iPhone App Review: Goal Defense

iPhone App Review: Goal Defense

September 4th, 2012 by

If you feel like you’ve played every possible variation on the tower defense genre, then you might still need to try Goal Defense from developer Dynamic Pixels. It doesn’t turn the gameplay of a defense upside-down and shake it by the ankles, but tower defense fans and sports fans will both like the sports-themed fields, goals, and defense pieces that you deploy throughout the game.

Deploy pitchers, shot putters, and boxers against a merciless onslaught of sprinters, linemen, and other opponents that are hell-bent on capturing your Golden Bowl trophy. Note their path across the field and strategically drop “towers” to divert them into bottlenecks for more effective attacks, and use the money you earn defeating opponents to buy new towers or upgrade existing ones.

How It Works

Like any tower defense game, you progress through a series of levels of increasing difficulty. A moving line of arrows shows you the path opponents will take as they enter the field, and you have a limited time to place your blockers before the onslaught starts. Placing a tower in the enemies’ path will cause them to choose a new route, but be careful that you don’t accidentally divert them around the majority of defenders. There are several waves of attackers per round, and the entry point to the field as well as the overall path to the trophy may change with each wave, so keep a little money in reserve or create clusters of defenders that can reach both attacker routes.

Tapping on a defender shows you its radius of attack, selling price, and upgrade price. As you progress through levels you naturally unlock more and more defensive towers, with a variety of powers, strengths, and weaknesses. The attackers’ tactics get trickier as well, until after a fairly few amount of levels you find yourself swarmed by hordes of attackers.

Pros And Cons

Goal Defense is notable not just for its sports theme, which alone provides me a reason enough to recommend it to fans of the genre, but also for itsart direction. The graphics, animation, and theme are a welcome change from the standard “blow things up” gameplay of other games in the defense space, and the graphics themselves have an old-fashioned charm (though they’re a bit too small on the iPhone screen to effectively see the attention to detail the artists have clearly put into the animation of each figure).

There is also a natural fit to the sports theme to each of the attackers and defenders in the game. It’s perfectly logical that a pitcher throws fast but deals fairly little damage compared to the slower but more devastating shot-putter. The boxer knocks out opponents with one blow, but takes a longer time to recharge to has limited effectiveness for that reason. It’s also just plain fun to drop athletes on the field and watch them pummel each other, no matter who wins.

Overall

Goal Defense is a great example of a game that manages to cram all of the tropes and cliches of its gameplay category into a fresh, exciting package that feels so natural you wonder why nobody has thought of it before (or if somebody had, I haven’t played it). It’s fun, cheap, and a universal app, so give it a spin on the iPad too and give those great animations a closer look.

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