Saturday, June 11, 2011

geoDefense for Windows Phone 7 review

Microsoft kicked off their "Must Have Games" promotion for Windows Phone a few weeks ago, but I just recently took my first dive into it with the release of geoDefense, a tower defense game.
It's easier than it looks... until it gets hard. Then it's harder than it looks

For those not familiar with the tower defense genre, don't feel like you're alone. I only recently got into it last year with Defense Grid on the Xbox 360. The concept is simple. Enemies follow a path and you set up towers along that path to keep them from reaching the end. As you take out enemies, you get more cash to build more towers or upgrade the ones you have. When I first played Defense Grid, I saw the potential for a great mobile game. While some had been released for Windows Phone before, I didn't think they played quite right. But what about geoDefense?

First off, the game is visually appealing. It has a similar look to it that was found in Geometry Wars on the Xbox 360. Playing the game can turn into looking more like a fireworks show than a typical game. The downside is I would find myself distracted by the pretty explosions and forget about playing the game. Yet another enemy would slip by me because I was sitting there thinking "Oh! Pretty colors!" Curse my easily distracted mind!

Look at the colors!

As far as the controls are concerned, they're simple and they work. Drag a tower from the bottom to place it. Click on it and click the upgrade button to upgrade it. They're incredibly easy to pick up and the game does offer some basic information to help you as you get started.

The gameplay is solid as well. I'm hardly a tower defense veteran and I found the levels to be challenging to the point where I don't breeze through, but not so hard I just get frustrated and depressed. This is good for those with anger management issues because the last thing that you want happening is to get upset at a tower defense game and you throw your Samsung Focus through a wall. It also helps draw out the game. It's broken up into 3 tiers (easy, medium, and hard) and each tier has about 10-15 levels.

The game also comes with Xbox Live achievements ranging in difficulty. The game also has leaderboards for each level so you can compare yourself against your friends. I would have liked to see a cumulative leaderboard that adds up all your scores on every level and compares that with your friends. I just feel like that would make for better competition among friends than speaking to individual levels only.

Now while it's a solid game, it's not without drawbacks. I have yet to figure out how exactly the vortex towers work. I know it has something to do with connecting to other towers and whatnot, but I'm a bit fuzzy on their purpose. It also seems to consume battery life at a fast rate. While that should be expected for all games on a mobile phone, it seems to happen at a rate a bit faster than other games I've been playing on the platform. But then time does fly when playing this game and I'm currently questioning the state of my hardware (more on that in a future post). I also get sick of saying that I'm sure when I tell it to restart a level. I know I'll lose my progress. I don't need to be told for the 100th time!

However, even despite these drawbacks, geoDefense is a perfect example of what a game on a mobile phone should be. It's easy to pick up, it's something that can be played while you're waiting for your oil to get changed, it's highly entertaining, and it's fun. If you're looking to expand your mobile game library, this is a good place to start.

The game costs $2.99 and is currently available for download from Zune. And like all Xbox Live games on Windows Phone 7, there's a free trial. I recommend this if you've never played a tower defense game and want to see if it's your cup of tea.

No comments:

Post a Comment