Welcome to Legendaria, land of short fantasy creatures with silly names! Here you may do battle alongside the heroic elfy, dwarfy, and knighty forces against evil skellys, zombies, vampys, etc. and save the world from imminent destruction! These castles ain’t gonna defend themselves, kid, so get moving!
As you might have guessed, the characters are cute and the plot isn’t exactly original, but Legendary Wars does a surprisingly good job of tackling an overcrowded genre and delivering a game that actually feels fresh. At this point, castle defense games a la Zombies Vs Zombies have been pretty much done to death, but thanks to strong artwork and a variety of playing modes, Legendary Wars works hard to provide a game that can stand on its own two adorably stubby feet.
Most of the levels are straight up castle defense: keep the bad guys from destroying your castle, and sometimes you can go bust up their castle. You start off levels by deploying a non-combat miner who goes and collects gems for you. Gems are used for purchasing combat units, so it’s vital you keep collecting them when the miners pop up.
Once purchased, units are deployed in one of three lanes, and their placement can be switched on the fly with a tap. You can select and move units individually or move everybody at once by holding your finger on the screen for a moment. You can also have individual units unleash a powerful special attack, but this eats up your “essence” bar, which you recharge by killing baddies. Although moving individual units gives you a lot of freedom and helps to avoid incoming ranged attacks and the like, it starts to feel like a lot of tedious micromanagement after awhile.
You’ll also need to mix up your unit types if you want to survive, since different units come with various strengths and weaknesses. For example, elfys have a swell ranged attack, but they’ll collapse if you breathe on them funny, so you’ll want a sturdier knighty unit as a buffer. Between battles, you can visit the armory to purchase stat upgrades for your units or also upgrade your miners and castle.
In addition to the standard, but still very fun castle defense levels, there are also levels that play a bit like a stripped down platformer and also levels that give you control of a single, shiny, “hero” unit that you have to keep alive during the enemy onslaught. They’re not always perfect (I’m looking at you, clumsy platformer controls!), but they help to break up the battle monotony and bring some variety to the action.
And with dozens of levels, there’s a lot of action to be had. The campaign mode is beefy, and it really doesn’t take long before the levels are challenging, but there are also a few nifty unlockables, like endless defense, side-scrolling, and survival modes. When you wrap all of this up in a reasonable clean interface with a fun, cartoon design scheme, you end up with a very tasty little game. Bottom line, even if you’re tired of castle defense and think fantasy games are played out, don’t be too quick to dismiss Legendary Wars.
Here is a video demo of the Legendary Wars app on the iPhone
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