Dungeon Defense: Crypt Edition in Review – Tower Defense: The Undead Way

dungeondefense1Tower Defense has just gotten a very promising upgrade in the form of InMotion Software’s Dungeon Defense:Crypt Edition. This Tower Defense game has come out of seemingly nowhere. The graphically excellent game has a lot of TD fans excited with good reason but can it compete with the “big boys”  like Field Runners and the even newer ElementalMonster TD?

dungeondefense2Dungeon Defense really took me off guard, because when I recently read it was a Tower Defense game, I was expecting something along the lines of Field Runners, 7 Cities along with GeoDefense; with Tower placement and small animated creeps trying to invade your space. Surprisingly DD is not your average TD game at all. Instead of inanimate Towers or living things as protectors, Dungeon Defense has one simple objective, protect your Dungeon King with your army of the Undead…Skeletons.

The fierce brave and well animated, Skeleton Warriors consist of three levels (Upgrades):

  • Swordsmen (100 Gold) Special Ability-Backstab, Double Damage
  • Archers (300 Gold) Special Ability -Flaming Arrows with Splash Damage
  • Axe men (600 Gold) Special Ability –Name N/A but they do inflict great damage in short space of time

Let’s just say if I was in a war or a situation with people trying to beat me down, I would want to have these badasses on my side! The animation of the Skeletons makes some other TD’s look almost boring in contrast. Along with 3 levels of Skeletons, you also have 3 levels that enable you to:

  • Upgrade your Skeletons
  • Heal your army, I would say resurrect the Skeletons but they are already dead! What other TD game allows you to heal?? A very cool idea and well implemented as well!
  • Sell the Skeletons to get Gold

dungeondefense3Dungeon Defense only allows you to place your Skeletons on pre-marked X’s on the ground instead of freely placing them, which didn’t bother me that much although the game play would have been enhanced by it.

The foes that will stop at nothing to kill the Dungeon King are Knights, Rogue and Mage. They are crafty enemies indeed and have some awesome strength especially the Mages. They come in 25 waves and if you don’t be careful with your skeleton level placement and how you upgrade, you will find your King quickly defeated. What would the kingdom do without him, so use your strategy well! The King can also fight; he’s no wuss but his power is limited by himself.  Do not leave an Archer by himself; keep an Axman next to him that’s leveled up.

dungeondefense4The Menu options don’t allow for any customization of your controls unfortunately. When you click on Help, you will see a short helpful video that describes game play. Dungeon Defense thankfully has Difficulty settings Easy, Medium and Hard. I played on both Easy and Medium and game play seems pretty much balanced but if you don’t use your Gold wisely, your skeletons won’t be a match for the Mages.

Pinching allows you zoom in so you can really get a good look at the wonderful animation going on. Sometimes depending on what level you are at, there is quite the fierce battle going the map and it’s nice to be able to watch it closely or zoom out to get a wider perspective.

From the main screen, you can pause, speed up game play, check how much Gold you have to spend, what round you are on, how many Heroes (Enemies) you have left in the round and how much time till the next wave. You are not doing a whole lot with regards to moving the Skeletons since you only place them and they take the rest aside from you upgrading them. The Skeletons are pretty darn smart from what I observed of them. They don’t move in the same patterns repeatedly but rather move in different ones, which is refreshing for a TD game. The Skeletons A.I is quite different than other Tower Defense games such as Elemental Monster TD, where the towers (monsters) pretty much attack in the same manner no matter what creep they are attacking. Nice touch InMotion Software! ;)

dungeondefense5The graphics for Dungeon Defense are simply visual eye candy. The animation for the Skeleton’s death is great and the healing animation reminds me of RPG battles. The Mage’s attacks are in my opinion, one of the most visually beautiful animations in the game. Everything is very sharp, full of life (or death) and another nice touch is that the characters move even when they aren’t doing anything! The soundtrack is brooding, urgent and fits Dungeon Defense perfectly.

What I like about Dungeon Defense is that it is different and sets itself apart from the current flock of Tower Defense games that seem to be increasing by the week. This game is just FUN! The skeletons are also a heck of a lot more enjoyable to place and level than mere towers. Battling the assorted Knights, Rogues and Mages is a real pleasure to watch. The strategy involved gives players a real challenge. Please note there is a bug in the current version that allows you to get as much Gold as you want but I will leave the readers to find out how ;) This will be corrected in the next update I would imagine. It also has Auto Save which is a plus. DD only has one map unfortunately and only 3 enemies or creeps which sometimes makes it repetitive.

dungeondefense6If it had the variety of foes, lots of maps and deeper game play, this could be one of the best Tower Defense games in the App Store. Dungeon Defense is very promising indeed. The game does have serious potential to actually compete with the current very popular TD games including Field Runners. They have all the right things in place and now they only have to build on that. Despite some obvious shortcomings, there really is no reason for you to not pick up Dungeon Defense if you are a hardcore or even a beginner to TD games.

InMotion Software has been active in talking to the players in finding out how Dungeon Defense can evolve into an even better deeper game, so be on the lookout for the next update which includes some special surprises coming soon! This review will be updated as well to reflect the changes the update will bring.

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App Summary
Title:Dungeon Defense (v1.0)Developer:InMotion Software
Price:$2.99App Size:35.6 MB
  • Fun and very different alternative to other TD games
  • Excellent and Visually Beautiful Animation
  • Well balanced game in general that will keep you coming back for more
  • Only One Map leads to a feeling of repetition
  • Needs more variety of Foes
  • Can only place your Skeletons on pre-defined places on the map instead of giving you free placement.

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