ARDefender Review

By , on October 15, 2010

Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Clever and effective use of AR.
  • Basic tower defense gameplay.
  • Free-moving rotation around your tower.


  • Limited enemies and gameplay; bland to play outside of the AR feature.


ARDefender is an App Store hit waiting to happen, but other than the joy of playing around with the AR features there's little else to enjoy about the vanilla tower defense gameplay.

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Alternate Reality (AR) titles usually aren't easy for us to review thanks to our video setup, but an exception had to be made for ARDefender by int13 as it just looked too good to be true. While some expectations weren't met, the first time I loaded up the game and witnessed the AR features my jaw simply dropped.

However a little setup is required first and you'll need to print out or otherwise use a display showing a distinct pattern that the game can recognize. Once the game recognizes this pattern it will overlay your tower and the game's enemies over the video feed coming from your iDevice's camera almost flawlessly. Players can then tap to set a crosshair for one of three available weapons, holding a 'shoot' button in the corner to unleash destruction on the tiny assailants as they wander up to your tower. The game itself is simple, if not entirely easy to manage, but players can literally walk around their towers to aim at the units and the game-world will shift with them smoothly to create a disturbingly realistic virtual experience that's hard to compare.

In order to keep the visuals snappy and responsive to your camera movements the resolution of the video is reduced, though this just adds a cartoonish look to the world as opposed to ruining it entirely. While the visuals and 'feel' of the game are near flawless, the gameplay itself is severely lacking and with only three weapons and a handful of enemies to destroy it's ultimately more of a neat tech-demo than a lasting game. 

ARDefender may feel more like a toy than a true game, but as toys go it's a fun one to play with and share with your friends and hopefully in time this title will blossom in to something fantastic.


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