Defend the Rook Review

Defend the Rook Review

Game: Defend the Rook
Genre: Tactical RPG, Roguelite, Tower Defense
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam & Windows)
Developer|Publisher: One Up Plus | Goblinz Publishing & Maple Whispering Limited
Age Rating: US E10+ | EU 7+
Price: US $17.99 |  UK £14.99 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: April 14th, 2022

Review code used, with many thanks to Stride PR.

Defend the Rook is a tower defense, tactical game from Goblinz Publishing. This game is finally being released on the Nintendo Switch.

The Gameplay of Defend the Rook

Defend the Rook is a simple Tower Defense, Rogue-lite, Tactical RPG that takes the basics of all of these categories and turns it into a challenging game of capture the flag. Enemy units move in to attempt to take the tower from players, and you have to defend the tower at all costs with several battle units.

Defend the Rook Review
Defend the tower from all manner of wild and weird enemies!

The units vary in their strengths and weaknesses; there is a warrior/tank attacker, a ranged DPS, and a melee DPS. Players will have to deploy each of these with skill in order to keep their tower safe and destroy all the attacking units.

The gameplay is incredibly simple and, while it was a lot of fun to play on PC, the controls translate well to Switch. Playing with the Joy-Cons or in handheld mode feels equally good, so players should find Defend the Rook fun to play no matter how you want to use your Switch.

The Pros of Defend the Rook

The controls are simple but comprehensive in Defend the Rook. The game just translated so well over to the Switch, which was both surprising and wonderful. Also the cartoonish and simple graphics look gorgeous on the Nintendo Switch in spite of the downgrade in visual tech from most PCs.

Defend the Rook Review
Look at these cute upgrades.

While some tactical RPG fans may not like the Rogue-lite elements in the game, I think it adds a lot of replayability to this title that makes it quite a bang for your buck. While players always start with the same basic units, the ability to upgrade and change them out makes for unique experiences each time you play.

I LOVE the look of this game. It feels like it was originally made for the Switch with its looks, the ease of the controls on the Joy-Cons, and the way the game plays. It’s a wonderful addition to any Nintendo Lover’s lineup of games.

Defend the Rook Review
Kind of looks like a very destructive version of chess.

The Cons of Defend the Rook

I loved a lot about this game, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the music. It seemed really repetitive, and I ended up muting the sound after a few hours of gameplay. There is a part of me that also didn’t like the Rogue-type additions to the tower defense formula; while it was fun to see something new in the genre, there’s a piece of me that wonders if it counts as a tower defense with these elements added in.

Defend the Rook Review
Defending the tower gets harder as the levels get higher.

Another thing that was a little bit of disappointment to me was the length of the tutorial. It felt like it went on FOREVER. It was well put together, and I felt it taught me the game well, but it did seem to take me a lot of time to get through it. Perhaps I’m just a dummy, and that was just me, but it did seem to drag on quite a bit.


Overall, Defend the Rook is super fun. If you like Rogue-lites, tower defense games, and even those who like board games will most likely love this little game. It’s a pleasure to play, and the Switch version is just as good as the PC version for once!

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot
I like it a lot

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