Review: Sentinel – Music Makin’ Tower Defense

Review: Sentinel – Music Makin’ Tower Defense
3.5

Platforms:

Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Steam

Game Name:

Sentinel

Publisher(s):

Matthew Brown Games

Developer(s):

Matthew Brown

Genre(s):

Tower Defence

Release Date:

April 22nd, 2014

Sentinel – What We Think:

Combining the rhythm of gameplay with player influenced music isn’t an entirely new idea, but Sentinel may be the first title to merge this concept with the tower defense genre. The premise of the game’s minimalist narrative is that you’re deploying software to halt digital attacks through the “sentinel defense interface”. To do this you’ll utilize various software tools in the form of towers to destroy incoming viruses, worms and other hostile software.

The gameplay of Sentinel will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played a tower defense game: choose from various towers and place them strategically around a path upon which enemy waves will travel. Clever tower positioning and careful resource management is the goal here; a well-designed defense will result in wave after wave of enemies vanishing as they struggle to get past your towers.

Sentinel 1

‘Spires To Be Novel

The towers of Sentinel are sufficiently varied; artillery destroys large groups of weak enemies while laser towers focus down tougher foes at short range. Other specialized towers are available to help deal with specific challenges that arise through the game. While these elements are well put together they are still nothing new to veterans of the genre who may find this title lacking for new gameplay mechanics. Sentinel does, however, have a couple of unique features.

Power Struggle

Firstly, Sentinel makes use of a power system that limits how you use the towers you have already placed. Instead of just worrying about where you put your towers, you’ll now have to consider carefully how you distribute your limited power resource among them. Rolling the mouse wheel up or down on a tower either gives or takes power, extending or reducing the range of its attacks. Depriving a tower of energy completely will disable it so you need to be diligent with this resource. This isn’t really a game changer but it’s enough to help Sentinel offer something a little different.

Sentinel 2

The most advertised of Sentinel’s features is the integration of the music with the gameplay. A wave travels across each of the levels of the game, sounding notes as it passes over your towers, meaning that your tower placement will change the rhythm of the soundtrack. Enemy deaths and certain other factors will also influence the soundtrack, making each game sound a little different.

Battles That Involve Geometry??

Visually Sentinel is extremely basic with simple geometric shapes making up the majority of towers and enemy types. That being said, the style is well executed and the various brightly colored levels are appealing as long as you don’t harbor a dislike for minimalist aesthetics. The sound is similarly well designed with the reactive music being implemented reasonably well. This isn’t the most dynamic attempt at an interactive soundtrack, but it’s certainly effective at absorbing you into the beat of the game.

Sentinel 3

A Strong Defense

With 31 levels to work through and a reasonably strong challenge when it comes to perfecting each stage, Sentinel has a fair amount to offer (especially considering the low price tag). The gameplay here isn’t a revolution to the tower defense formula but there is enough new content to warrant attention from fans of the genre. If you’re looking for a game to lose a few hours in building the perfect defense, Sentinel could be just the game for you.

Sentinel – Official Site

Get Sentinel on Steam

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Watch the trailer for Sentinel below:

Kit Goodliffe

Kit is a freelance writer specialising in gaming, film and digital media. His passion for games began at a very young age and has only grown since then. Kit is IGR's U.K. correspondent.

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