Robo Defense (v2.3.2) (Available only for Android devices)
Genre: Tower Defense
Developer: Lupis Labs
Marketplace Price: $3.00
Android Release Date: September 16, 2009
Game played on HTC Thunderbolt running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread)
Parent Talk: Tower defense isn’t a genre of usual concern for younger gamers. There’s nothing in Robo Defense that a child shouldn’t be exposed to.
Review Basis: Completed Difficulty 11; Experienced most maps; Unlocked most task-based achievements; Preferred weaponry/abilities all upgraded over level 10
I believe it fitting that my tape-cutting COE Android review focuses on the first game I laid down cash for on the Android Marketplace. It’s also ironic because prior to Robo Defense, I’d never played a tower defense game before. After being pleasantly surprised by the demo and being an unseasoned TD player, I decided to give Lupis Labs $3 for their efforts. It’s not a decision I regret.
Wonderful value for $3. With over 70 achievements to unlock, a plethora of weapon and ability upgrades to purchase, and a fun experience for tower defense beginners altogether…what’s not to like? If Robo Defense became a casual obsession for you, months would easily pass by prior to everything being said and done.
+ Simple. You begin any battle with a pre-determined amount of money to spend, and choose from an assortment of gun turrets, rocket launchers and enemy movement inhibitors to lay down your defense. Everything is a straightforward drag-and-drop on to the field of play.
+ You control the enemy. Robo Defense would likely never appease the hardcore tower defense player. Your foe never does anything but attempt to advance towards your base. It doesn’t attack anything of yours in any way. Units merely move and try to brave your gauntlet, even being forced to follow the path you leave open. This is great for casual players and newcomers to the genre.
+ Chaos. Maps start off quiet. Especially when getting your feet wet, there isn’t much money to spend on towers. It doesn’t take too long however to acquire the cash needed to smother the battlefield with toys and upgrade them to make the enemy’s life miserable.
+ Upgrades. Gun turrets can become Heavy Guns, Flametowers, etc. Rocket launchers can transform into Heavy Launchers, Artillery and S.A.M. sites. The mobility inhibitors can slow enemy advancement, or possibly transport them back to the start of the map with damage attached. The learning curve is just right for the non-veterans Robo Defense reaches out to.
+/- Sound effects. Initially I didn’t mind hearing all the towers doing their thing, especially when there’s a lot firing away at once. It becomes very repetitive after a while though. The enemy doesn’t even make noise.
+/- Tower designs. Most of the unit designs look good and convincing. Others, like the artillery and flametower, are plain goofy.
+/- May take too long. You’re not obligated to complete all 100 rounds of a given session, but it’s required to win the very attractive points bonus for finishing with perfect health. It can take between 30 and 60 minutes. That’s not typical for a cell phone game.
– No music. It’s bad enough the enemy doesn’t come with sound; I don’t know either why Lupis didn’t include some map themes to make the action more interesting, but alas they didn’t.
– Cancelling tower placement. If you either choose a new unit type on accident, or decide it isn’t desired/needed, the only way to prevent its placement is to hover over one that’s already situated. A simple multi-touch tap option to cancel wouldn’t have hurt. Otherwise you must take a loss by selling the thing.
– Selection accuracy. If there is a lot of units on the field that you wish to upgrade, selecting a specific one doesn’t always happen the first time.
Losing a perfect game on the last round. Given the great incentive to keep your base’s health spotless during a game, it’s a bummer if just a single enemy unit breaks through on round 99.
Robo Defense is a great introduction to tower defense. For $3, despite what can be tough flaws to swallow, Lupis’s package offers a lot of replay incentive. The game can become boring if played incessantly, but spreading out your sessions would make unlocking everything more satisfying. I don’t have a problem recommending this neat title to the non-hardcore crowd.
Average Score Scale: 7.0 (+/- 0.5) out of 10
Personal Final Score: 7.5/10 (Inflated)
Reason for +0.5 Inflation: A great tower defense game for the non-hardcore crowd.
Reason for -0.5 Deflation: Lacking audio package; you insist on more unit, upgrade and difficulty options.