Defender Chronicles – Legend of The Desert King
Defender Chronicles: Legend of the Desert King is a new fantasy-themed tower defense game with a few great twists that set it apart from the crowd. You are the kingdom’s greatest general, leading your knights, archers, and mages against the evil hordes. You must place your troop guilds in strategic positions along the enemies’ path and destroy them before they reach your gate. Units can be upgraded 5 times as you gain funds, and some units can then change classes to become even more powerful. The final obstacle between the hordes and the gate is you, the Hero General of the empire. Fights start out very difficult, even on easy. As you win, your skills and items steadily improve your ability to crush those who oppose you. The excellent gameplay combined with the constant hero upgrades gives Defender Chronicles impressive replay value.
There are two modes of playing Defender Chronicles, Quest and Custom Game. Quest mode is where you increase your abilities so you’ll probably want to start there. It features a so-so storyline told with not so good computer-generated voice, but bear with it, the gameplay is great. Once you’ve built up your skills, try a custom game, where you can play extended stages that never end until you fail, allowing you to increase your strategies and troops guilds to their max levels. It gets pretty intense on enemy wave 50!
What makes playing Defender Chronicles so compelling is the inclusion of Role Playing Game elements: Your general increases in strength, defense, and commanding ability as you win battles. Once you win a fight, you gain battle funds which you can use to purchase armor, weapons, and magic accessories to make your fighting abilities even more devastating. Your fighting skill is rated with stars on each stage and there’s a high score chart to record your greatest victories. Add to this a library where you can purchase significant game secrets and you have a constant satisfying feeling of progression that keeps you wanting to play just one more time.
Defender Chronicles has some great graphics to go along with the gameplay. Everything looks good, zoomed in and out. Character models are varied and have good detail. The backgrounds are fantastically drawn and large. Even smaller details like health bars are easily seen but don’t block the action. Although you can pause the game if things are moving too fast, I never experienced any hiccups of lagging in the animation, even using the fast forward button with dozens of enemies and hundreds of arrows on screen. Occasionally your troop icons can get in the way of the action if you’re zoomed in too far though. Level design also gets good marks. The varied stage layouts (6 stages at the time of review), multiple enemy entrance points, and the inherent strategies available using new units, keeps the game from feeling bland.
While the graphics are fantastic, the voice acting leaves something to be desired. I really like the fact that it’s included in the first place, but sometimes it just sounds…. strange. It’s decent for a computer generated voice, but the accent just seems a bit….. off. Since the voice plays the ever important role of your advisor, this can become a slight annoyance at times. Other then that, the rest of the sounds effects are great. The soundtrack is also very well executed and adds a lot of character to the overall game
All that being said, there are a few obvious gaps that will hopefully be fixed in future updates. The map could hold several more stages, the story has some huge gaps that could be filled, and most obviously: your general has cavalry leading abilities, but there aren’t yet cavalry units in the game. I also really wish there were multiple save slots. The developers appear to be working hard on things though, so I prefer to look at this as a positive sign that an excellent game will become even better. As a huge fan of of tower defense games, I can safely say that Defense Chronicles is one of the best.