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Defender of the Crown Review

By , on August 18, 2011

Defender of the Crown
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Perfect port of a gaming classic.
  • Graphics and sound still hold up nicely.


  • The game can be brutal.
  • The mouse cursor and the touch screen don't always cooperate.


For those who remember Defender of the Crown from their youth, and those who are interested in taking a look at this early unique blend of strategy and action gaming, this is a worthwhile title to have on your iDevice.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Most gamers who discovered their love of the medium during the 80s probably remember Defender of the Crown. Released on the Amiga in 1986, what we have here on the iphone is a complete port of that title (and not a port of any of the many other ports the game had). After the assassination of the king, you return to England and find yourself amassing an army to occupy lands, reunite the country, and defend against Norman factions vying to take over.

So the game is turn-based and presents many options available to the player. You can take your earnings from your current holdings and buy more troops, you can send your army out to conquer other lands, you can raid castles for extra loot or hold a jousting tournament to claim fame and prizes. Your standing army is represented by a small man on a horse. You must travel him back to your castle to bolster your forces, and you can only invade neighboring areas. Combat itself is quick and a bit random, having the numbers of both sides forces count down arbitrarily. In any case, an all out offense is the best strategy in this particular game. Jousting, raiding, and sieging castles are all their separate games. Each is quite easy once you work out the trick, but working that out can be easier said than done, and these sections can be very frustrating because of it.

When Defender of the Crown was released, gamers had never seen computer graphics like it, and even today, the visuals are still quite impressive. It's a testament to what solid art direction can do for a game over the passage of time. While the midi player can be a little grating, the music is quite memorable and only accompanies certain sections as to not overstate its welcome.

It's very nice seeing a faithful port of such a classic onto the iPhone. The game itself is one of those old  games that is pretty difficult, until you figure out a couple game breaking strategies, and then it becomes a cakewalk. Seeing how the graphics and sound still hold up well, this is worth a purchase just for a slice of gaming history.


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