Defenders of Ardania Review
Let me start off by saying I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to "tower defense" games. I mean I get the general idea and I have actually found a couple of them fun (Plants vs Zombies, if you can count that as a tower defense game) but for the most part I have avoided them. I get that many people love them but they're just not for me. That said when Defenders of Ardania (DoA) showed up I was a little bit excited to give it a try since it was marketed as blending a tower defense game with a bit of real time strategy. I like blends. Has developer Most Wanted Entertainment created some sort of new genre? Is there enough of both genre and not too much of many to make both camps happy? Let's find out...
For those unfamiliar with tower defense games let me just say they are pretty much like they sound. You have a tower and your goal is to defend that tower against wave after wave of attacks. DoA certainly has that in its recipe but then it decides to try and spice things up with a little RTS. Now you get to attack back with some troops of your own and go on the offensive. In DoA you have a main castle that you must defend while trying to take down other castles. The maps have grids on them that will indicate where you can and can't go. You're allowed to build towers in certain areas that are then used to attack the enemy troops that are making their way toward your castle. You will also be sending out your own troops.
There are resources to keep track of so you can only have so many troops active at any given time and a specific number of towers. Once one of your soldiers either gets killed or makes it into the enemy castle you can then send another one out. The number of troops you can have seems a little low to me. There are also restrictions on the number of towers you get. You can always tear down an existing tower and rebuild it elsewhere if you want.
The game tries to help you along with an in-game tutorial and instructions but it was way too easy to click on something while the instructions were popping up and that would make the instructions go away. I often found myself wondering what I was supposed to be doing. Several levels I won without having any idea why. It wasn't because of any master plan I had laid out. Because of those easy victories and how I kept accidentally passing over helpful instructions/hints, I was really in trouble in the later levels when you actually needed to know what you're doing. I found myself replaying the first few levels several times and going really slow to just try and get all the information I could.
The graphics are pretty interesting actually. It's a colorful game and didn't have any real hiccups to speak of. However it was pretty difficult to really keep track of what was going on. I think that while the game was nice looking and colorful it was at the same time much too busy. I did appreciate that there was a decent amount of voices in the game, although at times the actors accents were more comical than I think they were aiming for, specifically the Sean Connery-ish narrator.
In the single player campaign there is a "story" of sorts and those that are in the know with the fantasy world of Majesty will have a better idea of what's going on than most. I was quite confused to be honest. I suppose the real action with tower defense games is the enjoyment of playing against others online. While it is a better experience than the single player game it still suffers with overly long matches and a sense that you're really not doing too much to control the action.
Final Rating: 66%. Defenders of Ardania is a good try at combining a couple of genres but it's a bit slow and confusing.