Drake’s Tower in Review – There Can Be Only One
Tower defense games have become synonymous with winding paths full of bad guys, protective offensive structures that can be upgraded, and more recently, guiding heroes that have a trick or two up their sleeves. Drake’s Tower takes the genre back to the basics, giving you one tower to control and upgrade to the hilt as you protect your little piece of land against wave after wave of zombie invaders. The fact that your playing area is so limited in scope gets a bit tedious at times, but once you start getting into some heavy action you’ll forget about that. Not being a huge fan of the TD genre, I’m finding Drake’s Tower to be a refreshing deviation from the norm.
You control a single tower in the middle of a floating island, and it’s your job to make sure that the forces at large don’t tear it down. And let me assure you, there will be forces aplenty. Everything from zombie foot soldiers to blimps to what look like Roman centurions will try and take a chunk out of your castle. Enemies like the zombie foot soldiers only take one hit to kill, but as the vehicles get bigger and tougher – such as the heli-carrier – you’ll need multiple shots to take them down. There are even boss battles, and while the first one on the Easy level wasn’t overly difficult, it did take some time to knock the Flying Dutchman out of the air.
Since the focus is one tower, this tower has plenty of attachments you can purchase. Offensive weapons range from flaming arrows to grenades, while defense includes things like repair and shields. Every weapon and defense has upgrade levels as well. The plus side is that you get six slots for weapons and defenses, but the down side is that you get over thirty items to choose from. Cost will be your biggest factor in making decisions, but before you enter the shop at the beginning of each level you’ll see a roster of what you will fight during the level. This will help you plan what you should take into battle. I believe every weapon affects every monster to an extent, but some are clearly more powerful against certain creatures than others.
There are three methods of control in Drake’s Tower. The first is simply to tap where you want to shoot. The other two require you to pull back the firing mechanism ala Angry Birds. The difference is that one will show you where you are aiming, while the other does not. The more difficult control option you choose, the greater the reward if you survive. Personally, I’m willing to take less dough and tap my way to victory. All of your weapons and defenses are shown across the bottom of the screen, so you just need to tap to switch weapons or activate a defense.
The graphics are nowhere near mind-boggling, but they are pretty decent. The biggest problem is that everything is so small, so you can’t appreciate all the animation and details. There’s certainly evidence of it, however, as destroyed helicopters go down in flames or defeated soldiers crumple to the ground and drop their weapons. The background is basically clouds, but in this case you won’t be paying much attention to the background.
The sound effects really bring the game to life. Everything sounds different, which sounds kind of silly, but sadly is not the case for a lot of games. You can distinguish a dying zombie from a falling helicopter. Many of your offensive weapons have unique noises (it’s kind of hard to make arrows sound different from each other). It appears that all the audio detail was spent on the sounds, however, as there is no music played during the game. That’s a real shame, because the music played during the main menu is incredible.
I’m not really sure how the developers categorize this game, but to me it’s tower defense in its purist form, and personally I found it to be one of the most enjoyable such games that I’ve played. The amount of upgrades is staggering, there’s a survival mode once you’ve beat adventure mode (I’ll get there some day), and there are three different difficulty settings to keep you going for quite some time. Like most stationary defense games there are times when the action gets a bit tedious, but overall I rather enjoy protecting Drake’s Tower.
|Title:||Drake’s Tower||Developer:||Brisk Mobile Inc|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0.0||Min OS Req:||3.1.2|
|Price:||$0.99||App Size:||20.1 MB|