Now that the App Store is running amuck more than ever with defence titles ranging from TD to space and now to Castle Defence games, hearty finger fighters should have many reasons to stay happily violent. Archmage Defense is a stunning game that shows how well the better part of a dollar can be well spent.
CDE, who specialise in pixel-perfect vector cartoon renditions pulled out all the stops in Archmage. It is simply beautiful. From smoothly marching enemies to brilliant lightning flashes, all the stops have been pulled in order to create one of the best looking vector games on the small screen. Colours are pristine and sharp, dying motions are favourably grotesque and the overall humorously grotesque theme is perfectly rendered.
You are basically a skeleton defending a castle which is no more than a gate that is crowned by a giant skull. Your job is to kill the knights, battering rams, archers and berserkers who remove you. To fire lightning, drag outward from the giant skull and queue up a few baddies. Any that you can link in the same shot become bonus points when killed for good point gains. You can also rain fire down by circling a target area on the battlefield and by double-tapping an enemy, you freeze them in their tracks. When licked by the flames, enemies will stutter, slow down and spread fire to their closest of allies. Their deaths are a feast for the eyes and for the those who prefer a morbid humour. Heads pop off and the torsos rip open in a splatter of blood before the legs, left standing for a fraction of a second, fall down with their bowels hanging out.
While not the most family friendly of games, the graphics, timing and death-throws are cute enough to warrant a laugh, but not the evil type. That, is reserved for the Archmage who relishes every soul that is sucked to his castle. Counters multiply the score astronomically so that as levels progress and more and more enemies storm your gates, somehow, Archmage becomes simpler to beat. When you do finally die, you can add your score to both the local server (your iDevice) and to network rankings across the globe. That is, if you don’t have my horrendous internet.
There is not too much depth of gameplay in Archmage. Striking at enemies using various weapons and upgrades is the singular theme, however it is direly fun. Would it be better if you could Pocket God them into the sky or feed them to a dragon? That has yet to be seen, however, it would be great for current customers to get a bit more out of such a sleeper hit.
What is wrong with this game? There isn’t really any music and the only sound effects are your spells and the cackling laugh of the Archmage. Fortunately, the easily depressed can put on their Coldplay from their iPod library. It might be better to trust to iTunes anyway as any company who make the same evil mage cackle in the same old silly voice might not have the best idea of how game music should be created.
Overall, Archmage is a stable, addicting game that is well worth its 99 cents. The iTunes play is a plus, but even without it, such solid yet mature gameplay is welcome to this cheap niche in the App Store. Thank you CDE, Archmage gets ‘Grabbed‘ by TouchMyApps.
|Title:||Archmage Defense (1.0)||Developer:||CDE|