1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Lord of the Rings Middle Earth Defense, by Glu
    $1.99, ****1/2


    • A fun take on the move and tower defense game
    • Easy to control, good interface
    • Fun sound effects


    • Not as involved as some tower defense games

    Edit: Please note, this review is based on the previous review of the iPhone version of this game. The game play, and thus the review, are almost identical, so I have only modified the review somewhat based on the iPad version of the game.

    Tower games have to be one of my favorite genre of games. When I see a new tower game, especially when there is a new take on the genre, I feel this overwhelming urge to give it a try. This is what happened when I saw Lord of the Rings: Middle Earth Defense…and I am glad I did.

    The basic concept of a tower game – build defensive towers to protect your base/home/house/life from invading enemies. Most tower games let you build from a series of pre-determined towers – a fast shooter, a long range weak shooter, some sort of “bomb” tower, etc. LotR:MED is somewhat different. The concept is the same, but the invading enemies are the gordes of Sauron and Sarumen. Instead of having “towers”, you have the various characters from the books/movie Lord of the Ring (I saw movie, because the graphics and images are based on the movie).

    Each of the characters has specific strengths and weakness, although they aren’t always as obvious as with a normal tower game. In addition, each one costs a certain amount of money to play (money that is earned by defeating waves of enemies). Upgrades in their abilities are possible – you can upgrade their speed, attack, range, and skill. The characters will occasionally move from their chosen location, but only within their attack range (Aragon, for example, for go in for personal combat with a sword, when an enemy approaches). In addition to the heroes, you can place various barriers to force the path of the enemy along a certain route (very handy when deciding where to place your heroes). Additional damage tower, like traps that you can set, can also help you defeat the enemies that you are fighting. You also can eventually have allies, like elven archers or Riders of Rohan. All of the main characters are eventually available, each with their own attack styles.

    The game has multiple game modes – story mode basically follows the story of the movie (obviously basing it on the attacks/battles that occur), which I found particularly appealing. Challenge mode lets you try to fight wave after wave of enemies. Within the levels there are 7 different “environments”, and 18 different levels. You can also choose a difficulty level when playing, so if you beat the easy level with no sweat, you can repeat it at a harder difficulty. The 3D graphics are very nice, and have a LotR “feel” to them. On the iPad, the screen is large enough so that you can see quite a bit of detail of the images. In most cases this is good (nothing like seeing Gandalf swing his staff to shoot a magical bolt from it) but in some cases the monsters seem a little…undeveloped for close detail. The music is perfect, I don’t know if it is directly from the soundtrack or not, but it adds to the mood quite a bit.

    All in all, this is a great import of the LotR realm into a workable tower defense game
    . The game play itself is not as complex or involved as other tower defense games, but that is to be expected due to the constraints of working within the LotR “world”. But for fans of the trilogy who are also fans of tower defense games, this game is almost a must even at the normal $4.99 price. The price has been set at $1.99 for a while, so I don’t know if that is the new “normal” price or not. The only reason I don’t give it five stars is that I simply wish there was MORE…it seemed to end too quickly. Four and a half out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. 
    03-03-2011 12:05 PM
  2. iPadGamer's Avatar
    You made a very clear and expansive review.....not much more to add to that.
    03-09-2011 10:59 AM
  3. iPadJay's Avatar
    It just went on sale today for $0.99. More reasons to get it.

    Great review BTW!
    03-09-2011 02:45 PM
  4. Veritas's Avatar
    Not bad game. Review give a detailed account of "Middle Earth Defense".Thanks.
    07-25-2011 05:09 AM