Dummy Defense Review
- Structural engineering physics fun.
- Elements such as colored stress on your designs are a welcome addition.
- Not much put into the presentation to accompany the interesting gameplay.
You've probably played a game like dummy defense before, where under resource restrictions, you have to build structures to withstand duress. With some variation on stress testing and protecting your dummy, and the restrictions tied to star ratings, Dummy Defense offers solid gameplay but is quite light on presentation and content.
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Back in the early 2000s there was a game called Bridge Builder, where you had to use a finite amount of resources to build a bridge like structure stable enough to support the train that would be crossing it. It was a fun and mentally taxing puzzle game, and the last twelve years or so have shown the concept revisited in various forms. Dummy Defense is the latest, but as the name suggests, this is about creating structures more to protect, rather than just support (though there is some of that as well).
Each level tasks you with protecting a dummy from destruction. There's usually a bolder or a bomb, but sometimes the dummy finds its way in front of giant hammers or in other perilous situations. You have an amount of money to work with to build a structure to protect the dummy from being hurt. The level is passed when the danger is mitigated, and a number of stars are awarded for how much money it took to protect the dummy (with the three star rating requiring a frugal attitude to accomplish).
The blueprint area of each stage is your canvas, and the structures are built piece by piece by your finger. A tap on the build button can change to erase mode, where tapping removes a line, or the eraser can be tapped to start from scratch. If you're having trouble with your structure, there are playback tools to pinpoint where the problem lays, as well as a stress mode, where color indicates areas that might require reinforcement.
Dummy Defense is a great take on the bridge builder concept and the scenarios presented in each level are clever and varied enough to keep a player's interest. It's just a shame that the presentation is so bare bones with simplistic visuals and the most minimal of sound effects. With that in mind, this is mostly for people who love the challenge and creativity of building structural defense in a puzzle-focused environment.