Ask yourself this: you want a good looking game, or do you want a *great* playing game? If you answered the latter, then read on. This game looks simplistic on the outside, but it has surprising depth and replayability and is strongly worth a look for those who don’t require eye-candy.
Based upon a Windows indie game called “The Defenders II”, “The Defenders” brings 2D side-scrolling defence-based gameplay to the Xbox. I played an N-Gage (yes, *that* N-Gage; though, in my defence, I had the improved “QD” version) game called “Pocket Kingdom” that was vaguely like this. “The Defenders” (with it’s semi-official subtitle “The Second Wave”) drops the pseudo-persistent world, but adds a lot of other things that work, and work well.
Think of a side-scrolling action game (something along the lines of Ghosts ‘N Goblins perhaps). Now add classes, and the ability to upgrade your character (through an impressive array of improvement options) as you play through the games 50 or so levels. Now add (offline) co-op for up to four players. Finally, make one of the classes a “builder” who’s running around adding to your castle’s defences while the other players run interference, getting down in the trenches and engaging the enemy in combat. You now have “The Defenders” in a nutshell. It won’t win any beauty pagents, but it’s got depth, playability, and replayability in spades.
“The Defenders” keeps increasing the enemy variety as you play, including some pretty massive bosses, and even invisible enemies if you play far enough. It can be played solo, but comes into its own in multiplayer. It costs $2.99 (give or take, depending on local currency), and worth every penny.
Here’s what the developer (FallenMaster) has to say about the game:
“Fight the ghosts through 50 waves of growing danger. Play as a powerful wizard, a mighty warrior or a strategic builder to stop the ghost invasion. Evolve your character in the direction you want. Survive until dawn, or die trying.”