Looking for an upgrade from your usual tower defense game? Take a look at our review of the latest from Hexage.
If you own a mobile phone then it's almost impossible to have not found yourself in ownership of a tower defense game at some point. From Plants vs Zombies to Crystal Defenders there's no shortage of games ready to scratch that particular itch.
But what made Hexage's new title jump out at us immediately was their pedigree in providing top-quality mobile games, on a freemium basis, and without prying players' wallets open at every turn. We stumbled upon one of the developer's previous titles, the rock-paper-scissors robotic beat 'em up Robotek, by accident and have been captivated by the game ever since.
This tower defense game is immediately recognizable to devotees of that particular game - everything from the sound effects, music, and artwork of the game is familiar, although the game is set within the wider universe of an earlier Hexage title, Radiant HD.
In Radiant Defense, players are tasked with preventing an invading swarm of aliens from passing out of an invasion vortex on the left, traveling across the screen, and then arriving at a blazing hot spiral reactor. This latter needs to be protected at all costs, as it holds off the greater bulk of the alien invasion. Prior to each match, players set up their various weapons, modules and path-changers before the aliens are allowed to run amok.
Basic gun turrets do predictably basic damage. A whole cornucopia of deadly weaponry, from lasers to mines and slow-motion force fields, becomes available should you upgrade your research facilities. In order to unlock many of these more blistering weapons, you'll need to upgrade to the various in-app packs, priced at $0.99 apiece. While there's much enjoyment to be had from playing the game without spending cash, the game's ten levels represent a tough challenge, and so you'll likely find yourself dipping into your wallet at least once.
Rather than simply optimizing the placement of weapons, the actual pathway taken by the incoming aliens can be altered with modules that divert the invading force up, down, left or right in order to hold them in your line of fire just long enough to polish them all off. Before each wave begins the game provides a handy pre-match overview of how exactly the aliens will pass through the carefully designed twists and turns you've lined up, allowing you to prepare your devastation with precision.
Radiant Defense may not be an overwhelmingly original title on the App Store, and there's only so much that can be done to take the tower defense concept further. That said, Hexage's high production standards and route-changing mechanics make the game compelling enough for any existing fans of the genre.
What's Hot: Great path-management mechanics, wonderful graphics, and the sound is top-notch.
What's Not: You'll be lucky to complete the game without spending a little money.