If you enjoy playing tower defense games like Defense of the Ancients, you’ll find great joy in Defense Zone HD, a newly launched Android game that provides many hours of action-packed gameplay. Like any tower defense game, Defense Zone puts you into the role of a master strategist that must decide what defenses to build and where to concentrate firepower. DZHD is powered by the popular Unity 3D game engine, so you can expect some good graphics and visual effects. You can buy it on the Google Play store or download the Lite version from the same source.
DZHD is built on the classic tower defense formula — you hold your ground against hoards of enemies that just keep coming at you, wave after wave. The goal is to prevent enemies from reaching the end of their path, and you have various tools and weapons that you can use to stop the badies in their tracks, including various machine guns, flame throwers, and rocket launchers, of different strengths and abilities. Defense Zone will test your resource management skills as well as your sense of logistics. Not only do you have to decide which weapons to buy and where to place them, you must also manage the upgrading and restoring of veteran turrets.
The graphics of Defense Zone HD are excellent, and, in fact, one of the issues of the game is the fact that phones with older specs may not be able to enjoy an optimal visual experience. The landscape changes with levels and you may find yourself battling in forests, the Arctic, or on rocky outcrops. Each level is unique and there are many different types of enemies you will get to obliterate. Speaking of which, there are several difficulty levels for you to chose from, including the Hard mode, for those who appreciate a challenge. But don’t worry if you just want to relax and have fun, as there are difficulty levels for casual players, as well.
You can keep track of your score and progress in Defense Zone HD via the OpenFeint system. The online scoring system lets you compare your performance against other players, which certainly adds an element of competitive gameplay that many players (including casual tower strategists) will appreciate.
Enemy troops will spawn and attack you in successive waves and it is your task to stop them. Simple, huh? You can use the many different towers that are available to you. Apart from the “regular” waves, every three or so waves, you might have to withstand an air raid as well. Enemy aircraft don’t follow the same path as the other enemies and can only be attacked by special antiaircraft towers.
The machine gun and the rocket launcher will form the foundation of your defense, so you should build them first on most levels. As you advance, you will see different and more expensive turret upgrades showing up, each with its own unique effect and damage.
As the commander of the defense force, you have to organize the barrier and issue out all the orders before the next wave is upon you. To add a turret, simply tap it and drag it. The goal isn’t to just build as many turrets as you can, so you’ll need to learn when (and how) to upgrade them, and when to sell and replace them with something more efficient.
In general, there are many different tactics you can try out in Defense Zone. You can even control in which order your turrets should be firing. So, you’ll often find yourself making decision such as – do I order the machine guns to weaken the enemies that have the largest amount of health? Or should I order them to attack the weaker ones and quickly clear them out?
Defense Zone isn’t that complicated to play, while it’s relatively difficult to understand and fully master all its subtleties. The user interface itself is spot on, giving you quick access to all the relevant information and all the major options.
On the upper part of the screen, you’ll see information such as:
On the lower part of the screen you will see details such as:
Defense Zone HD features some really nice visual effects and environments that look great, but all the eye-candy will cause lag, when playing on phones with less processing power. The soundtrack is also engaging and energetic, contributing to the atmosphere. In short, the beats will get your blood pumping in those difficult snow levels, but of course, you can always turn it off if you don’t fancy it. If you feel that a wave of enemies is walking to slow towards their rocket-inflicted downfall, you can use the fast-forward button, which should be a standard feature in TD games, yet a lot of developers neglect to add it.
Another awesome feature that many developers neglect, yet is present in Defense Zone HD are the in-game tips that you can read while you wait for the next level to load. When you first start out playing the game, make sure you read them carefully. The only thing the game really needs is a decent tutorial, though the first levels are easy enough to catch on and learn everything by yourself.
Admittedly, Defense Zone HD is nothing revolutionary. However, we feel that most tower defense fans will enjoy it. It provides hours of captivating gameplay, and the online rankings and high score system add a touch of competition to an otherwise solitary game. The style of Defense Zone HD is quite unique and the visual effects are amazing. The devs did a splendid job with DZHD, yet they neglected some basic features that should’ve made it to the game, like a tutorial and minor interface customizations. Perhaps in the future, we will see a better version of the game, but, until then, enjoy Defense Zone HD!