Ah, how I love a great Tower Defense game. There’s nothing quite like it. Some people think that it’s nerdy or geeky, but quite frankly I don’t care. It’s awesome. Sure you don’t get to actually shoot the missiles or technically be “in the battle”, and basically all your doing is placing your weapons on the screen to stop the enemy from getting to your base.
But what TD games give you is strategy- less bang and more brain. Navy Patrol: Coastal Defense by ICS Mobile is an interesting new take on a TD game, and one that hasn’t been done before. It’s a naval-base focused game with boats and cruisers and submarines. It’s risky because not everyone likes aquatic warfare, and some aspects is quite boring. And the competition for this genre is pretty fierce with “The Creeps”, “Fieldrunners”, and “Crystal Defenders” being the top dogs. Let’s test these waters and see what we got here.
Strategy and game planning is the key to TD games. And It incorporates RTS and RPG elements into a water based environment. If you’ve never played a tower defense game the concept is pretty simple- the enemies come in waves and they have a path that they follow to your base. Your job is to obstruct that path and place turrets to shoot them down before they reach your base and destroy it. What’s interesting about CD is that when your choosing your location for your new tower, there is a yellow line that shows the path that the enemy is following to your base. And every time that you place a tower in the “Yellow” lined path, it automatically redirects a different path to circumvent your towers.
There is an enormous amount of depth that is jam-packed into this app. You only start off with a few towers at your arsenal but defeat more and more oncoming waves of enemy ships and you level up. Leveling up means that you can add a “Skill point” to one of the following categories: Defense, Offense, or Technology. Placing a skill point in a certain element gives opens up a whole new world of weaponry for the gamer. From powerups to lightning bolts and bombs, the Skill points become your greatest asset against your foe. For instance, a few skill points in Offense gets you the “Double Damage’ feature that enables any turret within radius (you choose which radius) does double the damage. And for each category there are 5 different powerups/abilities for you to choose from.
If that’s enough to halt the swarm of enemy ships headed your way, then tap your finger on your base and turn your home base into an air craft hanger and the jet fighters will drop missiles on enemy from above. It sure does cost a lot to get up to this feature but it sure is worth it as they do massive damage.
Another interesting aspect of the game is the ability to “capsize” your enemies which is basically tipping them over so they are easy kills as well as specializing each individual turret to target a certain enemy. You can choose the tower to focus on the weakest enemy ship, the fastest, or the strongest. Not sure how much you’ll truly use this feature but it’s great just to have as an option.
As gamers know, control isn’t too big of an issue in Tower Defense games. It’s just about tapping, dragging, and in some rare occasions, using the accelerometer. However in this game, I some complaints.
Many times during the game I tried to “Pause” action in order to upgrade some turrets and well, you know, strategize. But the game kept thinking that I was tapping the Pause from the game entirely which brings up the “Resume Game, Options, Exit”. Also, at times I wanted to upgrade my turret and i would click the upgrade button numerous times but did not execute. This was a very frustrating issue to deal with as the difficulty of the app is pretty intense. Racking up my highest score and swarms of enemies breaching my defenses, the last thing I needed was a “control” malfunction.
What We Liked:
– RPG and RTS elements
– Tremendous depth
– Turret targeting system
– Global leaderboards / Facebook connect
– Dynamic AI pathfinding system
– Sea level, aerial, and undersea warfare
– Water fluidity
What We Disliked:
– Hard to distinguish different types of enemies
– Buggy (crashes when trying to resume game, blue flicker at the right of the screen)
– Sub-par graphics
– Turrets show no indication when firing at the the enemy
There’s a lot to like about Coastal Defense and also a lot to dislike. It has enormous depth and great integration of RTS and RPG like-elements all warpped into a TD game. It’s a well thought out game with tons of abilities and powerups to keep things interesting for days to come. Some will overlook its shortcomings and fall instantly in love with the game and have no problems with it.
However, I have very high standards when it comes to Tower Defense games because of the apps that are out now, and Coastal Defense just falls short of being up in the elite category of The Creeps and Fieldrunners. It just has too many glitches and one too many issues that hurts it stock.