I finished Fantasy Defense tonight, marking the first time that I’ve played a “serious” iOS game to completion, and I’m starting to see what the doomsayers are talking about when they question the future of dedicated gaming handhelds. I spent about 15 highly enjoyable hours setting up my neat little rows of mages and archers and watching them turn a rogue’s gallery of fantasy villains into so much swiss cheese, which is more time than I’ve spent with either my PSP or DS since finishing Project Diva back in February of last year.
For the price – free, at the moment – , it’s hard to find any complaints with Fantasy Defense. I will admit that it did crash a fair number of times while I was playing, but the levels are usually over in less than 10 minutes so it never gets too frustrating.
There IS s a bit of a difficulty spike right about the point where you hit level 40 (of 50). This is probably where the developers would like you to drop some cash in the convenient in-app store to power up your units a bit, and I actually feel a little guilty that I never did. I did have to spend a couple of hours near the end of the game going back to earlier levels and grinding experience before I could actually beat some of the final levels, and dropping 99 cents on some in-game currency would have saved me those hours of grinding, but I’m slightly more proud because I stuck it out.
Oddly, when you DO beat the last level, your reward is a static screen with music playing and no way to get back to the application. It’s not even a particularly attractive picture:
Now, I did point out in my last post that the developers kind of went over-the-top with the whole Heroic Anatomy thing, and it was therefore a little bit of a surprise to find out that they had, at some point, gotten just a little tiny bit of shame and decided to cover up their artwork JUST a little, most notably on the Ice Mage and Blaster units.
Here, for example, are the mage character portraits from in-game:
…and here are what appear to be the original character portraits. Sorry about the low resolution on this but it does get things across.
Oh, Korea, what are we going to do with you?
Anyway, quite recommended, especially as it’s free and can be finished without giving in to the siren call of the in-game-item-store.