Ever played Majesty 1 or 2? Well, that is the setting for Defenders of Ardania. Published by Paradox Interactive and Developed by Most Wanted Entertainment, Defenders of Ardania takes a different spin to the tower defense genre, although not too much of a jump. While this game will be coming out on multiple platforms, this preview/review was done with the PC version.
Defenders of Ardania is all about protecting your kingdom as well as assisting others in protecting theirs. The key aspect to the game is it isn’t all about placing your towers. You are playing both sides in this TD game as you build towers you will also be sending out troops to take out the enemies castle. Battles are not always one on one, sometimes you have partners and sometimes they do. Another big change is that you can not place your towers wherever you want. You can even place some in the pathway to force enemy troops to go around them. All this and your buying troops to send down the path to destroy your enemies castle.
Another interesting limitation to placing your towers is that they can only be built within 4 squares of another of your towers. So to control the field you need to build your towers fast and cross the field to get the best positioning as soon as possible. This can give you a huge advantage over your opponent. Although they may take the time to build the better blocking route to prevent your success and holding the key points may not seem as important if they manage that. Between the 3 races, there are multiple towers to build each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Sending out your troops is your only way to victory though. You must take out the enemies fortress or it will only be a matter of time before they take out yours. Either that or you will be at a stand still. This almost occurred with me when I made a clumsy and heavily mistake filled tower placement layout at the beginning of the stage. This can drastically alter the route both your troops and the computers will be forced to take. Also much like any good tower defense game there are multiple types of units you have the ability to send out in waves. Further into the game you will gain access to more troop types as well as the ability to send out more waves in a row without having to wait.
One of the last big things about the game is the use of magic. You can use resources to cast spells of different types. The first spell you gain access to is to repair the damage to your castle. This is a spell that can be extremely useful. Other spells destroy towers or units. This brings a lot of real time action to the match.
With a myriad of tower types, troop types, and spells the battles are quite interesting. I especially like how only some troops will attack enemy troops or enemy towers, this adds a great degree of thought when it comes to hiring your next set of troops. Not only that but that they become better the more you use them and eventually a hero troop will be purchasable for that troop type. These guys are nearly unstoppable.
Where this game truly looks to shine is in multiplayer. I was unable to test this theory though. It is set up to be a great TD multiplayer experience. Something I believe many tower defense players really are looking for.
This game has been released for the IPad. PC and console releases are planned but no release date has been announced to my knowledge.
From what I’ve played I give this a 4 out of 5 especially if the multiplayer holds to the single player aspects. I just can’t wait to see myself getting crushed by the TD fanatics out there.