Defender Chronicles II: Heroes of Athelia ($1.99, Universal App) is a sequel to an ultra successful game. When an original is so highly regarded, expectations run high, and it puts a lot of pressure on the developers.
They need to walk a thin line between changes and innovation. If they change too much it will piss off their loyal fans. If they change too little they will be accused of simply trying to cash in on the popularity of the original. All of this begs the question: does Defender Chronicles 2 find the balance, change too much or feel just like the first one?
Defender Chronicles 2 did a good job of improving the visuals in the sequel. They are not going to blow you away by any means, but they are certainly above average. Enemies and characters look good, especially when you consider the vast amount of characters on the screen during a heated section of the game.
The sound design in the game is good, for the most part. Before each mission, you are greeted with some spoken back-story that provides you with some solid insight into why this battle is taking place and what the situation is. The characters in the game also have some little one-liners, which are cool at first, but become annoying after a while.
The music in the game is good, and strikingly similar to the previous game. Overall, the soundtrack adds to the game by setting the mood for the current situation.
Defender Chronicles 2 is a tower defense game. Sure, there is plenty of role-playing elements sprinkled in, but at its very core, you build buildings to stop waves of enemies.
In some ways, the RPG elements add a lot to the game. They allow you to tweak your heroes and upgrade skills, which are cool, but it also creates a game with a confused identity. On one level, you have a ton of depth and character development. On the other, you have an incredibly basic game genre.
The tower defense gameplay is good, and the RPG elements try to create some more depth and replayability, but in the end, it’s still just tower defense, and unless you are a hardcore fan of tower defense, I cannot see you going back and playing this game again on the harder difficulties.
The one twist on the standard tower defense gameplay is that the game is played on multiple levels from a side view. This is the same style as the first one, and while it makes things a little different, it is still just a matter of placing and upgrading buildings and killing enemies.
There is not too much to say about the controls here. It controls like a tower defense game. You tap the spot you want to build on, tap the building you want to place and tap again to confirm. It controls exactly how you would expect, and it does a fine job of it.
Sadly, this game is similar to the first one. I would have liked to see a little more innovation. For hardcore fans, it should be exactly what they want, but for someone who only kind-of enjoyed the first one, there just are not enough new things in this game to keep my interest. There is some new stuff, but not enough.
There are also many in-app purchase hooks, and they can be annoying. I understand they want to make money, but it feels like they are everywhere.
This is still a good tower defense game. In fact, it might be one of the better tower defense games available on iOS. However, its biggest flaw is that it is a tower defense game. No matter how many RPG hooks you throw in, building towers and defending yourself is only fun for so long. It is still a well-done game with no major flaws, it is just a victim of being in a played out and boring genre. 7/10