Long time iOS gamers may recall a tower defense game called Star Defense that was released by ngmoco way back in the summer of 2009. This was at a time when ngmoco was like the Nintendo of mobile gaming, and every single game they released, from MazeFinger to Rolando to Dropship to Topple, was pretty much guaranteed to be a worthwhile experience. So Star Defense had a good amount of hype built up for it when it finally did arrive, and as such the reactions to it were incredibly divisive. Star Defense’s main hook was that it was a tower defense game that took place on fully 3D spherical and cubical planets, and you’d need to swipe to rotate them around in order to keep track of all your towers and approaching enemies. Some described it as a useless gimmick tacked on to an otherwise ordinary tower defense game, but some really enjoyed the additional challenge of trying to keep track of all the chaos across a 3D object as opposed to a flat overhead surface as in most TD games of the time. Personally we enjoyed Star Defense just fine in our own review and I have some fond memories of playing it back in the day.
Anyway, I can’t recall too many other tower defense games doing the 3D playfield thing that Star Defense did more than a decade ago, but it was the first game I thought of when an email came through my inbox for an upcoming tower defense game with similar hooks called Eri’s Forest. Here your waves of enemies are actually bugs that have been driven by an evil force to begin attacking the trees in their forest, and it’s your job as a forest guardian to stop them by summoning spiritual towers and using Eri’s own special lantern abilities. These battles take place on real trees that have been 3D scanned into the game, and like Star Defense you’ll need to swipe the screen to circle your view around the tree to keep tabs on all the action.
Remarkably, Eri’s Forest is the product of just two people who operate as Studio Qinoko out of Melbourne, Australia. The visuals and polish shown in the trailer above would have led me to believe this is something from a much larger studio. The plan right now is to release Eri’s Forest worldwide later this month on February 28th, but if you’re in Australia or New Zealand (or have App Store accounts in those regions) you can actually download and play the game right now as part of its soft launch using this link here. If you aren’t able to nab the soft launch version then you can pass the time by checking out more information on Eri’s Forest in our forums and sitting tight until the worldwide version arrives on the 28th.