Saturday, October 1, 2011

[Android Supernova Exclusive Preview] Tower Offense Game : Age Of Defenders For Android!


Remember that Tower Offense/Defense game called Age Of Defenders that we mentioned about two weeks ago? We've managed to get to get our hands on an early release of the game thanks to Lukas Zachar, the community manager of Cuketa - the team behind Age Of Defenders.

So what did we do once we got the game? Give it a spin of course! Inside, we will give you all the juicy details about this upcoming excellent Tower Offense game. Check out the complete preview after the jump with lots of screenshots.

Note: You can click on any image on this page for a larger view

If you have ever played just about every other tower defense game - its pretty much the same formula - build up towers to prevent your enemies from reaching the opposite end, upgrading and placing your towers in a zig-zag fashion in hopes that one of your towers kills off the enemies before they reach your base/exit/whatever.

Now, in Age Of Defenders, it is different - you still have to defend your base just like a normal tower defense game, but you will also have to build up forces to destroy your enemy base and protect your base at the same time! Which is why we call Age Of Defenders a Tower Offense Game because you not only have to defend your base, but you have to build up troops to destroy your enemy base in order to win the game.


The game features both Single and Multiplayer games and in the Single Player games, you get to practise and hone your skills before you get into a real battle in the multiplayer arena where the game supports multi-platform multiplayer gaming largely thanks to Adobe Air in which the developers used to develop this great game. For the purpose of the multiplayer aspect, you can create your avatar by taking a picture of yourself (or any other object as you desire) with your camera.


Moving on to the Single Player aspect of the game, you get to choose from 6 different missions to practise, each with a different sets of goals to achieve and introduces some of the core elements of the games pretty well. There are two levels of difficulty to choose from - easy and hard.

For some reason I find the game a bit difficult to start with, there's a fair bit of learning curve and the game is a little bit fast paced even when you set the difficulty level to easy, it could take you a few tries before you get the hang of the game and start winning. I've mentioned this to the Community Manager Lukas and he'll relay the message down to the developers, so hopefully in the final build of the game this will be worked out.


If you chose the first mission, you will be put in the standard Tower Defense game mode - your objective would be to defend your base from 20 waves of enemy suicide buggies, tanks, raiders and such. You get to build 6 different types of buildings - a laser tower, an anti air tower, a resource extractor to generate extra income, a "time machine" that slows down enemy units, a repair drone tower that repairs your base buildings and finally a rocket tower.

I'm extremely impressed with the game's graphics and sound - they are just top notch. The game's graphics reminds me a lot about an old 1997 game called Total Annihilation and its spiritual successor - Supreme Commander which was released in 2007 - both by Chris Taylor. In Age Of Defenders, you start off with some income of +14 resources per second and once you build your resource extractors, you get an additional +8 per extractor built on the deposits on the battlefield.

These extractors are extremely vulnerable to enemy attack, so you need to protect them by building lots of laser and rocket towers around it to defend it. Your towers gain experience with each unit they destroy and will automatically upgrade AND even repair itself per upgrade! You can also manually upgrade it at a cost and this will also repair the damaged tower. This is useful when you are battling a lot of enemies and don't have the time to build new towers, so you should upgrade it to repair it which also gives you a stronger tower at the same time.


For every tower, there's a secondary mode toggle button that you can press to switch to the tower's secondary fire mode. For instance, the laser tower's primary mode is to shoot lasers in a typical fashion and when you toggle the mode, you get a laser tower that fires its laser in a continuous stream, useful for taking down slower and more powerful units. Your resource extractors gets upgraded automatically too over time and makes the extractor stronger and more resistant towards enemy fire.

As you destroy more and more units on the battlefield, you will get the chance to upgrade or unlock buildings and units in the upgrade "centre". Depending on the number of "points" you have, you can spend them in making your towers more powerful or unlock towers such as the repair drone to repair your base.


Now lets talk about the Offense part of the game which makes this game unique. You get to play an offensive + defensive based game when you select the last practise mission/map in the Single Player game or when you play the Multiplayer game. In the offense mode, you would still have to defend your base from the usual waves of enemy buggies, raiders and so on. But to win the game, you must build the same set of units that the enemies throw at you - buggies, armed raiders, rocket launchers and air units all thrown into the mix. 

Unlike a typical Real-Time-Strategy (RTS) game, you queue up a bunch of units, allocate and send them to the enemy's base through a set of 4 waypoints. You have waypoints A to D to choose from, you can mix and match which units gets sent along the waypoint path indicated with a line drawn from the starting point to the end point which is the heart of the enemy base. 

You can also decide whether you want to launch the attack on just the selected way point or go all out and send the units in a kamikaze fashion to the enemy base. Some of your units have no weapon and will just launch into the enemy towers while others have weapons that can take down the towers to clear the path. Once your opponent's lives (or yours) are finished, the game is over and you shall claim victory (or defeat).


The game sounds simple but in theory, due to the limited amount of resources and the pace of the game, you have to be really quick in order to win in this game. I've also managed to do a quick test on the multiplayer aspect of the game with one of the developers yesterday (in which I got my a** kicked badly) and the game plays pretty well, I did not notice any form of lag at all while playing the game. In the multiplayer game, you get to choose from two different maps to battle on - Hill Arious and Desert Dessert (funny names - pun intended there).

Overall I would say the game is really solid but there are some notable issues in the game and some parts that could be improved which I have highlighted to Community Manager and will also be highlighting a few issues that I've just found while reviewing the game. What I really absolutely love about this game is the graphics and sounds, they are just excellent. And we have news for you on the estimated launch date, launch platforms and of course the most important thing - pricing!

Age Of Defenders for Android is expected to launch some time in October 2011 this year and will be primarily supporting tablet form factors (no word on smartphone supports as of yet) and will be supporting the following tablets according to the press kit:

  • Motorola XOOM
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1
  • Asus Transformer
  • Toshiba Thrive
  • Acer Iconia Tab A500

The game will be released for Android, iOS, PC and also Blackberry Playbook (November 2011) and will be priced at $2.99 with a 50% discounted introductory price upon launch (according to the press kit) which would in turn make the game priced somewhere around $1.49 after discount.


So what do you think? Are you excited yet? More maps, single player levels, towers and units are in the works after the final build of the game is launched in October. If you are interested to try out the game, you can play it on your PC through your browser by going to AgeOfDefenders.com

2 comments:

Lukáš said...

What a great review! :)

Malcolm said...

Thanks Lukas. Can't wait for the game to be released officially!

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