The tower defense genre has seen dozens of releases in the last few years, and the newest addition to the growing genre is a small game by the name of Prime World: Defenders. Developed and published by Nival, Prime World: Defenders is different than most other TDs. Prime World: Defenders is one part tower defense, and one part trading card game. It’s definitely an interesting mixture, but does it work out in it’s favor? Or does Prime World: Defenders try to do too much?
The art style in Prime World: Defenders is rather different than in most tower defense games. It isn’t dark and gritty, or overly cartoony. It falls right in between those two extremes into a sort of storybook looking style. This is a nice touch, and adds to the medieval fantasy feel that they’re going for. The “cutscenes” in this game are also different than in most games. Instead of a CGI scene, or a slide show with captions; the cutscenes look like they’re right out of a comic book. Again, this really does add to the medieval fantasy feel, as the art style of the comics is very reminiscent of a story book.
The game itself looks alright, nothing stellar but nothing sub-par. The upside to this, is that it runs incredibly well, with very little lag or load times. The only real issue is that due to the fact that the player cannot select enemy units, it is often hard to tell what unit does what if there is a huge cluster.
Much like the Video, the audio is very average. The music is the normal sort of grandeur that one would expect in a fantasy game, and the voice acting is about on par with other TDs. Due to the nature of the game, there is one issue with the audio: the annoyance of hearing all of the towers firing. This is something that plagues every TD, and Prime World: Defenders is no different.
The gameplay is where Prime World: Defenders redeems its otherwise average qualities. It is the perfect mix of tower defense strategy, and the drive to collect every card and build an amazing deck. In battle, Prime World: Defenders functions like almost any other tower defense. The player chooses a tower to build, selects from the various locations on the field, and proceeds to strategically build a defense to prevent the enemies from “leaking”(getting through to the end.) In most of the maps, the enemies are just trying to get from point A to point B; however some maps have the enemies trying to reach a certain point and then turn around and head back to the entrance. The variety in the maps, is what gives the game its lasting power. Each map looks different, and ranges from having basic architecture where the player just builds around a specific choke(a part of the map where enemies spend a lot of time) while others have pathways that need to be blocked off. Overall, the actual tower defense aspect of Prime World: Defenders is very good and incredibly enjoyable.
The trading card aspect comes into play whenever the player is outside of a specific map. Here they manage their deck and ultimately choose which cards(towers and magic) to bring with them into battle. Players can upgrade cards, evolve cards by merging two of the same card, and purchase cards from the store. However the player is not able to buy a specific card they want, they’re forced to buy packs which contain any number of cards. This means that there is a lot of luck involved, and the player will often be frustrated that they just spent their hard earn silver or stars and received a card that they didn’t want.
Additionally, Prime World: Defenders is a considerably difficult game. Part of this is due to the randomness when receiving cards, and part of it is due to genuinely difficult levels. There are plenty of times where the player will have to rethink their entire strategy to beat a specific level. Luckily, there are several smaller levels available to play repeatedly in order to build up a stock of silver, stars and cards. That being said, for players who aren’t looking for a real challenge, Prime World: Defenders may not be for them.
While being utterly average in regards to video and audio, Prime World: Defenders is a genuinely enjoyable experience. Nival has taken two incredibly addicting genres, and combined them into one massively fun game. While the randomness may be frustrating at times, when the player finally overcomes that road block they feel very accomplished. Prime World: Defenders is a must buy for fans of the tower defense genre.