1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Tower Defense: Lost Earth HD (universal binary) by Com2Us Inc.
    $4.99, ****1/2


    • Great look tower defense game
    • Lots of towers and enemies
    • Varied terrain

    • Easy setting seems very difficult

    Tower Defense games are one of the biggest genre’s in iOS. In fact, they were among the earliest apps that I reviewed. Tower Defense: Lost Earth HD is a new entry into the field, and it holds its own quite easily.

    First off, Tower Defense: Lost Earth HD is a universal binary. If you just want to play the iPhone version, there is a Tower Defense: Lost Earth version for $0.99 ($4 cheaper). There is also a free version that you can play. I found the iPad version very nice (the extra space makes it very easy to play) but the iPhone version was just as enjoyable. The pictures below are from the iPhone version.

    Tower Defense: Lost Earth uses a space exploration story to build a tower defense game. You are exploring a planet, looking for resources. While there, you are met by hostile natives (the enemies) and you need to build your defenses to protect your base. One of the great things about this game is that as you play, you unlock lots of different features. Enemies get more complex and devious (the enemy healer is the worst!!), you add more towers that have different costs and features, and you can even unlock different play modes.

    The general game play itself is like any tower defense game. There is a path that enemies use, along which you need to build your towers to destroy them before they reach your base. There are a total of 9 different towers you can build (I haven’t even unlocked all of them yet) but in any game you can only choose 6 to use! So right there you have a strategic decision you need to make based on the terrain and goal.

    As you play, you also unlock other game modes. The normal mode is a traditional tower defense game – you must last a certain number of “waves” of enemy assault. But there are other modes as well - survival (where you simply need to survive for a specific length of time), gather (where you finish by collecting a certain number of resources in the level), and attack (where there is a boss on the screen and you need to use your towers to destroy him). You also have a special weapon that can be used (and varies based on the level).

    The graphics are sharp and crisp, in both the iPad and iPhone versions of the game. You can recognize the enemy types and tower types. The only difficulty I occasionally had was figuring out the path of the enemy, but they have animated arrows that show you the path, so that was not a concern. When you play, you can also choose a difficulty setting – easy, medium, or hard.

    And that was one of my concerns. Like any game, I always start off on the easy setting. Usually it is VERY easy, and I move up. However, in Tower Defense: Lost Earth, on occasion the easy setting seemed almost unbeatable. In fact, there is a level that I am stuck on right now (on easy) and can’t complete. I haven’t even tried the most difficult setting, and I shudder to think how hard it will be! While I love a challenge, simply making something almost impossible isn’t a challenge to me.

    All in all, this was a really, REALLY fun tower defense game. The graphics and sounds are great, the game play is superb, and the overall game design is one of the best tower defense games I have ever seen. My only complaint was the difficult settings – easy seemed too difficult at times. At $4.99 for the universal binary (or $0.99 for just the iPhone version), the game is reasonably priced and well worth it if you like tower defense games. 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. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.
    08-04-2011 05:15 PM