278076_largerIt's standard tower defense every sense, from Com2uS, the guys behind the game actually titled Tower Defense [$0.99 / Free]. Defense Technica [$2.99 / Free] gives you a power core whose innards are particularly delicious looking to the alien hordes. They trample blindly toward it, ignoring your defenses until they find themselves without a route to their objective. You cobble together said defenses with the guts and gore, or a nameless resource, left by their corpses.

Variety exists on both sides. Enemies assume different shapes, sizes, and armor types, and towers gain different strengths against each. Flames incinerate tight groups of small biological units quite well, bladed stabber towers nicely puncture mechanical foes, et cetera. With a tap and selection from a radial menu, upgradeable towers plop down on preset squares, sometimes allowing you to redirect the mindless flow of targets to your advantage.

mzl.axdbbneq.480x480-75

In the event you can build yourself a maze, you've got the option of spending crystals to reveal the most effectively squiggely path. This persistent resource is slowly accumulated by completing stages, the sum awarded dependent upon your performance. Even if you score aces each time you play, however, you won't have enough crystals to fund best path revelation each mission. Should you decide to save up, there's a luck-based card system to drop your excess on.

These offer enduring bonuses such as reduced build costs, potentially having dramatic a dramatic effect on gameplay. Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against you and it'll take an age to earn enough crystals to get anywhere by normal means. Luckily, you can spend real cash to buy crystals! Hooray. It's possible to progress without dipping into the wallet, but I get the sensation the difficulty is tuned to make you want to. The urge to pay up lingers.

IAP woes aside, however, Defense Technica is still a well put together game in the respects that matter most. Turrets hit a nice chunky mechanical feel, machine guns sound rusty and rattly, and some of the enemy models look rather neat. It's a bit of a looker, albeit a generic one. Grinding enemies is satisfying, levels vary in construction, and strategy is malleable.

On the other hand, the story is utterly forgettable and could have been completely excised without much impact. Some subtle grammar and spelling issues rear their heads as well, but they kind of add to the Korean import charm.

You'll scratch your tower defense itch with this one, but likely won't remember it for long. It competently hits the right notes while never presenting anything new or interesting. There's little creativity, but there's effective design. In a genre so saturated as TD, however, it takes both to stand out.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • echo_pdx

    Difficulty tuned to IAP is the kiss of death for strategy games. What a shame. :(

    • somedumbgamer

      Thanks for the heads up and saving me some time!

    • Adams Immersive

      Tuned to IAP in a paid game, no less!

      I like the look but it seems to be inspired by Defense Grid.

      • eenymeeny

        Absolutely! My first thought on returning to Steam after a few months was "Oh, DG2 is like in alpha already?". And then I looked a little closer.

        Shame on them for IAP linking to game progress, and, as the reviewer notes, the story is what makes some games. I keep playing DG for that, actually, not just the great gameplay. The voice acting and the story is simply first-class all the way. It really draws you in, and *that* is what makes me want to pay for DLC for DG, not "power-ups".

  • VeganTnT

    Is anyone else surprised that they trademarked Tower Defense but didn't use it here?

  • jayjennings

    Com2uS won't see a dime of my money, ever. And it depresses me that you guys would review ANY game from them. Patent trolls and Com2uS - birds of a feather.

  • deathfisaro

    IAP is downright horrible, but you can grind crystals.
    Step 1: Beat stage 1 normal to unlock stage 1 hell
    Step 2: Beat stage 1 hell to unlock stage 1 endless (if having trouble, beat stage 4 normal to unlock ether and you can simply nuke hard waves
    Step 3: Play stage 1 endless repeatedly.

    On my first play I gained about 300 crystals from unlocking tons of achievements and 45 crystals for reaching wave 85.
    On my second play, I built ridiculous towers (anti-air and stuff) and wasted lives, so I only got to wave 78? and still got 42 crystals.

    Stage 1-3 is easy to get 3 stars without cards. Stage 4 is a little tricky (99% core hp is still 2 stars), so I wanted to get some crystals by beating hell difficulties and in the process found out endless gives out crystals.
    It takes about 6 minutes of active playing to fill all slots with max level towers and after that you just mute your device and walk away until it ends. About 4 more minutes to wave 55, 3 minutes after that to wave 75, and should die in the next minute or two.
    45 crystals per 15 minutes = 180 per hour. Bleh. But beating scenario mode will never net you this much crystals in the same time (and they require active playing throughout).

Defense Technica Lite Reviewed by Kris Goorhuis on . Rating: 3.5