Game: Fantasy Tower Defense
Genre: Arcade | Board Game | Strategy | Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch
Developers | Publishers: Prison Games
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US E 10+
Price: EU $4,99 | US $4.99 | UK £4.99
Release Date: September 4th 2020
Review code used, with many thanks to Prison Games
As fans of the Tower Defense genre, most people know what the gameplay entails, for those who don’t here’s a short summary.
The goal is to defend your territories by obstructing the enemy attackers, usually achieved by placing defensive structures on or along their path of attack. Typically this means building a variety of different structures that serve to automatically block, impede, attack, or destroy enemies.
So what makes Fantasy Tower Defense so different from the hundreds of other TD games out there, let’s find out.
Fantasy Tower Defense is set in the medieval era with cartoon-style graphics which is fairly typical of the genre. Upon starting the game you are faced with not a lot of options if I’m honest. You have one choice and that is Start! Once you press A you get a menu that is in a linear line up that moves to the right as you unlock each level. There are two options on this menu, pressing A starts the mission, and pressing B takes you back to the title screen.
I have played many, many TD games, but I wasn’t expecting that. Usually there are a few options to choose from such as game difficulty. But in Fantasy Tower Defense there are no options to choose anything. You won’t be complaining that the UI is cluttered as there isn’t one of those either. And while I’m at it, I may as well tell you now that there isn’t a story in this game either. Fantasy Tower Defense is as basic as they come, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, or is it?
Once you press A the screen changes to the TD battlefield and it’s straight into placing your defenses. It’s good that I know how to play a TD game as you won’t find a tutorial in Fantasy Tower Defense either as it’s completely void off one. If you’re a novice TD player this isn’t the game to start with as it offers no help to the player whatsoever.
Five Towers to Choose From
You have five towers to chose from as your defenses, arrows, bomb, magical, infantry, and crossbow. All the towers can be upgraded with the gold you collect from winning a round. But there lies another problem with Fantasy Tower Defense: the amount of gold you do get is very tiny, therein making it difficult to upgrade your towers during each level.
Usually, in TD games you get a chance at the beginning of the stage to decide where to place your towers. You do get this in Fantasy Tower Defense however you will probably be only placing your second tower when the waves begin as the waves start approaching quickly.
Don’t Lose Hearts
You have ten hearts at the top of the screen, these are your lives. Or in other words, once ten enemies have broken through your defenses you lose the game and have to restart the level.
Enemies come in all shapes and sizes, I’d like to tell you more about the kinds of enemies but I’m not sure myself what some of them are. This is due to the game not having a bestiary, so you have no info on what any of the enemy’s weak points are.
On-screen sprites are tiny and are hard to make out what sort of creature they represent as well, leading to a guessing game on the players’ part.
There is one particular enemy that looks like some brown wolf type animal, and it hovers above the ground. But since there isn’t a bestiary I don’t know what it is, nor do I know what type of defense tower would be most effective to use against it. Any type of tower I have tried to use or upgrade never seemed to work well enough against them. This in the end makes it impossible to finish a level with all ten hearts intact. I’ve progressed through the levels trying out different combinations of towers, I’ve used one type of tower only and nothing seems to make a difference at least some of the enemies will break through your defenses.
Playing Fantasy Tower Defense turns into a guessing game more than anything else. Without a bestiary, you are in the dark as to what each enemies’ weakness are, are they weak to magic attacks or have an armored defense that my arrow towers can’t put a dent in. Who knows as the game sure doesn’t know and if it does it’s not sharing the information.
As I said at the start of this review Fantasy Tower Defense is a very basic, simple TD game. And it shows throughout the gameplay even down to the reward you don’t receive if you happen to win a level. In most TD games, once you complete a level with all ten hearts intact, you receive three shiny gold stars for your victory. Nope, there is none of that in Fantasy Tower Defense, your reward is the next level unlocks and that’s it. In fact, you don’t even have to finish the level with all ten hearts intact, one heart is enough to progress to the next level.
Visuals and Controls
Much like the rest of the game, the music is simple and basic. As there is one music track in the whole game on repeat. In the end, I had to turn the sound off as after the tenth time of hearing it got a little repetitive, to say the least.
In the visual department, Fantasy Tower Defense has a cartoon-style look, which is fine. Later levels are colourful, though there isn’t much detail in any of the defense towers or even the enemy sprites.
The game is controlled using the Joy-cons and it works as it should.
Fantasy Tower Defense is a simplistic take on the standard Tower Defense games. There are 20 levels to defend your way through, which will keep you busy for a while if you can work out the strategy to make it to the end without any help from the game.
I do think you could find a much better TD game on the eShop to purchase and spend time with as there isn’t much to Fantasy Tower Defense or any replayability in it.
Final Verdict: I Don’t Like It