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Defender Chronicles II: Heroes of Athelia Review

By , on May 28, 2012


Defender Chronicles II: Heroes of Athelia
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • With game modes, difficulties, multiple heroes, and items to outfit them with, there's a breadth of content to keep fans playing for quite a while.
  • Fast-forward button is a god-send.

CONS

  • Despite some challenge at the beginning of a level, once you get your strategy set up, it's time to hit fast-forward and watch the game play itself for the next 5 – 10 minutes.

VERDICT

Tower defense fans and those who liked the first game should find more than enough content to keep themselves busy. While the first game stood out however, this sequel suffers from some of the design pitfalls we've seen in the TD genre.


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The first Defender Chronicles was rated quite highly by us here at AppSpy, and with good reason. When Tower Defense games were all the rage on the iPhone, it approached the genre with its own spin on things, which included vertical combat, designated build areas, upgradable heroes, and a whole host of additional game modes. This meant fans had enough content to keep them happy for a very long time. Years later now, the sequel is upon us. With a fresh coat of paint and more hero customization, does Defender Chronicles 2 stand out from its predecessor, or is this sequel too little too late?

Basically the tower defense portion of the game is the same. Enemies start at either the top or the bottom of a cliff face with alternate pathways up or down. If they reach the opposite end of where they start, a defense point will be removed, and the level is over when either you've defended against all waves or you've let enough pass to fail the level. Afterwards you're greeted to a comic book presentation to further the story (which unlike the text and speech before the levels is actually intriguing enough to want to follow along with). You also gain a spoil of war which can be equipped to make your hero more powerful, and if you earned enough experience for a level up, your hero's stats can be improved. This leads to a lot of potential for creating a unique character with unique gear, but acquiring new heroes or gear will either require a lot of grinding or spending some money on In-App Purchases.

Each level follows the same formula. The opening is chaotic as you search for whether the enemies are coming from top or bottom, which causes you to rush to create adequate defenses as they march upon you. Once you've held off the forward party however the game's challenge drastically plummets. As long as you've set up correctly, and are smart with upgrading your towers (for example, always have two of the same tower next to each other so you can upgrade one and still defend that area while the upgrade is happening), the game slowly becomes boring. There are definitely too many waves per level, and even hitting the fast-forward button won't alleviate this problem with the design. Things are less problematic on the higher difficulties, but these need to be unlocked by playing the level first under these conditions.

With all the difficulty and game mode choices, it's a shame that the actual game is little changed from three years ago. Back then, the long waves could be ignored based on the other things Defender Chronicles brought to the table. Today however, it seems that only hardcore Tower Defense fans are going to enjoy what this sequel has to offer.

Screenshots

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