Saving Moo [$0.99 / HD], one of several recent offerings from ClickGamer, is the latest addition to the elusive genre of Cow Defense. If rescuing our four-legged brethren suits your fancy (or if you’re a fan of certain classic tower defense games), then Saving Moo’s weird story and presentation, combined with solid tower defense gameplay elements, should work for you.
Saving Moo puts you in the role of a farmer that acquired psychic powers after an alien abduction. In order to prevent future abductions, you must use the farmer’s newfound powers to telekinetically place weapons on your cows to ward off the impending UFO invasion. Even though the story is mainly told through a short introductory cutscene, I still found it hilarious and absolutely befitting for the sort of offbeat attitude that Saving Moo offers.
The quirkiness in Saving Moo also extends beyond its story. The art style has a dark cartoonish vibe that looks great on both the iPhone and iPad (separate versions are available for each platform). Also, I really enjoyed the writing, although that may simply be because I’m a sucker for puns (trust me, there’s a lot of them in this game). One minor criticism is the lack of variety in regards to the level environments, but it’s understandable considering there aren’t too many places for cows to graze in the first place.
Even though there aren’t a lot of basic tower defense elements, Saving Moo plays very similar to one in some respects. Each level starts out with several cows that graze and produce “Moo Sacks” that are collected by being tapped on. Once you collect enough Moo Sacks, you then cash them in for weapons that you attach to the cows. You can also spend Moo Sacks to bring more cows onto the pasture, which let you place more weapons onto the field (and also generate Moo Sacks faster).
Complicating the matter is the fact that there are three different types of bovines, and only certain weapons work with certain cows. Of course, the best weapons require the most expensive cows on the pasture, so you’ll have to decide if saving those extra Moo Sacks for different cows outweighs the benefits of having more weapons out on the field faster.
Alien UFOs come in waves, and the goal is to use your weaponized cows to destroy each invader before they successfully abduct your cows (the game ends if you lose all your cows). Successfully hold off the aliens, and you’re rewarded with a new weapon for the next round.
If some of these elements sound familiar that’s because Saving Moo closely mirrors Plants vs Zombies in a few ways. Everything from the Moo Sacks to the Weapon Selections to even the “Moo-pedia” has that familiar vibe to them. However, one thing Saving Moo does not emulate from Plants is the lax difficulty. Once you get past the first two ‘days’ of levels, Saving Moo becomes much tougher, and your weapon choices and timing become that much more important.
While Saving Moo’s core gameplay certainly borrows some of its elements from previous successful titles, its light hearted foundation and overall wacky presentation puts it above the rest of the pack. Also, the wide variety of weapons, coupled with its progressive difficulty means that folks looking for a challenge will certainly be satisfied. This is a game that combines successful elements from previous games with its own style and succeeds in pulling it off. Simply put, if you’re looking for a pseudo tower defense game with an eccentric approach, I highly recommend Saving Moo.