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Army Defender - DSiWare Review

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Army Defender

DSiWare | MINDSCAPE | 1 Player | Out Now | 200 Nintendo Points
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7th June 2010; By Murat

If you want one word that sums up Army Defender, that one word would be “survival”. Do you have what it takes to defend your base against an army of enemy waves until air support arrives? I surely hope so because that is exactly what Army Defender is about. 

    Army Defender puts the player in the position of a single soldier defending a fort with a mounted cannon. The cannon fires two different-coloured ammunitions (red and green) in a volley of three bullets. Why's this, you ask? Because you’ll face off against enemies in suits that correspond to the colour of your ammunition. There are a total of ten enemies: soldiers, super soldiers, paratroopers, tanks, jet fighters and loads more. Each of them vary from one another in different ways. For example, the helicopter fires rockets and have more health than the usual enemies. Attacks won’t always come by land so keep your eyes on the sky as well. Drop ship planes will also fly overhead and drop useful packages such as a flamethrower, and several other useful power ups perfect for hectic moments. You can also shoot this plane down which makes it even more challenging not to spray everywhere.

Army Defender is played with the DSi held vertically, as though you are holding a book. You aim with your stylus and shoot by tapping the screen. All the buttons (except for start and select) will change the colour of your fort turret which is really helpful. Tapping the turret itself will also change its colour. You can pause or quit the game at any moment when you press start.  A slick feature of Army Defender which I am sure people will appreciate is the ability to play left-handed. 

    Achieving high scores during each round will also award you with upgrades and extra lives. You’ll need a lot of lives as collecting points isn’t as easy as you’d think. The start of the game follows an easy pace since you deal with a few units per round. As you progress 3-4 levels ahead, the game really increases the difficulty as you deal with more than 4 units at a time. Controlling two colours will really challenge your multitasking skills when the battlefield becomes overcrowded with both land and sky enemies. As you tear through the enemy waves, you’ll notice a gauge filling at the top right of the screen. Once full, this unleashes a destructive power which wipes out everything on the battlefield, with the exception of ally drop ships. There is also a combo multiplier which builds up as you hit enemies without missing. This will multiply your score giving you more points at the end of each round.  

After completing each wave, you will be presented with a stats menu. One side of the screen will display the number of enemies you’ve killed under each class. When you start the wave, you will only have a few of them unlocked. But as your progress further into the game, more enemies become unlocked and make appearances in the game. The other side of the screen displays the wave level, number of points, fort health, and the bonuses you’ve obtained (if any).  

    Although there aren't any additional single player or multiplayer modes, Army Defender features two different difficulty waves. One being beginner and the other being expert. The game also has a tutorial feature and an offline leaderboard which takes a while to conquer. After a few attempts on beginner, you will be a pro in no time. 

    Overall, Army Defender is a good package and one that you should consider if you own a DSi. For 200 points, the game is really entertaining. Although there isn’t much to do due to lack of modes and online leaderboards, you will be entertained with what you are provided. And given the price, Army Defender is one that is recommended. 

22/30 - Good

Gameplay 8/10 - Controls work perfectly; AI knows how to dominate; left-handed play; simple yet addicting
Presentation 8/10 - Navigation is made simplistic; visuals are very nicely presented
Enjoyment 3/5 - You’re buying a small package, but it is very entertaining for the asking price
Extra Content 3/5 - Replay value could differ; leaderboard is fun to conquer; needs additional modes or online leaderboard support

Equivalent to a score of 73% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by Murat
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