerful towers and fast firing towers.

Unfortunately, Prime World: Defenders just lacks anything beyond that. Unlike Siegecraft Defenders, the player can’t build walls and there are no quirks like multiple entrances forcing the player to change up their strategy.

Screenshot_2014-06-17-08-08-24Enemies come in waves and, unlike most tower defence games, the next wave can be summoned at any time. Summoning a wave early gives the towers more enemies to deal with, but grants bonus resources and achievements.

Prime World: Defenders has a long single player campaign and a robust upgrade system keeps the player rolling though the game. Cards can also be acquired which when fused together can improve the player’s towers.

A major problem with Prime Defenders is that the interface is just too small to use on a phone screen. On my S4 text is a fraction of an inch high and buttons are tiny icons that are impossible to decipher. Prime Defenders is effectively unplayable unless it is played on a tablet or output to a television.

The game looks nice enough with a pleasant ramshackle look to the hastily built defences. The sound however isn’t so good. The game has a lot of voice acting but the acting quality varies and often it is pretty average stuff. Compared to a game like Siegecraft Defenders, Prime Defenders just can’t compete in presentation.

Prime World: Defenders is a run of the mill tower defense game with some serious interface problems. It isn’t anything amazing but it is worth a look for fans of the genre.

Bad Hotel Review

Bad Hotel Review

Jan 22, 2014

Bad Hotel is a truly unique take on tower defence. It lets the player build a huge, musical oddly shaped hotel bristling with guns and mines. What other game does that?

Screenshot_2014-01-17-11-52-01Bad Hotel is at its heart a tower defence game but it looks nothing like one. Basic rooms that generate money form the basic body of your hotel. This money pays for additional rooms.

A constant stream of weird enemies, such as waves of kamikaze birds, strange clouds and random people charge in to smash the hotel down. Luckily, like any TD game the player can place defences such as gun turrets, mine throwers and rooms that heal other rooms next to them. The catch is that defensive rooms do not make money, which is needed to keep adding more rooms to get a higher score. Thus the player needs to find balance between money generating rooms and enough defences to defend them from the feathered threat.

Screenshot_2014-01-17-12-00-03Bad Hotel awards points not only on the number of rooms that survive a level, but also how tall your hotel is. Building upwards is something that hasn’t really been done in TD before. This unique angle doesn’t really change the actual mechanics of TD too much as the gameplay is mostly about placing defences in ways that kill off enemies in the least amount of time before they can actually reach your structures. The way that enemies can come from anywhere and the money angle forces a very different strategy from most tower defence games.

Bad Hotel has some unique graphics that really give the game a look all of its own. Strange angular characters mesh well with bright colours to give Bad Hotel a great look that really stands out. The garish color paltte looks like it shouldn’t work but it melds together very well.

The sound is equally surreal. A great touch in Bad Hotel is that each room placed plays a note every few seconds. Placing rooms at different heights and positions create different notes. Thus building hotels different ways makes different songs. This is a great addition and makes it fun to experiment with room placement to see what tunes can be created.

The game’s dialogue is a fun read too before each level an angry hotel building Texan tells you what to expect and tis soon clear he’s simply trying to have the hotels you build destroyed to claim the insurance money. Funny stuff.

Bad Hotel is a surreal, enjoyable take on tower defence and anyone looking for something a little different should have a great time with it.

Oil Rush Review

Oil Rush Review

Nov 26, 2013

The world in Oil Rush has been devastated by a nuclear war. The world has been rendered nearly uninhabitable and thanks to global warming, and thus the rising water level, a global sea covers the planet.

Of course humanity won’t let a little thing like a nuclear apocalypse stop them and a huge battle erupts for the remaining resources on the earth.

Oil Rush is a bit different from most RTS games when it comes to unit control. The play does not create bases or units. Bases already exist in the form of platforms that automatically crank out a horde of a certain kind of unit while your faction controls them. As units get wiped out, more are created. The player only directs the units and uses abilities.

Screenshot_2013-11-22-16-39-13Fleets are made up of a number of units that are stationed at one of your platforms. To order a fleet to move, it must be moved to another platform. If the platform is in enemy hands the move becomes an attack instead. Platform defensive turrets can be built and each unit has strengths and weaknesses it is imperative to move the right kind of units to that platform to take it over without suffering serious losses. At first this limited movement system will feel strange to a RTS veteran, but after a while it becomes second nature.

A nice selection of units is on offer. From basic jet-ski infantry type units and planes all the way up to floating amphibious tanks.

Oil is a vital resource. While basic units don’t cost anything (as long as the platform is controlled endless reinforcements are created) oil is what’s used to trigger special abilities like demoralizing enemies, or boosting unit strength. As the player climbs the tech tree with research points gained from combat, more and more abilities that require oil to use are unlocked. Oil is also used to build vital defences.

Screenshot_2013-11-22-16-21-11Oil Rush’s biggest strength is how engaging it is. The game is so fast and fluid that it demands constant action. The AI is insanely aggressive and as both sides are getting constant reinforcements both are almost always in a position to attack. Oil Rush is all about being aggressive and blitzing the enemy as quickly as possible, any delay will often lead to defeat. Tense stuff.

Oil Rush looks great. The feel of the game is spot on for a game about the apocalypse, as humanity clings to rusty hunks of metal in the middle of the ocean. Everything in the game is rusted, ramshackle or haphazard, from makeshift gun platforms to wonky tanks. Soundwise the game is less impressive. There is just not enough loud gunfire and explosions for a game that has battles as large as this. The music is rather good however.

Oil Rush is a highly original, engaging take on RTS. While it is rather limited tactically, its unique gameplay will be a breath of fresh air to a jaded RTS fan.]