World War II, while one of the most tragic periods in mankind’s history, has been a constant source of inspiration for game developers. On the iPhone, however, noteworthy WWII titles are still somewhat rare. But an underdog has sprung up lately promising to offer an interesting experience. I am talking, of course, about Last Front: Europe – a WWII Tower Defence game. Feel free to discuss this review of Last Front: Europe in our forums.
Last Front: Europe is an open-field tower defence, very close to the classics of the genre. Thankfully it has enough twists to justify not being stamped as a simple Fieldrunners clone (unlike Tower Defense Evo). Last Front follows four of the major events in WWII throughout 4 battles each making for a solid campaign backing for the mayhem – quite a rare feat for the genre.
The basic gameplay of Last Front is the same as any other open-field TD game – enemies come at you from specific entry points marked by green flags and must NOT reach the exits marked by red flags. Enemies come in 3 basic varieties – infantry, tanks and aircraft with varying speed, toughness and firepower and the upcoming types are shown just before the wave starts so you can add some last-minute changes to the defences. And there is quite a selection of what to add.
The defences in Last Front are split into 4 basic categories – obstacles, towers, movables and auxiliary. Obstacles are more commonly known as walls in other TD games, but this is probably the first game where they are not limited to most common barriers. There is one of such, but in addition there are mines, barbed wire (slows and damages infantry) and cement blocks (slow down tanks and infantry).
The towers do not blow your mind with variety but make up in originality – in addition to the common machine gun, bunker and anti-aircraft towers there is the long range artillery unit. Another new find are the movables – defence units that you can move between waves – these include two types of tanks and a sniper. And last but not least – the auxiliary buildings which include a healing tent (yes, the enemy fires back in this game), an aircraft base and an airstrike request station.
Other interesting gameplay elements are advantages, unlocked as you progress through the game. Before each battle you can choose one of 4 economic, strategic and tactical advantages to suit your gameplay style the most. With all of this variety the game lacks a help or hint system to describe the effects and stats of various elements and towers, leaving you to try and remember the short descriptions, given when a new element is unlocked.
I am very pleased with the graphics in Last Front. They have a certain cartoony Fieldrunners-like feel to them but not too much. The game menus are also done in authentic WWII style making for an excellent experience. And the performance is excellently tuned for the older devices. Music has put me off a bit however – there is none of it in the game whatsoever (except for the menu tune).
Overall Last Front: Europe is one of the most enjoyable Tower Defence games I’ve played in a long time. The deep and varied gameplay is backed by a solid campaign mode supplemented by free downloadable user-created maps and wrapped in a stylish WWII package. The only things the developers forgot to include in this wonderful gift is the music to make things jingle and some kind of a manual to minimize the confusion. And if you’re looking for something to gift to your special TD lover – this is definitely a place to start.
With this I declare Last Front: Europe officially touched!
|Title:||Last Front: Europe||Developer:||Plow Digital, LLC|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.03||Min OS Req:||2.2.1|
|Price:||$3.99||App Size:||12.8 MB|
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