Reviews

Lumbarjack – Defense Technica

Defense Technica follows the golden rule that all Tower Defence games must have either the word ‘defence’ or ‘tower’ in the title, and it’s published by Devolver Digital who have demonstrated impeccable taste in the past.

But can Defense Technica stand up against the wave upon wave of other TD titles?

Despite my better judgement I enjoy tower defence games. They’re an efficient way of killing time, but with a backlog that would leave teenage-Corey salivating, I really shouldn’t invest in such obvious examples of chronocide.

For my money, the best example of the genre is Defense Grid: The Awakening, and whilst I’ve spent many hours with that genre stapled, I have to assume that no one at publisher Devolver Digital has done the same…

‘Clone’ might seem like a harsh word to throw around, especially when discussing a genre that has rather rigid conventions, but it isn’t the gameplay of Defense Technica that reeks of DG:TA imitation but rather the visual style and indeed some of the enemy designs.

Without homage and imitation we arguably wouldn’t have many fantastic games, but where Defense Technica appears happy to imitate DG:TA, it fails to improve on it in any way. Despite the manufactured marketing hype, it simply isn’t ‘the next evolution of hardcore blahblahblah’, what it is, is DG:TA cloned wholesale for Android. If you exclusively have access to an Android device for gaming, Defense Technica might be the best Tower Defence game out there, but on PC it pales in comparison to Grandaddy Grid.

Most notable is the absence of a rewind function, which established DG:TA as the first (perhaps still the only) Tower Defence game that respects the gamer’s time… Though maybe it’s in the Android version as an IAP. On top of that, the possible build locations are more restricted on the whole, leaving less room for strategy, and tower upgrades need to be bought between missions using medals you earn based on your performance – a device that you must assume is tied to IAPs in the Android build.

In terms of positive changes to the DG:TA formula, there is the addition of a melee tower which is basically a sword-armed mech without legs, and boss enemies on some levels, but these certainly aren’t new to Tower Defence on the whole, and they don’t even begin to address the game’s shortfalls.

If you’ve been tempted to buy Defense Technica on Steam, the only reason to do so is because you’ve played Defense Grid: The Awakening to death and simply need something similar, but slightly different (and certainly worse); otherwise buy Defense Grid instead.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a Tower Defence game for your Android tablet, perhaps Defense Technica is the best one out there… at least until Hidden Path ports DG:TA.

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