Age of Defenders is described as a “totally addictive multiplayer TD game where you defend your base and in the same time attack your enemies.” I would say this is a pretty accurate description. It combines the inherent addictiveness of standard tower defense games with the competition found only in multiplayer games. Let’s take a closer look!
Sorry Android phone owners, Age of Defenders only works on Tablets with a screen size of at least 10″
Age of Defense Home Screen
I don’t play a whole lot of video games on my tablet or phone; it’s generally kept to Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, and Fruit Ninja. I’ve never really tried multiplayer games (except Words with Friends), for some reason, but when I got the beta of Age of Defenders, I was interested. I really like tower defense games (Bloons TD, anyone?), so I figured I’d give it a try.
I was happy to see a Practice area in the game, with six levels you can play single-player. The first level takes you step by step through a map, showing you each of the controls and how to use specific items. The following levels give you objectives to complete.
You will learn about the different types of defense systems you have (lasers, anti-air, rocket launchers, etc), various troops you’ll have to send to the enemy’s base, and you’ll learn how the portals work; the portals are how you send your troops to the base. You draw the path for your troops to take.
Sending all of your troops through one portal in one direction is NOT advised!
I thought this was a nice touch to the app, as you might want to practice different scenarios, unlock stuff, and get acclimated to the game before diving right into multiplayer. Speaking of which…
Here is Age of Defenders’ claim to fame: they make the tower defense game a multiplayer affair. As I said earlier, both tower defense and competition are pretty addicting, and I can see this sucking up a lot of time! The feel is almost that of Warcraft 3, where you spend time building up defenses around your base, accumulating troops, and creating a plan of attack.
I was all about Warcraft 3 my freshman year of college. Even competed in a gaming tournament.
In order to play online, you need an account, which you can login with from the Multiplayer screen. If you don’t have an account, you can also register right there. While I don’t really like that you need to register to play, the app does make the process fairly painful.
However, the process if you forget your login credentials is painful. There is no, “I forgot” button and when your username OR password is wrong, you get the same message. I had to go to their website to get an “I forgot my password” button to reset.
Once you are in, the game lobby is pretty straight forward. You can start or join a game, and chat with anyone in the lobby.
Multiplayer Game Lobby
Once you join a game or someone joins the one you created, it’s on! Build up your troops, set up your defenses, and start mining for money. You can see not only your side but your opponent’s side, so you can see what he’s up to and plan accordingly.
There are a few strategies you can employ depending on the situation. These are a couple that I came up with during play:
Killer Defense: Create a killer defense while building up a giant army. That means a wall of lasers up front that your opponent will have to break through. Careful with this one though; if your opponent catches on, you might be in for a long game.
Strike Early and Often: The first thing you’ll want to do is put down pares, which will harvest money for you, so that you can buy more stuff. Assuming your opponent does the same, build up smaller armies to continually take out those mines, while creating a bigger army to attack the defenseless base.
Of course, the possibilities for this game are endless. The best thing to do is find what works for you.
Overall, I think this is a really nice app. It looks great, it works well, and it’s a lot of fun. I like that you can play some single-player levels to get your bearings, and that you can play them on easy or hard.
The multiplayer experience is a good one once you’re in a game. There is no lag and everything works. Depending on the time, however, you may have a hard time finding games. This will definitely change as more people get the game.
(Editor’s note: The game is also compatible with its PC and iPad 2 versions, so there’s even more scope for finding people to play against.)
I only have two problems with the entire app. The first is when you forget your username and password. I don’t think it’s very user friendly because there no indication of which entry is wrong, and no way to retrieve your password from within the app itself. I had to go to their main website in order to change my password.
The other one is kind of a silly problem. When you are logged in, you can use your device’s camera to take a picture for your avatar. However, you can only use the back facing camera. This is a little bit of a pain since the app only runs on devices with 10″+ screens. It should give you the option to either use the front facing camera, or to use an image already on the device.
I’m not a big mobile gamer, but Age of Defenders is definitely worth a look. It’s a lot of fun and as far as the main functionality goes, it works flawlessly. The game looks great graphics wise and is a lot of fun to play, on either single or multiplayer. Aside from two non-game related user experience issues, this is a rock solid app.