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Toy Defense 3: Fantasy Review

A Flight of Fantasy

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It’s hard to imagine that it’s been over a year since Melesta Games first released the Toy Defense series on Google Play. The first two installments of these tower defense titles were set in a World War environment. This time, as the name implies, Toy Defense 3: Fantasy will feature a medieval fantasy setting as the developer departs from the quasi-military world and dives head first into the Middle Ages.

Old-School Tower Defense

You may argue that the tower defense genre is totally saturated in the Play Store and there may not be enough words to say about Toy Defense 3: Fantasy that hasn’t been mentioned before. Nevertheless, it’s still an above-average TD game which expands upon the original and sequel, though we probably have seen most of its features from myriad of other TD titles.

Toy Defense 3: Fantasy lets you become a 10th century leader where your goal is to defend your castle from gruesome Goblins, scary-looking Orcs and dragons. Choose from four various towers (Flamethrower, Archer, Ballista, and Wizard) and place it along the path of your enemies. Some of your nemeses react differently depending on the towers strengths and weaknesses. Just make sure to strategically place the towers and try to upgrade them whenever possible.  If you fail to do so, you may find the units near your castle and depleting your kingdom’s health. Currently, the game features 24 levels in total and you can unlock the next stage just by completing the previous missions. With its pick-up-and-play gameplay, it boils down to your own preference if you want to invest in a short session or a marathon one. Simply put, this Android game sticks to the old-school tower-defense gameplay with its core mechanics.

Third Time’s a Charm?

Since it’s already the third edition, I like Melesta Games’ approach as they expand on the original and sequel. Though the numbers of towers remain the same (four), they’ve added different maps and changed their focus on placement of towers. Before, you can predict where to place your units as circles are meant for your riflemen and squares are for your high-powered towers. Good thing they stick to square shapes in Toy Defense 3 which lessens the predictability. Also, the robust upgrade system powered by the in-game currency is carried over. This unique upgrade tree gives players enough customization. I’m not surprised though with some of the typical additions as I understand the developer’s adage that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

As far as the controls are concerned, the game uses the same setting from its previous counterparts. Pick from one of the four towers and simply drag it to particular spots scattered across the field.  It’s not obvious anymore where you should put your units as compared before. The developer has also worked on the sensitivity of the controls and has made it more responsive this time.

The difficulty in Toy Defense 3: Fantasy has been turned down a bit. The levels are still increasingly challenging as you move on, and you are given in-game currencies and graded up to three stars at the end of each stage.  To get the perfect number of stars, you have to obliterate all the enemies and keep them from reaching your castle. In the previous version, I felt that IAPs was necessary to advance especially in the later stages. Rewards are also given (in the form of stars) when you are able to complete certain tasks. If you want to challenge yourselves some more, you can manually push enemy waves faster by pressing the fast forward button.

In Toy Defense 2, you can save a few of your units after each battle. These troops can be called upon on to the next level at a discounted price. I’m not sure why they didn’t put it back. Anyway, at least they carried over the towers bearing health bars. Monitor the health of your towers as evidenced by the green bar located below your unit. Your enemies often stop and attack the towers as well. Repair it immediately by tapping on the ruined tower.

Fairly Balanced IAPs

Toy Defense 3: Fantasy features an in-game (silver coins) and premium (gold Melesta coins) currencies as well as stars for upgrades. You can earn silver coins and stars as you progress or you can spend your gold coins to buy more silver ones. Meanwhile, you are given a limited number of gold coins to begin with and you can purchase more via in-app purchase starting at $0.99. If you’re feeling a little thrifty and do not want to shell out additional cash, free stars can be had by: subscribing to the game’s newsletter, telling a friend about the game, tweeting your followers on Twitter, posting on your Facebook wall, and liking the game’s Facebook page. Personally, I don’t think IAPs are necessary as you can earn currency by grinding it out though I think the developers have strike a fair balance for gamers that want a little advantage.

The Bad

You will probably be disappointed with the number of towers you can work with. With only four units available, you have to focus on the skill tree upgrades instead. You can upgrade your towers with the stars you earned in the prior stages. Though the skill tree boosts allow you to uncover additional abilities for your units, the core function of the unit remains unchanged. In my view, a couple of extra towers are definitely welcome.

Bottomline

It’s no wonder that Toy Defense 3: Fantasy is more than a decent addition to the already packed TD genre. For $1.99, I believe it’s worthy to be installed and played on your Android device.  Though there are only a couple dozens of levels, Melesta has vowed for more content on their next updates. Yes, this Android game is a good sequel but there are several tower-defense games that are better and more innovative. Each enhancement I observed can be argued as expected especially for a third installment. Anyway, if you’re a fan of the TD genre and looking for something to get your hands into, try Toy Defense 3: Fantasy. Just don’t expect to see a whole lot of new features.

3.5 / 5

good

Toy Defense 3: Fantasy improved as expected though it could have been better. tweet

Patrick Garde · Jan 31, 2014

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