GRave Defense HD in Review – A puzzle hidden underneath hordes of undead

Zombies and other types of undead have been among some of the more popular themes in all areas of pop-culture in the recent years – and the App Store is definitely no exception. There are scores of zombie games in all genres – from line drawing to action shooters, and card games to tower defense. Speaking of the latter, it has just been augmented by Bulkypix’s GRave Defense HD.

GRave Defense HD is on the surface a traditional fixed-path tower defence.  The world is running amok and undead are ravaging the population. As one of the few remaining pockets of resistance, you are put in charge of defending the base from the oncoming hordes. Can you hold your ground against zombies, ghosts, mutants and even Death?

If you look closely at fixed-path TD games, most don’t offer much in the way of originality, apart from a few trying to implement a decent RPG aspect. So, what innovation can be brought to the concept of hordes of enemies following a specific path in an effort to reach your base? The developers of GRave Defense thought the same and decided to throw in almost everything that’s already been implemented in a tower defense.

First of all, while the paths are indeed fixed, various waves of undead may use different ones to reach the exit. At later levels careful consideration of this fact is crucial as towers can only be placed on specific spots on the field. The enemies come in both flying and ground troops, with some having special abilitites, like healing, blowing up or disabling nearby towers on destruction. To counter this variety, you have your array of towers – and there’s a whole lot of them. I estimate around a dozen different types, and a few of the non-combat ones (aka support towers) each have 5 levels of upgrades possible. The catch is not all towers are available on every level, thus often requiring you to turn your brain inside-out to find the best application for the arsenal at hand.

Additionally, power-ups randomly drop from the eliminated undead, including cash bonuses, base restoration packs, slow-em-downs, explosives and even one to upgrade the surrounding towers. Unfortunately the base restoration packs and additional cash offer such a negligible bonus that it’s often not worth trying to catch them before they expire, which is all too fast in my opinion. The other ones however, can easily make or break a level.

Visually GRave Defense offers a decent view. The graphics are solid, but there is no zoom option to get a close-up view, so the game looks a bit small-ish on the iPhone. The good thing is that the game’s universal, so you can use an iPad to get the more comfortable interface. I do like the fact the developers decided to go completely transparent in all specs, so you can easily see quantifiable data on the towers and the upgrades that will affect them. The path of the current wave can easily be checked by a tap on an enemy, which is also a plus.

GRave Defense HD is certainly a noteworthy addition to the tower defence genre. Requiring skill and precision, it will challenge even the most experienced players, almost turning at times into a puzzle game due to the miniscule margin for error. And this already starting at the normal difficulty level! But fans of the genre will definitely appreciate the huge variety of towers and enemies across the 20 levels for hours of fun and biting their nails off.

With this I declare GRave Defense HD officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: GRave Defense HDDeveloper: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver:1.4Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$2.99App Size:15.57MB
  • A LOT of towers
  • Multiple wave paths
  • Challenging game mechanics with a limited arsenal for each level
  • Transparent tower specs and upgrades
  • Universal
  • Very hard
  • Some power-ups are too weak
  • No way to zoom the battlefield

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