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Defenders of Ardania Review

Defenders of Ardania Review

Tower defence games may be fairly old hat, but there's a particular allure to them the same way that a good platformer can always be appreciated. The mechanics are simple, easy to grasp and can become quite satisfying to master over time. So simple in fact that if you've played one there's a good chance that you've experienced them all, which is what makes Defenders of Ardania such an interesting experience. Take the simple concept behind a Tower Defence game, add in being able to spawn units to simultaneously invade the opponent's half of the screen, and then toss in four opponents at the same time and you've got the general idea of what Paradox is trying to accomplish. Interested? Read on.

The first thing players should note about Defenders is that unlike most other games in the genre, it isn't a game that can be simply picked up and moved into. All the basics of tower defence are there, but pushed alongside the simple tower creation process is a slew of strategy options.

Players can create a tower near their castle, and slowly expand across the map's grid as each tower they place increases the friendly influence zone. As players are limited to the number of towers that can be dropped, it's important to place towers in positions that will both limit enemy unit movement in addition to keeping the enemy from placing their own towers too close. Where the usual strategy is to build as many towers as close to the enemy 'starting point' as possible, this means that players have to juggle defending the spots that enemy towers could do the most damage while taking up positions that the enemy would want to use to defend themselves.

Alongside the unique deployment features is the unit creation process, which allows players to deploy the same kinds of units that the enemy has in an attempt to destroy their tower first. Rather than simply having waves of increasingly difficult foes to dispatch, players instead are given a variety of units to deploy in order to exploit the opposing towers.

General soldier units are capable of surviving area effect towers, while taking more damage from single shot towers, healer units act as tanks which can survive multiple types of tower hits, while alternative units have abilities that range from flight, to doing damage to other units or towers as they pass.

This variation means that players aren't simply adjusting their unit creation (which also has a limit depending on the level), but also adjusting their towers accordingly. As no single tower really handles any situation well it's important to creatively adjust what towers you may be using to handle a particular wave. Levelling up towers certainly helps do more damage to particular units, but it's bad planning to level victory on having harder hitting things the enemy can adapt to.

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