With owning an iOS device, it’s almost obligatory to play some type of tower defense game. There are lots to choose from, but I decided to pick up iBomber Defense first. The app’s feature set is pretty robust. It has Game Center, Retina Display graphics and universal binary support. After viewing the professional looking graphics, I decided to try the app out. It was only 99¢, so I didn’t see it as a big loss. Plus, Chillingo seems to know what they’re doing.
This game, created by Cobra Mobile, is high-quality. From the moment I loaded the game up, I knew that this app was fun. The presentation is spectacular. The game uses a World War II theme, with sound effects and music to match. This game is not terribly original. It’s just built right.
The game is played by placing units in strategic positions. You can place machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, communication towers and other types of hardware throughout the map. However, the main objective is to protect the base from attack. The enemy will approach you from various directions, so it’s important to choose the best location for your defenses.
This is not a difficult game to learn. Almost immediately, I was using my machine guns to cut down enemy infantry. That’s why I appreciated another game feature. You can fast-forward the action. If you don’t feel like waiting, you can speed the game up. It also makes things more challenging.
If you’re not in a rush, you can place units while the game is paused. Although, that’s where one of the game’s limitations can be found – the button. The pause, fast-forward, settings and rewind buttons are too small and too close to each other. I found myself fumbling to hit the right button.
The game could be more random too. The battles followed a typical pattern. The enemies would come out and I would roughly memorize their attack patterns. If the base got hit, I would restart the level and place my units in optimal positions. With better defenses established, I hit the fast-forward button and rushed towards a perfect victory. iBomber Defense was lots of fun on the first try, but the replay value of this app is severely diminished.
The game adds victory points, allowing you to upgrade your units. This was also a trivial addition. I quickly collected enough points to max out every type of unit. There’s not much strategy involved here.
Counter-attacks mix things up. Sometimes a previous level will be revisited, but changed slightly. I had to change my tactics to adapt to the new threat.
Another strange feature appeared. I couldn’t find it in the documentation either. I was earning interest on my money. How could that be? It seems that the communication tower lets you earn interest on money that you do not spend – up to $50 per round. That realization changed the way I approached the game. I constructed a maximum-level communication tower sooner and I tried to keep up to $500 in reserve at the end of each round. This let me buy additional units. Towards the end of the round, the enemy can be quite aggressive. Extra units can make the difference between victory and defeat.
As the enemy attacks your position, some of your units might need repair. That’s why I tried to take advantage of the terrain. If you place your units on the high ground, and next to a communications tower, their attack range can be significantly increased. Watching projectiles launch from my strategic positions was satisfying. The enemy can hit you with tanks, boats or planes, so things can get intense.
Even though there is room for improvement, iBomber Defense is an exceptional app. I played this game for hours and I’ll probably play some more. It was quite an engaging game.