The game’s setting won’t exactly pull you in, but it’s fun. It’s not written to be compelling or take itself seriously and doesn’t try to be anything else. It sets up a quick premise and takes you to the final boss with a few cutscenes, that’s about it. You’re the children of heroes. The parents left and oops, evil found its way into your kingdom. Now it’s your job to stop these vile hordes of evil. Nothing new here, but it sets the mood for a quirky adventure. Goofy armor, flashy spells, and a lot of weapons to choose from. Did we mention the bright color palette?
The gameplay and challenge is what we found addicting. So, expect a bit of a learning curve if you’re new. You will likely stick out like a banana growing on a strawberry plant with your awkward tower placement, but that’s the most pure form of entertainment to be had. That moment that a map clicks and you figure out how to beat it. If there is one thing new players take away from this review, it’s that we recommend you to beat every map within your own limits. Try to figure out your own successful build. The campaign is simple enough, hitting the level cap can easily be done in a day. The puzzle of the map? You can’t have that back. Once you beat it on said difficulty you can’t ever have that satisfaction back.
In terms of gameplay, you either build or you attack. Build a character for both roles, but don’t have a character built for both, because you are either good at one thing or bad at two. Towers ultimately do more than any one offensive player can really do. So, we suggest you first build a character with stats that improve your defensive units. A squire is a great first choice.
A winning strategy consists of more than just where build your towers, but which towers you choose. Mage units are purely offensive, with the exception of a flimsy wall. Squire on the other hand, has very strong walls. Fireball towers from the Mage are great, but each mob is immune to a specific element, so you’ll have to counter that with another variety. Beware of the wyrvens as well, they can fly. Here’s where you can show of your brain power and get creative, because there isn’t one single way to beat any map. The nice thing is that throughout the building phase, the timer before a map starts, you can freely switch characters and use whichever of their towers you want. For example, on the final boss fight it’s necessary to have character with DPS stats after you build.
- DLC is all-included This is quite major if you’re new to the game. There was a lot. We’m talking about a list that would roll out like a red carpet type long. All of those classes and maps are now included.
- Improved pets. You now find an egg, hatch it, and level it up with experience. Each has its own unique ability. What’s nice is it’s much easier to acquire the different types of pets.
- You can join a public tavern. Get yourself plopped into the a tavern with other strangers. It does make it a little bit more social, but mostly it’s just noise and clutter. Trendy has added the option to keep it private.
- You can see your armor pieces. However, sometimes the bad comes with the good. Dye (also new) an entire set of plate armor pink? Cool. Don’t like the buckethead look from your new helmet? Too bad. Yet again, Trendy has listened. You can use in-game currency to make a piece invisible.
- Four customizable amulet slots. We generally just refer to these as spells in game. That’s everything from additional elemental damage, instant cast tower heals, offensive spells to defensive spells.
- Consumables. You have offensive items that are largely useless, such as grenades. Then you have the easy-to-find orbs to increase xp, rarity, or drop rate. They are mostly mandatory for farming.
- There is a cash shop, however that name is almost harsh to use. The only thing you can buy are emotes for $1. There is no pay to win.
- The Summoner class can be built for DPS. It also no longer has it’s own separate DU.
Playverse also allows items to be instanced, eliminating players from being able to ninja your fancy pants loot. You can be the greedy bastard you’ve always wanted to be and grab everything you see. Or you know, take your time finding what you want to pick up and letting the game auto-sell the rest. Big win; however, new shiny things come with a cost. With the introduction of a client, prepare to trudge through an occasional dsync. Generally they are insignificant, but we have lost a match or two as a result of it.
My feedback is mostly positive, so what’s with a lot of the hysteria in the steam reviews? Well, day one it was justified. Straight up rough and bumpy. Keep in mind that this wasn’t even an announced launch, it caught all of us almost entirely off guard. A lot of people couldn’t connect to match-making, solo play was nonexistent, and rollbacks made me suffer through a loss of items and experience upon exiting a game.
What is reassuring is the support Trendy has shown post launch is quite good. In less than twenty-four hours, solo play was implemented. By day three, matchmaking was working flawlessly. We’ve been in discussion with developers and they are constantly working on game balance. Class, NPC, and item rebalancing has all been released or in the works. It really bodes for a bright future with the release of Nightmare Mode, the hardest difficulty in the game.
- Extremely rewarding sense of progression.
- The cash shop is not pay-to-win.
- Continued commitment from the dev team.
- The UI. From the item box to the bootstrap, it’s a clunker.
- Occasional dsync.
- Bright visual identity.
- Progression wall.
First time players? There was a fair amount of content to begin with and now they have smoothed out the experience. If the gameplay looks appealing, this is a great game that is a lot of fun with friends.
Returning players? Again, my feelings are mixed. I do commend Trendy for working hard to make the experience a bit better. If you still played the original from time to time, it may be worth it. For anyone who got their fix and called it quits with the original, it’s hard to recommend this. Without much additional content the release seems a bit unnecessary.