LEDs Defender: Written iPhone App Review
The fine art of designing an excellent tower defense is surely a difficult one. Not only do developers have to deal with a fairly restrictive game genre, they must also (and perhaps most importantly) convince players to try out yet another game in the incredibly crowded genre. Here at the iPhone App Review, we see a lot of tower defense games. We’ve seen some pretty interesting takes on this defense genre and some pretty bad, stale concepts as well. With that said, let me assure you that the just-released app, LEDs Defender from indie French developer My Pixel Is Alive, is not your typical tower defense game.
Game play LEDs Defense takes the tower defense genre and throws in a hacking mechanism to defeat oncoming enemies. That’s not your only defense for your LED base, but it’s one of the primary tools at your disposal. The hacking is a basic mini-game, similar to Go-Fish, requiring players to watch a set of coded LED colors being used. Then, players must tap the same sequence to destroy the oncoming LED bot. Patterns get tougher as the levels progress, with new and different enemies appearing on the scene.
Loading up LEDs Defense for the first time allows you to go through the intro tutorial. There, you’ll be taken through the first level or so, allowing you to ease into this rather unique tower defense game. There are quite a few special attacks, options and base defense techniques to master. The levels aren’t too hard to figure out from the start, but you will definitely need to at least glance through the built-in help guide, with illustrated examples, from time to time. It’s easy to neglect some of the more advanced base defense options in the beginning, with hacking being the primary and easiest defense. However, as you get to higher levels, you’ll need to address the other game play weapons at your disposal if you hope to survive the enemy LED onslaught.
It’s also worth noting the amazing sound track in LEDs Defense. The developers went for a very cool, chiptech and retro beat selection. It’s a catchy set of tunes and really sets the pace for this reasonably fast-paced tower defense game.
Castles, zombies and spaceships? Forget that. LEDs Defender went for a surprinsgly minimalist approach to the graphic design of this tower defense game. True to its name, the entire game consist of sharp LED units, both attacking and defending, in various colors and themes. The actual game menu layout and overall app design consistently features the LED concept over and over. It may sound odd on paper, but the actual app looks great! Animations for hacking, attacking, and, of course, blowing bad guys up look great, smooth and fluid even on older iOS devices. My only gripe with the overall layout is some of the LED buttons aren’t exactly intuitive at first glance. I did stumble around the menu a bit in the beginning; fortunately there aren’t too many options at startup and it’s not too difficult to figure out after a few taps. The intro tutorial, plus the in-game help guide is also very useful for helping keep track of the array of enemy and friendly units, attacks, specials and more.
I have to hand it to My Pixel is Alive-they’ve created a really unique and still fun tower defense game app in an overcrowded genre. It’s always great to see a small indie developer produce a real hit and I hope the company behind LEDs Defender will do quite well with this fun hacking defense game. Bottom line? If you are looking for a free, fresh twist on the tower defense genre with a cool minimalist graphic design approach, LEDs Defender is the app for you. Still need convincing? Hit up the excellent YouTube trailer for LEDs Defense, or just get the app and see just how impressive this indie tower defense app is.
LEDs Defender iPhone app requires iOS 4.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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