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Game Info:

Samurai Defender
Developed by: Link Kit Inc, Fly High Works
Published by: Circle Entertainment
Release Date: May 21, 2015
Available on: 3DS, Android, iOS
Genre: Tower Defense
Number of Players: Single-Player
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for Fantasy violence
Price: $3.99

Thank you Circle Entertainment for sending us this game to review!

In the Warring States period of Japan it's up to you to defend the castles from waves of enemies and bosses. Samurai Defender is a 2D tower defense game that puts you in control of a meager and outnumbered army.   In the beginning you have one archer and an emergency army of three soldiers that you can call upon until your mana runs out.  Fortunately, there's an infinite number of arrows.  

Enemies can be targeted by tapping on the touch screen with the stylus or by pointing at them with the hand icon by using the circle pad.  Samurai Defender first came out on Android and iOS devices and lends itself nicely to using a touch screen.  I primarily played using the stylus, but to send out my backup forces I had to specify their position using the hand cursor.  While the mobile versions are free to play, they have in-app purchases while the 3DS version does not.  

Samurai Defender
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun pick up and play game
Weak Points: Free on other platforms that have in-app purchases
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence

There are two forms of currency that can be earned by beating each of the fifty levels and ten bosses.  Copper is more common and used for upgrading stats like power, health, mana, speed, and number of archers.  The maximum number of archers is five and they're worth their inflated upgrade cost.  

Unlike copper, gold is not as plentiful and not earned on failed attempts.  Gold can unlock new units and upgrade existing ones.  It is with gold that backup armies increase in strength and number and that carpenters can repair more hit points on the castle.  Other available units include a cannon, a power boosting princess, poison dart throwers, barricade building engineers, and musketeers.  Each unit is upgradable and helpful; the only downside is that you're limited to three.

Samurai Defender
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 92%
Violence - 6/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Each level gets gradually harder and some of them require changing up your battle tactics. Every fifth level has a boss that must be defeated.  The poison dart throwers are usually pretty effective against them.  Achievements can be earned for defeating bosses and trying new attack units and formations.  If you fail a mission you can retry and earn only copper or go back and replay previous missions for additional copper and gold.  Grinding  isn't fun, but overall Samurai Defender is a fun pick up and play game that is enjoyable in small bursts.  

The graphics are cute despite the violent acts of shooting people with arrows, bullets and throwing stars.   There is no blood or gore as the units simply double over in pain and fade away.   The background noises and Asian background music is fitting.

If you like simple tower defense games  Samurai Defender is worth checking out.  If you have a  mobile device you can grab it for free there or get it on Nintendo's eShop for $3.99.  I recommend the eShop version if you dislike the idea of in-app purchases.  

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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