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Game Info:

Defenders of Ardania
Developed By: Most Wanted Entertainment
Published By: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: March 14th, 2012
Available On: IOS, XBLA, PC
Genre: Tower Defense
Modes: Single, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: Teen
MSRP: $15

Thank you GamersGate for sending us this game to review!

The Majesty series has been around for a while and known and loved for adding a fun twist to the real time strategy genre.  I enjoyed their RTS games since the units usually don’t obey you unless they are bribed.  While there are some RTS elements in Defenders of Ardania, I didn’t find this game as ground breaking as I was hoping for.  When it comes down to it, it’s a run of the mill Tower Defense game where you have to protect your base from swarms of enemy units and you must set up towers to deflect their attacks.  

Just like the previous Majesty games, you are the ruler and your helpful and witty advisor (who like Sean Connery) is there to brief you on the missions waiting for you. The single player campaign has fifteen missions that will unlock new units, towers and abilities as you complete them.    When you first start out, you’ll have your basic unit types of runners, tanks or hordes.  Later on you can unlock flying and healer units.  

Highlights:

Strong Points: Good graphics and humor.
Weak Points: Game play is just okay; multiplayer servers are non-existent.
Moral Warnings: Violence is a given; some language; sexual references and graphics; undead enemies.

The starting towers include spear throwers and ballistas.  As you progress in the campaign you’ll get flame throwers and crystal towers.  Each tower is designed to take out a particular enemy type.   They will still attack other units, but they won’t be as effective.  The ballistas are good against hordes and the flame throwers counter the runner units.  Flying units can only be taken down by towers meant for them.  

Towards the end of the game, you’ll encounter hero units that will end your game if they make it to your base alive.  You can send your own hero units by accumulating enough experience by consistently using a particular unit.  Crystal towers are your best bet against these tank units.  Resources are limited and you do have a cap on how many towers you can have up at a time.  Fortunately, you can take down towers that are ineffective or no longer needed.  The strategy element in this game comes to play when placing your towers.  There are certain areas where you can build towers and some areas offer advantages such as higher ground for a wider attack radius and so on.  While you cannot completely block access to your base entirely, you can make it a painful and lengthy journey to get there.

Money to hire units and to build and upgrade towers is slowly accumulated by taxing your subjects, but you earn most of it by defeating enemies.  You can erect statues or purchase upgrades to accumulate resources faster.  Other upgrades include the ability to raise your resource ceiling, experience earning rates, party size, and finally, reducing party and tower costs.

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

Game Score - 72%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls 3/5

Morality Score - 61%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 4/10
Occult/Supernatural - 4/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

The single player and multiplayer missions range from one to four players.  If you have an ally you’ll have to keep their base protected as well.  When it’s three to one it gets pretty challenging.  I can imagine multiplayer being fun but I didn’t see anyone online to play against.

Even without the multiplayer you’ll get a fair amount of game time.  I spent roughly eight hours and for a $15 title, that’s not too bad.  Even still, I think this is an average game and there’s nothing spectacular about it.  The graphics are decent with the maps being cheerful and colorful and as you get deeper into the story, they get gloomier and depressing.  The music is pleasant to listen to, but not memorable.  I enjoyed the voice acting for the units and the advisor, but the elf leader’s raspy voice got on my nerves a little bit.  

The controls are functional but require memorizing keyboard and mouse buttons instead of having it all on the screen’s user interface.  Managing towers and units is all done by the mouse but to see the tower placement grid, you have to press F1. In order to speed up the game speed you have to press F4 on the keyboard.  I guess I’m spoiled by the 1-4x button from the King Arthur games.

Morally speaking, there are some things worth noting.  Defenders of Ardania earns its Teen rating for swearing (D word), violence and alcohol references.   I was surprised to see a lesbian shower drawing in the ending credits.  I think they meant it to be funny, but it's unnecessary and goes against Biblical teachings.  

The humor for the most part was entertaining but after seeing the credits, I just can't recommend this game with a clean conscience.  From a game play stand point, it's average.  There is a demo available if you want to check it out, but there are better Tower Defense games out there.  I recommend sticking with the far superior RTS Majesty games.

 

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About Us:

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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