I like tower defense games. Evil Defenders was on deal in Steam once and I bought it, expecting a short but fun experience. What I got was a game I will not complete.
The story is simple: The resources in the human world run thin so they invade the evil world to get their stuff. So we, as the evil guys, have to defend our realm from the invaders.
The gameplay is like every other tower defense game. You play on maps in which you can place different kinds of towers to kill the invaders before they get from their spawn point to the exit. If they pass through the exit, you’ll loose health and once you reach zero you loose.
Unlike many other tower defense games you have very limited choosing over where you want to place your towers here as the game gives you only a handful of places to put them. The problem is that many of these places make a few towers useless with their position. But before we go into the fundamental problems this game has, we should cover the towers and how the gameplay works. You have a total of five different towers with three abilities you can use. You have the choice of building an Orc canon which has a long range and deals a lot of physical damage, a Goblin tower with low physical damage but high firing rate (with really annoying memes), a dragon that deals little magic damage and slows enemies, a monster camp that spawns two skeletons and finally the sorcerer who deals a lot of magic damage but has a low firing rate. From there, you can further upgrade the towers into three additional variations of which at least one is completely useless while others are overpowered. The idea of having these variations is pretty good though and if it wouldn’t be for another big problem this game has, which I’ll get to later, it would have worked out pretty well. There is one problem I have to mention right now though: Sometimes your towers make stupid decision on what to aim on, which can cause you to loose your perfect rating. Your three abilities consist of sending a lightning strike that deals damage and doesn’t one-hit kill enemies, teleport one enemy a few footsteps away from his current position and summon the devil named McHellman, who is an invincible melee fighter who easily deals with almost everything in his path.
Each map offers several difficulty settings, giving you more waves of enemies and making the game more rewarding.
Alright let’s get to the other layer of gameplay and the problem that turns this average but fun game into a outright bad one: Upgrades.
With each completed map or challenge you get souls and stars. Having a certain amount of stars unlocks more upgrades while you buy upgrades with souls. While it sounds interesting in concept, the execution is just… ass. The upgrades need too many souls and since your towers are really, really bad without upgrades, you have to grind souls. For how long do you have to grind? Hours and hours on the same bland maps over and over again. This game is short so this is not only artificial game stretching but the grinding is, if you choose to get everything, THE MAIN PART OF THE GAME. There are only 13 levels in the game and the developers felt the need to not make a replayable, enjoyable experience but rather force you to grind your teeth out. What we got in the end is a tower defense game that is ruined by grinding because the developers made a huge mistake when porting this game from mobile phones to PC.
The soundtrack is bland. As you have to grind a lot you listen to the same tracks over and over again, which makes it even worse. The songs in of itself aren’t bad, they’re just average and do nothing more but “be” in the background.
The graphics are simple but work. The enemies (even though I’m a bit disgusted by the human design) and your units share a timeless style that is easy to dig into. The problem here is that most (not all) maps look uninteresting and outright boring. Some maps are also too vague about where the actual exit for the enemies is.
What does this game do good for it’s genre?
It has a very fun core that could have easily made this game into something average and fun. The units have enough personality to make them interesting (but seriously, stop using memes as a personality trait in any medium, it gets old very quickly) and the gameplay already creates replay value with the challenges.
What could be improved?
REMOVE THE GRINDING, REMOVE THE GRINDING, REMOVE THE GRINDING! This is the most important thing that holds this game back. Listen up: Porting a game from mobile devices to either consoles or PC isn’t as simple as removing micro transactions and adjust resolution. You have to consider the audience you’re aiming for and the general audience doesn’t have the patience for your really bad stretching. It’s also extremely easy to fix: Buff the towers in general, lower the price for upgrades and give more skulls. THAT’S ALL YOU HAVE TO DO.
When it comes to everything else: Give the soundtrack more love, the maps need more graphical detail and maybe some additional effects would be appreciated, buff the useless towers so that you actually have a reason to use them, include endless mode for all maps and finally fix the aiming of the towers.
This game could have been a fun tower defense game that I would probably go back to replay it from time to time. Instead, I found one of the most annoying tower defense games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing in my life. The thing is: Fixing my many mentioned problems is fairly easy to do in this case. It’s nothing but a grindfest in its current state. I spend a total of 7 hours in this game, 6 OF WHICH I USED FOR GRINDING. Do not buy or even play this game. It’s not worth your money and time.