A Knights Dawn – review of the iOS indie tower defense game

A Knights Dawn – review of the iOS indie tower defense game
4.5

Platforms:

iPhone, iPad (iOS 4.2 or later)

Game Name:

A Knights Dawn

Publisher(s):

Visionary X GmbH

Genre(s):

Tower Defense

ESRB Rating:

9+

Developer Summary

“A Knights Dawn” takes you through the adventures of a King and his long and rough path to power. Together with his fearless and loyal followers, he is forced to defend his homeland from the almost endless hordes of ruthless Invaders.

Instantly addictive Gameplay, Unlockable Achievements, Upgradable Units and an evolving Homebase, Facebook integration and different difficulties – these are just a few of the many awesome features that await the Player.

What We Think

A Knights Dawn is a gorgeous Tower Defense game, and a more than reasonably priced one.

A Knights Dawn game for iOS - passage
None shall pass!

A Dawn-ting Task

AKD follows the same principles of other Tower Defense games. Enemies will enter from one side of the screen, and will attempt to storm to a post on the other side of the screen. Should they succeed, one life will be lost for each enemy that crosses the line. Lose all 20 lives in a level, and the level will have to be restarted. The player is tasked with placing various defense units in such a way that the enemy is effectively defeated before they can complete their trek across the map.

Outposts are predetermined on the map, and tapping an unoccupied one will bring up the unit choices available. Provided the coin is there, a unit will be constructed, and will defend the range around that post. Depending on the location of the post, players must strike a decent balance between the available units. Successfully defending an area will unlock the next stage, as well as higher difficulty levels for the current stage. The higher the level of difficulty, the greater the spoils.

A Knights Dawn game for iOS - ye olde towne
Chill ye at yon inne, within ye olde towne. Folks of yore sure loved slapping Es on the ends of things...

Rock, Paper, Dwarf

Certain types of enemies will require specific units to defeat them. Hand-to-hand units such as fighters, knights and assassins will engage a unit head-on. Once an enemy unit is engaged in battle, the fight will last until one unit falls, be it friend or foe. Assassins don’t do a lot of damage, but they also poison their targets, softening them up for units down the line. Generally, melee types are effective against grunt types, but can be taken down with a couple of swipes from a larger foe, leaving the post unguarded until a new unit can spawn.

Musketeers and mages launch ranged attacks. Though mages are generally more powerful, their attacks are slower. The musketeer has a much higher rate of fire, there are certain enemies that will only fall to magic, while others will be near-impervious to physical damage.

Upgrading a unit can be just even more effective than adding a new unit. Tap an existing unit to see what the upgrade cost is. The process of adding the improvements will take a couple of seconds, so it is advisable to wait until between waves to pull it off.

A Knights Dawn game for iOS - Ogre
The bigger they are...

I’d Buy That For a Farthing

Bonuses are doled out based on how many enemies made it through the defenses, as well as how few units were deployed throughout the stage. The total is presented to the player as Honor Points, and 50 of these can be used back at base camp to upgrade attributes such as overall damage, range of attack, and armor class.

To prepare for later swarms, it will be necessary to grind through several replays of a level in order to amass Honor Points. Getting stomped consistently on the latest level? Build up some points for upgrades, and come back later.

In Sum

A Knights Dawn hits all the right buttons as a tower defense game. There is a high level of replay value for perfectionists, and it even comes with a glut of achievements to unlock. Graphically, the game captures the Tolkien-esque feel by implementing beautiful sprites (which I believe are hand drawn).

That said, the touchscreen interface is not as sensitive as it needs to be sometimes, and far too sensitive at other times. It can be maddening watching a perfect round shatter when several taps on a post flag yields no results, or when ordering an upgrade to a unit is interpreted as “cancel action”.

Weighing the good of this game versus the evil, good wins the day. For $1.99, this game is a treasure just waiting to be plundered. It also happens to be on sale for $.99 at present, so rally the troops!

A Knights Dawn at the iTunes App Store – USD $0.99

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Adam Fimio

AKA Callabrantus [Toronto, Canada] has been an avid gamer since playing his first arcade game when he was two years old. Years later, he still dives into games on a daily basis hoping to recreate the high from that first hit.

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