shot91The tower defense genre has arguably seen a good deal of growth and evolution with many significant new releases this year. Defender Chronicles: Legend of the Desert King [$2.99] is one of the latest, and delivers a solid fixed-path TD game with RPG elements offering gamers a new twist. Whether or not you’re into the fantasy medieval theme, the gameplay itself provides enough challenge and depth that you may want to check it out.

Defender Chronicles is one of the more visually beautiful games you will see. From the 5 beautifully drawn maps to the equally detailed defenders and enemies, the details and effort from the developer is obvious so you won’t be short on eye candy. One unique aspect is the 2D side view in which the game is played. Think of it an elaborate staircase viewed from the side.

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The 2D view itself provides a different dimension to the genre. The game definitely involves quick thinking and understanding the enemy because the attack waves can be intense and rapid. In many cases, you will want to think through where specific defenders are placed based on the type of enemy which will attack by land and air. Also, plan ahead because when as a defender is upgraded, he is also temporarily unavailable. And if your defender is overrun, he won’t appear at his post for a period of time which obviously can be bad.

With an epic soundtrack conveying the medieval theme, each quest is briefly introduced with voiceovers and text which is well presented and shows the polish of the game. The text may be difficult to read for some, but the accented voiceovers help that a bit. The voiceovers can be overdone (you can turn them off), and even as you upgrade or rejuvenate defenders, accompanying voiceovers will shout battle cries.

shot8The objective is to defend the General Headquarters by destroying enemies which in turn earn gold. The gold can then be used to upgrade defenders, and in the case of Defender Chronicles, victories that can be applied to RPG elements. An optional tutorial is presented in the first quest, but to a certain degree I wish an overview of the different enemies and bosses were also included for reference.

As the Hero, you command 6 types of defenders—warrior, archer, berserker, ranger, halfling, and mage—each with its own unique abilities and upgradeables. Your defenders will battle a variety of enemies from Gnoll Captains, Orc Chieftains, and Queen Goblins to the fearsome Wyrm Rider Duo, Awe Inspiring Giant Golems and Meat Chomping Slimeballs.

The RPG elements add to the overall gameplay and the replayability. The Hero can be upgraded in terms of skills, powers and defenses. This comes of in the form of skill points and stars earned. Depending on the level of difficulty and the success you have, you earn stars and points that can be used to upgrade your hero and unlock new quests, artifacts, and features. You will find yourself playing levels over just to earn more items to take into the subsequent battles.

shot2

The game offers 5 standard maps/levels—Great Sands, CloudPass, Marshwood, Breewich, Silver Keep— which represent battles against the evil Orc Hordes and the rising Undead, and can be played in any of 4 difficulty settings: casual, veteran, master, heroic. In addition, there are 5 game modes – campaign, freestyle, extended, classic and classic extended. A coming 1.2 update will add an additional map with more planned on the way.

You earn stars as you progress which opens the door to two additional resources — the Trade Shop and Great Library. With Trade Shop, items such as armor, swords, magical rings, and other equipment can be acquired to upgrade your hero. You can also spend stars in the Great Library, which unlocks 8 secrets including an extra map, music and two additional defenders. Note that a few users seem to have had issues with crashing but a submitted 1.1 update is said to have corrected this issue. Apart from this, the game has been very well received in our forums.

Defender Chronicles is a fixed path TD with specific build spots for placing defenses. Fixed path vs. non-fixed path comes down to preference for many, but frankly, each offers enough differences in gameplay that I think you shortchange yourself by focusing on one over the other. Defender Chronicles combines a solid TD game with RPG elements all wrapped up in a polished presentation. While the tutorial could use additional work to explain certain elements, the game itself presents enough variety in terms of upgrades, unlockables and replayability that make Defender Chronicles a standout in the genre.

Game Details
Name: Defender Chronicles (v1.0) Price: $2.99 [Buy]
Developer: Gimka Entertainment, Inc. / Chillingo Size: 40.9 MB
Device: Tested on iPhone 3G
Defender Chronicles combines a solid tower defense game with RPG elements all wrapped up in a polished presentation. While the tutorial could use additional work to explain certain elements, the game itself presents enough variety in terms of upgrades, unlockables and replayability that make this game a standout in the genre.

Chillingo and a dozen other companies are presently sponsors of this site, but that does not affect our choice of coverage or influence our reviews.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Grant

    finally this game makes it to the front page!
    if you dont have it
    BUY IT you will not regret it

  • Grant

    finally this game makes it to the front page!
    if you dont have it
    BUY IT you will not regret it

  • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic

    *agree*

    this game is probably the best TD on the device at the moment for the fixed-path variety. crystal defenders is also pretty good and elemental TD is great, but I really like this one's rpg elements.

    get it now :)

  • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic

    *agree*

    this game is probably the best TD on the device at the moment for the fixed-path variety. crystal defenders is also pretty good and elemental TD is great, but I really like this one's rpg elements.

    get it now :)

  • ASFx

    This game is highly addicting. I've already played it much more than any other iphone game so far.

  • ASFx

    This game is highly addicting. I've already played it much more than any other iphone game so far.

  • Dirk

    I love how when a new TD comes out everyone says that it is the best TD out there and you must buy it

  • Adams Immersive

    Another thumbs-up from me.

    I like how the monsters mill around before attacking.

  • Dirk

    I love how when a new TD comes out everyone says that it is the best TD out there and you must buy it

  • Adams Immersive

    Another thumbs-up from me.

    I like how the monsters mill around before attacking.

  • Alichan76

    Got this straight after SD. Love both for their novel visual approaches to the TD genre. Looking forward to the promised new voices in CD which will make this game really shine.

  • Alichan76

    Got this straight after SD. Love both for their novel visual approaches to the TD genre. Looking forward to the promised new voices in CD which will make this game really shine.

  • http://www.defenderchronicles.com Gimka

    Thanks everyone. Update 1.1 will also feature Novice difficulty, which will be much easier than Casual. So, if you have trouble finishing a map before, please give it another try once 1.1 is alive.

  • http://www.defenderchronicles.com Gimka

    Thanks everyone. Update 1.1 will also feature Novice difficulty, which will be much easier than Casual. So, if you have trouble finishing a map before, please give it another try once 1.1 is alive.

  • http://www.mobstarentertainment.com mek

    This game is amazing...ive been playing it nonstop...just the campaign mode, i haven't even ventured over to the free play and extended modes...

    the rpg aspects are a nice twist to the genre...going back with upgraded skills on maps that initially kicked my butt...it feels good

  • http://www.mobstarentertainment.com mek

    This game is amazing...ive been playing it nonstop...just the campaign mode, i haven't even ventured over to the free play and extended modes...

    the rpg aspects are a nice twist to the genre...going back with upgraded skills on maps that initially kicked my butt...it feels good

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    I think it's a pretty solid game, I've been having a good time with it.

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    I think it's a pretty solid game, I've been having a good time with it.

  • reinhart_menken

    Caught a cheater! 2xxx gold?! :p Ah prolly an insider testing function.

  • reinhart_menken

    Caught a cheater! 2xxx gold?! :p Ah prolly an insider testing function.

  • Sickboy

    ANOTHER TD game..... *sigh*

  • Sickboy

    ANOTHER TD game..... *sigh*

  • mactds

    Big Albie's first official review on TA. not citing one our forum members, but actually just posted. Congrats, keep up the good work, you may go into too much detail as I usually just skim and read the conclusion, sometimes the same with Eli. Remember we just want to know the final decision, we're reading on the internet, and will find the details out if we pick up the game. Again congrats, and I want to eventually be reviewing for TA.

    • Alichan76

      I'm sure big A has written at least one other review for the front page. Can't remember which...

    • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic

      I really like the long(er) reviews.. I'm much more picky about details than an overall 5 star rank.

      • mactds

        I don't care about a 5 star rank, it's about the conclusion paragraph, because I want to know how the whole game fits together as a game, and if it's worth it. I like to know about iPhone controls and the save system, plus the obvious of visuals and sounds, but I don't ever think gameplay should be gone into detail, that should be brief. I liked the review, but i think it can be condensed in places, thats all.

      • Ahiru

        well, wait until you beat a level in heroic without losing lives/selling towers, you get a flashy star (as if it were six)

    • Dark NRG

      Huh, I "assumed" it was Arn, and just noticed it was Albie! Always like Albie in the forums;)

  • mactds

    Big Albie's first official review on TA. not citing one our forum members, but actually just posted. Congrats, keep up the good work, you may go into too much detail as I usually just skim and read the conclusion, sometimes the same with Eli. Remember we just want to know the final decision, we're reading on the internet, and will find the details out if we pick up the game. Again congrats, and I want to eventually be reviewing for TA.

    • Alichan76

      I'm sure big A has written at least one other review for the front page. Can't remember which...

    • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic

      I really like the long(er) reviews.. I'm much more picky about details than an overall 5 star rank.

      • mactds

        I don't care about a 5 star rank, it's about the conclusion paragraph, because I want to know how the whole game fits together as a game, and if it's worth it. I like to know about iPhone controls and the save system, plus the obvious of visuals and sounds, but I don't ever think gameplay should be gone into detail, that should be brief. I liked the review, but i think it can be condensed in places, thats all.

      • Ahiru

        well, wait until you beat a level in heroic without losing lives/selling towers, you get a flashy star (as if it were six)

    • Dark NRG

      Huh, I "assumed" it was Arn, and just noticed it was Albie! Always like Albie in the forums;)

  • Dark NRG

    I was critical of SD and its review on TA. I appreciate this review, a game I enjoy, tho not my all time fav, for the reasons Albie pointed out (I think I may like non-path TDs more, something of which I see less and less, or am I imagining things?)

    This game has a great theme and is fun, but again as pointed out in the review, a lot of guess work for what is going on. Thanks for explaining about my guys dissapeaing when "overwhelmed", tho I'd love to see hp stats Gimko. I'm a veteran TD player and am having an embarrasingly difficult time beating the third map on "Casual". I'm glad to hear a NOVICE level is in v1.1, but dam i must suddenly suck ;p I feel I could just my tactics better if I knew all the strengths/hp and regeneration values of the enemies and my defenders as you see in TD games all the way back to Fieldrunners. Finally, I've had no voice problems on iTouch g1.2.

  • Dark NRG

    I was critical of SD and its review on TA. I appreciate this review, a game I enjoy, tho not my all time fav, for the reasons Albie pointed out (I think I may like non-path TDs more, something of which I see less and less, or am I imagining things?)

    This game has a great theme and is fun, but again as pointed out in the review, a lot of guess work for what is going on. Thanks for explaining about my guys dissapeaing when "overwhelmed", tho I'd love to see hp stats Gimko. I'm a veteran TD player and am having an embarrasingly difficult time beating the third map on "Casual". I'm glad to hear a NOVICE level is in v1.1, but dam i must suddenly suck ;p I feel I could just my tactics better if I knew all the strengths/hp and regeneration values of the enemies and my defenders as you see in TD games all the way back to Fieldrunners. Finally, I've had no voice problems on iTouch g1.2.

  • palapalooza

    Got the game today based on the review, been playing it ever since. I'd still be playing it if my Touch battery didn't drain ;-)

    I'd like to see more info, like what does moral do? What do all of the other stats do? Is there a "reset points" options if you want to try a different combination of stats? A glossary or something similar would be nice, preferably with images of the various critters and their stats, so I know what their strengths and weaknesses are.

    Now I've got a quarter recharge on my Touch, should be good enough for a few more games. Bye.

    • Dark NRG

      Yeah, I agree with you. I hope Gimka (sorry misspelled earlier;) updates some info in the help section or maybe a page on the screen for reference of different units, so I can plan (and win).

      Thanks to TouchArcade and Arn as well. I was a bit dissapointed in past posts, and now feel I can enjoy TA as I have for months, having my concerns addressed.

    • Ahiru

      click and hold over a stat, it will show what they do

      • Dark NRG

        not sure what you mean by "click", it's not a Storm LOL
        Ok, I'll try that, thanks pal!

  • palapalooza

    Got the game today based on the review, been playing it ever since. I'd still be playing it if my Touch battery didn't drain ;-)

    I'd like to see more info, like what does moral do? What do all of the other stats do? Is there a "reset points" options if you want to try a different combination of stats? A glossary or something similar would be nice, preferably with images of the various critters and their stats, so I know what their strengths and weaknesses are.

    Now I've got a quarter recharge on my Touch, should be good enough for a few more games. Bye.

    • Dark NRG

      Yeah, I agree with you. I hope Gimka (sorry misspelled earlier;) updates some info in the help section or maybe a page on the screen for reference of different units, so I can plan (and win).

      Thanks to TouchArcade and Arn as well. I was a bit dissapointed in past posts, and now feel I can enjoy TA as I have for months, having my concerns addressed.

    • Ahiru

      click and hold over a stat, it will show what they do

      • Dark NRG

        not sure what you mean by "click", it's not a Storm LOL
        Ok, I'll try that, thanks pal!

  • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic

    @Dark NRG:

    Archers->Rangers level 3

    • Dark NRG

      @psionic Thanks, but yeah I have no prob with that. I have tons of lv 2/3 Rangers. I was stuck on wave 36, just got to wave 40 first time on map 3.

      @Gimka Thats another think I'd like added: How many waves in each level/map??
      I'd love to know how frickin much more I have to go to finish map 3 at wave 40!
      Tnx!

  • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic

    @Dark NRG:

    Archers->Rangers level 3

    • Dark NRG

      @psionic Thanks, but yeah I have no prob with that. I have tons of lv 2/3 Rangers. I was stuck on wave 36, just got to wave 40 first time on map 3.

      @Gimka Thats another think I'd like added: How many waves in each level/map??
      I'd love to know how frickin much more I have to go to finish map 3 at wave 40!
      Tnx!

  • Ahiru

    wow this is awesome!!!

    can't stop playing until i grab the "special" star in all levels (got only one so far o_O) and 5~4 on the other ones i've unlocked... gonna play a bit more!

  • Ahiru

    wow this is awesome!!!

    can't stop playing until i grab the "special" star in all levels (got only one so far o_O) and 5~4 on the other ones i've unlocked... gonna play a bit more!

  • Mewko

    Highly addicting! I must say I'm surprised by the style of this game! First RPG-TD ever and is the best! :D

  • Mewko

    Highly addicting! I must say I'm surprised by the style of this game! First RPG-TD ever and is the best! :D

  • http://www.verabathory.com Nikola Bathory

    I enjoyed the review, I don't think it's too long.
    As for the game - looks cool, I might buy it.

  • http://www.verabathory.com Nikola Bathory

    I enjoyed the review, I don\'t think it\'s too long.
    As for the game - looks cool, I might buy it.

  • http://www.tbenjaminlarsen.com T. Benjamin Larsen

    I love this game but am a bit curious why "everyone" is raving about the graphics. The stills and backgrounds are really well done, but the characters certainly aren't the best I've seen and could do with some improvements. (The archer animation being the prime example).

    Just to clarify: I think it looks good, but definitely not brilliant...

    • MTFox

      Thanks for this, I thought I might have gone mad...

      It's a neat game, though neither graphics nor gameplay come close to either Tower Madness or Star Defense. I guess ultimately it's a question of taste, but the archers don't even shoot arrows - they throw them! And no indication of how many waves? Feels unfinished to me. I don't regret buying it, I'm sure updates will come, but from now on I will very much doubt this site's rave reviews...

      • Dark NRG

        Again as before, I agree with Albie's review, and think he address some of these issues in a round about way. I agree about the graphics, but SD is the same way: pretty from afar, but up close is like 16bit (yeh im exagerating). I mean, look at Geo Defense, beautiful, balanced sorta, and a keeper. I also agree about the archers, but think its more of a "fountain" effect than throwing =]
        Last word besides cleaning up things like level and other stat info: This game is a def buy at 3 smackers!!! Look forward to updates, hopefully not as long to wait as the first Fieldrunner update, remember that one?

      • Dark NRG

        I JUST FIGURED OUT that I can adjust my character traits! I mean, at level 3 didn't realize I had some points to increase Archers Leadership (or whatever). Finally beat level 3. I'm an idiot=keep in mind this is RPG+TD!!!!! ;p

  • http://www.tbenjaminlarsen.com T. Benjamin Larsen

    I love this game but am a bit curious why "everyone" is raving about the graphics. The stills and backgrounds are really well done, but the characters certainly aren't the best I've seen and could do with some improvements. (The archer animation being the prime example).

    Just to clarify: I think it looks good, but definitely not brilliant...

    • MTFox

      Thanks for this, I thought I might have gone mad...

      It's a neat game, though neither graphics nor gameplay come close to either Tower Madness or Star Defense. I guess ultimately it's a question of taste, but the archers don't even shoot arrows - they throw them! And no indication of how many waves? Feels unfinished to me. I don't regret buying it, I'm sure updates will come, but from now on I will very much doubt this site's rave reviews...

      • Dark NRG

        Again as before, I agree with Albie's review, and think he address some of these issues in a round about way. I agree about the graphics, but SD is the same way: pretty from afar, but up close is like 16bit (yeh im exagerating). I mean, look at Geo Defense, beautiful, balanced sorta, and a keeper. I also agree about the archers, but think its more of a "fountain" effect than throwing =]
        Last word besides cleaning up things like level and other stat info: This game is a def buy at 3 smackers!!! Look forward to updates, hopefully not as long to wait as the first Fieldrunner update, remember that one?

      • Dark NRG

        I JUST FIGURED OUT that I can adjust my character traits! I mean, at level 3 didn't realize I had some points to increase Archers Leadership (or whatever). Finally beat level 3. I'm an idiot=keep in mind this is RPG+TD!!!!! ;p

  • Alan Wildd

    Great Game, HORRIBLE VOICE acting, makes me cringe every time, had to replace the .wavs with speech from Warcraft III, now, much better, Oh god next update please change the voices, in game, and the annoying Advisor. If the voices were not so bad, game would be a 10 out of 10, butI give it a 5/10 for annoyance

    • http://www.tbenjaminlarsen.com T. Benjamin Larsen

      Ha ha, I actually find the voice-overs to be a killer-feature. They're so bad they're actually good. :D

    • Big Albie

      You know you can turn off the voiceovers in the game.

  • Alan Wildd

    Great Game, HORRIBLE VOICE acting, makes me cringe every time, had to replace the .wavs with speech from Warcraft III, now, much better, Oh god next update please change the voices, in game, and the annoying Advisor. If the voices were not so bad, game would be a 10 out of 10, butI give it a 5/10 for annoyance

    • http://www.tbenjaminlarsen.com T. Benjamin Larsen

      Ha ha, I actually find the voice-overs to be a killer-feature. They're so bad they're actually good. :D

    • Big Albie

      You know you can turn off the voiceovers in the game.

  • nbast

    I managed to buy a hat that give my archers poison ability. It makes the game MUCH easier. I set up a choke point or two with a mage/warrior combo, then fill the rest of the screen with my death archers. I wish they would keep the poison ability after being upgraded to rangers.

    I've beaten the first two levels on heroic without a loss, normal heroic on the third, and have at least veteran on all the others. I have my general's archer skill up to 20. I was expecting the piercing ability to go up to 5%, but it stayed at 4%.

  • nbast

    I managed to buy a hat that give my archers poison ability. It makes the game MUCH easier. I set up a choke point or two with a mage/warrior combo, then fill the rest of the screen with my death archers. I wish they would keep the poison ability after being upgraded to rangers.

    I've beaten the first two levels on heroic without a loss, normal heroic on the third, and have at least veteran on all the others. I have my general's archer skill up to 20. I was expecting the piercing ability to go up to 5%, but it stayed at 4%.

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