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iOS Review: Social Tower Defense Rises from the Ashes!

UnknownSo, I’m generally not a fan of the tower defense genre, since it has been rather beaten to death in the mobile market. I thought I was finally rid of it as its games started to dwindle and burn down.

Well one, I was wrong, and two, I may have changed my opinion for the genre as a whole. Hold on to your pixelated butts, it’s time for Qube Kingdom.

Typically in the genre you build towers of different types, and you blow up wave after wave of incoming baddies usually with a boss at the end of the wave. That’s pretty much what this game does, but it adds a very important twist that appeals to me deep down in my heart. The twist? You guessed it, RPG aspects.

Fear my pixelated army, for they are skilled in the art of… well… not much.
Fear my pixelated army, for they are skilled in the art of… well… not much.

I haven’t been hooked on this game like others I’ve played on my trusty iPad2 that OWC refurbished, but I have to say, I did enjoy it quite a bit. You don’t get creatures, you get knights and wizards and clerics and archers. And they are all divided into three categories: Melee, Ranged, and Support. There are places dedicated to each on every map. Obviously you wouldn’t want your archer standing directly in the trample path of an army of skeletons jacked up on Mountain Dew and nor would you want to place your knights off the road, where they can’t hit anything. So the game prevents you from playing like you have an IQ of 7, and it restricts the spaces to its corresponding types.

Game over, man! Game over! What are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?
Game over, man! Game over! What are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

As you progress through the game you will upgrade each of your Questors (the little dudes that would normally be towers in other games), and if you get two of the same unit, merge them together to get an evolved Questor. The stats of the evolved one are determined by the stats of the two that are being merged. Healers, Vikings, Barbarians, Knights and Highwaymen, this game is not shy on the different kinds of Questors you get as you progress, so kudos to them for keeping the game fresh as you continue to chug through its content.

One of my gripes though is when you level up one, and upgrade it, its stats are predictable and always the same. I get no benefit for evolving with a certain two of the same Questor, as long as they are both upgraded to the max, great, I win, per se. Perhaps a little randomness to the numbers and that would have been a nice polished touch. Something to add a little thought process into which units I chose would have been nice. Either way the game does a great job of appealing to both the hardcore and casual gamer by allowing me to speed up the monsters so I need to react quite quickly to the waves progression (though… sadly no reward for doing so…)

Sorry for the lack of an official trailer folks, looks like DeNA didn’t make one.

Graphics: Rating-Bar4
The graphics are awesome in my opinion, but I’m so partial to pixelated things. That being said and with that bias thrown out, the game still earns a solid 4, as everything is clean, fits the genre, and doesn’t look like four year olds were hired to do the games art. While it carries a cute blocky feel, it was still done fairly well and should appeal to more than just those used to this art, aka Minecraft players.

Gameplay: Rating-Bar3
Nope. No casual corner gameplay for this one, it’s in the big leagues, though sadly that brought down its score. While the game’s developers clearly had tickets for the try-hard-train when they went into making the game, I feel like it may have been rushed out and a few more polished game mechanics may have been the deciding factor between “pretty darn good” and “Dude, go download this right now”.

Audio: Rating-Bar2
Nothing to write home about, but it does a decent job of, I don’t know… being there? I guess? I wasn’t all that impressed.

Not really sure what sort of innovation has happened here. Animating the towers into archers and knights? Sure. The evolving and upgrading systems are nice. But really I think it just boils down an absolutely flawless execution of the game as a whole

Overall: Rating-Bar3
Meh. It has me hooked playing it I guess, but I don’t really feel it is doing anything for me other than extending my evening by another 20 minutes as I’m trying to fall asleep. That aside, it’s totally worth checking out, and best luck to you all who decide to brave Qube Kingdom.

Rocket Yard Contributor
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