Monday, November 5, 2012

Defender's Quest

Defender’s Quest is a game created by Level Up Labs and released on January 20th 2012 and recently re-released on October 30th 2012 on Steam. Defender’s Quest is advertised as a cross between an RPG and a Tower Defense game, which happen to be two of my favorite video game genres. I bought the game when it first came out, and then they recently sent me a Steam Key to unlock the game via Steam, and I’ve been playing ever since. So, is Defender’s Quest good? How does it compare to other games in the genre?

Cut all those slug... monster... uh...
things to bits!
The graphics for the game are decent. I like the cartoony look of the game, and the character design is nice and simple. The graphics will not blow you away and are not cutting edge, but this is a cheap indie game, so they don’t really need to be. This allows the game to be played on a large variety of systems. Also, there is sometimes going to be an insane amount of enemies, attacks, and numbers flying around the screen, and if the game was too system intensive, a lot of us with crappy computers wouldn’t be able to properly enjoy the game. The game ran well on an HP Pavilion g7z-2100, with minor slow down occurring on busier levels, but that may have been because I was running Chrome with Youtube up playing other music while I played the game.

Not to say that the music is Defender’s Quest is by any means bad, because it’s actually quite good. The sound effects are nice too, and I never found myself being annoyed by either. It was more of a circumstance thing, since I was writing before I started playing Defender’s Quest, so I wanted to continue listening to my music playlist.

One of the many colorful characters
you'll meet on your journey. Slak is
particularly insane.
Defender’s Quest actually had a great plot. The characters each have their own personalities, and there’s actually a reason you’re progressing through the game. Though some of the lines are a bit on the groany side, it’s very refreshing to play a game like this with an engaging plot. If anyone remembers the tower defense game Immortal Defense, they were in a similar position. I feel like this is setting a standard for tower defense games to have great plots, but this is really something that should be a part of all games in general.

The game play of Defender’s Quest is really, really good. You have a party of characters who each serve as a certain type of tower. You have a main character in each class, and then you can hire additional characters so that you have access to more towers of each class. The classes include: Librarian, Berserker, Ranger, Healer, Ice Mage, Knight, and Dragon. The classes are pretty self explanatory, with the exception of Librarian. She serves as the thing you must defend on each map. If too many monsters reach your librarian, it’s game over.

You get to name all of your units. This
is why my party is full of ASSCHECKs,
As you play through the game each of your characters level up and gain skill points as they advance. Each character has a skill tree with two different paths (The exception being the Librarian, who only has spells you can put points into), and you can split your points up however you’d like between the two. As an example, you can have a Ranger who has several different attacks, or you can have a Ranger who fires arrows with multiple effects such as poison, bleed, and pierce. Eventually as you gain levels you’ll figure out which characters set ups work and which don’t, and since you can have six of each type of characters, there’s room to experiment. You can also find weapons and armor that you can outfit your characters with as you progress through the game.

If you're a tower defense nerd, you
probably have a video game boner
right now.
Defender’s Quest also has a high amount of replay value. Each map has four different difficulties (Casual, Normal, Hard, and Extreme) and once you complete the game there’s a New Game + mode. In additional there’s a small number of challenges and endless modes that you can play through as you collect gold stars, which you receive by beating a map and by not taking any damage on each respective difficulty mode. There are also rewards for beating the higher difficulties, such as bonus money, experience, or unique items. Once you're in the New Game + mode you'll be able to upgrade the unique items, but I'm unaware at this time what the options for doing so are, because I haven't quite had time to play through the New Game + mode.

Defender’s Quest is an awesome game. I would argue that it’s actually one of the best traditional tower defense games you can find out there right now. Being able to level up your characters adds a lot of depth, and because all the maps progress quickly, playing each map multiple times isn’t a chore. If you like tower defense games, you will love this game. If you pick up the game right now you can get it on Steam for 9.99 while it’s still on sale. If you’ve got the game post your questions about it here, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

If you'd like to try before you buy, check out the demo on Kongregate.


  1. Actually, you can upgrade the unique equipment in New Game+ mode, and then they get special abilities :)

    1. Yeah I just noticed that on a list of changes on their blog found here:

      I actually just got access to the new game + mode, and hadn't seen that yet. I'll change my blog to reflect that information. Thanks for the heads up though!