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Tower Defense games have been pervasive in the mobile gaming market, but despite their overexposure, developers always seem to come up with ways to make them interesting and fun. Age of Defenders from CUKETA is one such game. The game brings tower defense into the multiplayer space in unique new ways and it's drop dead gorgeous at the same time.
Like the real-time strategy games from which the tower defense genre was born, Age of Defenders makes competitive multiplayer the main staple of the game. Not only will do you build defensive structures and fortify your base, but you also build units to send into enemy territory as you try to take out your opponent’s base. It’s like Defense of The Ancients or League of Legends, but without the hero classes, focusing instead on units and towers. You can set your units basic course of action by releasing them from one of four gates, and you can also tweak their attack patterns however you like.
Aside from the main multiplayer focus, there are several single player practice missions; one tutorial mission and five normal ones. The first four of these normal missions are regular tower defense games, focusing on defense only. This is a solid tower defense game, and it mixes things up in several ways. For one thing, enemies will not only kamikaze your base, but also your towers, crippling your defenses. You always have a steady flow of resources, but like RTS games you can build structures in special areas to increase that amount, like your classic Vespene Gas geysers from StarCraft. These levels are pretty challenging, even on the easy difficulty. It’s a long while before you have access to repair towers and slow down towers, and it’s nearly impossible to keep anything alive in the early game unless you spend all your resources on massive tower clusters.
The multiplayer is fun, but unfortunately, the population of players is rather low. I was only able to get into one single match online, and couldn’t find one for this review. I don’t have enough experience with it to fully analyze it, but I can say that it all seems pretty excellent.
The graphics are top of the line, and the game is beautiful looking. The sound design and music are all great too. Of course, this is because it’s optimized and exclusive to tablet devices, which probably explains the low population. The developers are already promising updates and new maps, and hopefully that population will slowly grow as the game iterates and improves. You can get your hands on it for the low price of three dollars. While I really enjoyed it, and believe that most tower defense fans will also enjoy it, it’s hard to recommend it unless you have someone else with whom you can play online.