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Friday, May 20, 2011

Army of Darkness Defense on iPhone Impression

The cult classic and one-liner-rific makes its mobile debut with Defense

Its castle defense time as Ash must defeat waves of Deadites to protect the Necronomicon in Army of Darkness: Defense. Fans know what this means but for those not familiar with the excellent action of Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice) in Army of Darkness of the Evil Dead trilogy, well this is Plants vs. Zombies revamped with a great license. The concept is simple, defend a book from enemies, but the question is how does it play out? Let’s take a look.

Gameplay – Gamers assume the role of Ash as he runs around with his boomstick (shotgun), killing invading Deadites (living dead, zombies, skeletons, etc) as they move from the right to left where the Necronomicon (a book) sits in a cage. To assist Ash in his battle gamers must deploy units from peasants to archers heroes like Arthur. The setting is the castle; the opponents are various forms of Deadites and creatures from the movie. Keep the book safe while deploying soldiers who march until they fight. Money is obtained from killed enemies and battle lost when either Ash dies or the book is taken. The core mechanics have gamers protecting point A with enemies coming from point B. After each battle gamers are given the choice to level up various abilities for Ash, his soldiers or castle features.

Graphics – Compared to the source material this is pretty lighthearted in look and feel. Character look robotic in movement and have a comic, super deformed look that is fitting for the simpler format of a mobile game. Characters sport a nice level of detail and are easily identifiable even in large scrums.

Sound – Background music is recognizable from the film but who may I ask would remember this music? No, the real beauty of Defense is it’s utilization of Bruce Campbell’s perfectly delivered one-liners and other quotes from the movie.

Design – Basic but it works. As with Plants vs. Zombies and other ‘defense’ games the concept of protecting a home base from hordes of enemies is simple but it’s the execution, using this license, to integrate Ash and his allies into battle that works well. Nothing super new here but just solid gameplay.

Miscellaneous – It’s been a while since Army of Darkness was relevant outside of its cult following so it was an interesting choice for a game but at its current price and for the solid gameplay delivered is quite a well delivered package.

Overall Army of Darkness: Defense offers up a great portable gaming experience which takes tried and true mobile gaming formulas and tweaks them with the humor, characters and settings seen in the film. Fans of Army of Darkness will enjoy the plethora of one-liners and gamers will dig the familiar yet new gameplay. A solid outing which delivers the goods like a fistful of boomstick.

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