The elves aren’t always the good guys, but Elf Defense makes no bones about it. In this fantasy land, humans might as well be ogres, based on how well we’re treating our elven neighbors. This beautiful tower defense game from Jelly Oasis is a standout new offering in terms of both gameplay and aesthetics.
Elf Defense is standard in terms of structure, but that’s about the only thing about this game that is average. Waves of enemies come ambling (or sprinting) along the path to your elven fortress; the player’s job is stop them with strategically placed elven towers and mercenary warriors. Adjustable difficulty levels with pleasant pacing make this a great game for newbs to the castle defense genre and those who consider themselves castle defense connoisseurs.
Controls are basic—tap where you want to place a defensive unit, choose the type of unit you want to place there, and it plops into place. You can upgrade already-placed towers by tapping again, assuming you have the income to upgrade. Once in place, the defense units are stationary, so your strategy depends on placing the right units in the right places to disable the waves of human enemies.
There are over 100 different varieties of those enemies, incidentally, and each has their own unique set of characteristics, so players can exercise their strategizing skills. With an impressive armory of special items available as you progress, as well as the availability of specialized mercenary warriors, all of the tools to get the job done are there—it’s up the the player to provide the brains. There are several different gorgeous environments, each packed with challenging stages. The game design is solid, giving you just enough to succeed as it gets more challenging, without making this a walk-through or overly frustrating grind. (Cheers to the devs for starting the opening levels with relatively few waves so you can learn the mechanics involved with items and upgrades, also.)
All of this makes Elf Defense a decent tower defense offering; what makes it an absolutely awesome one is the game’s beautiful visuals, details, charming animations, and overall polish. I don’t need to tell anyone who likes castle defense games that there are a plethora of App Store offerings in that genre that are just plain unattractive, or that have such poor visual design (usually too crowded) that it actually interferes with the ability to play. Elf Defense manages to create a standalone world with charming character design, HD graphics, and rich detail, while still making the game play come across as clean and uncluttered. Truly impressive.
The game retails at $2.99, and plays well without in-app purchases, though there are some available that will definitely smooth the way. It’s available now in the App Store, and it’s worth checking out.