follow us:

Latest News

Pre-Order incentives for Hitman: Absolution released
Recently announced by Square Enix is the exclusive North America pre-order incentive for Hitman: Absolution. Pre-order Hitman: Absolution through GameStop and receive the stand-alone Hitman: Sniper Challenge beginning May 15. Hitman: Sniper Challenge follows Agent 47 on an ... [read more]
Smashing records: Minecraft: Xbox360 Edition becomes profitable in an hour
With over 100,000 copies sold and over 400,000 unique player entries on the scoreboard, Minecraft: Xbox360 Edition on Xbox Live Arcade became profitable in just an hour of its release. The adventure game Minecraft: Xbox360 by Mojang was released on May 9 and broke the previo... [read more]
When good clowns go bad: Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC trailer
If you think Batman had it rough at the end of Arkham City, wait till you see how Harley Quinn is taking it. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

"Not just another zombie game" Sandswept Studios talks about The Dead Linger
With the huge success of the Double Fine Kickstarter project that raised over $3 million, game developers flocked to Kickstarter in hopes that their game would become the next crowd funding success story. One such developer is Sandswept Studios with their game, The Dead Lin... [read more]
3 reasons why there's no need for story in fighting games
If you're playing a fighting game for the story, you're doing it wrong.... [read more]
From the Editor's Desk: Is the Gamestop Lawsuit Good or Bad for Gamers?
Gamestop settled on a lawsuit regarding the sale of used games that are missing DLC. Is this lawsuit a win for gamers or will this cause more problems for gamers? ... [read more]

Latest Reviews

The Binding of Isaac Review
When was the last time you played a game that blew you away with craziness? It’s been a while? The Binding of Isaac is easily one of the craziest games that I’ve played with some of the most simple yet incredible gameplay I’ve seen. I’m not going to hide how much I l... [read more]
Skullgirls Review
As the fighting game revival continues to bloom, a small indie company is looking to shake-up the genre. Can Skullgirls, a fighting game for fighting game fans by fighting game fans, hang with the big boys?... [read more]
Sine Mora Review
Sine Mora is a side scrolling shoot'em up title that borrows heavily from past titles in the genre such as the cult classic Einhander. The premise involves war torn characters battling a bigger threat as you shoot down enemies and gigantic bosses in your little plane. Althou... [read more]

Latest Videos

The RPG Fanatic: dnd (PLATO) Creators Gary Whisenhunt & Ray Wood Interview
In the mid 1970s Gary Whisenhunt and Ray Wood created one of the earliest computer roleplaying videogames, dnd, which also happened to be one of the first "fan games". Although little known today, their work pre-dates much better known series like Ultima, Wizardry and Dragon... [read more]
The RPG Fanatic: Seiken Densetsu 3 Retrospect and Review + Operation Manafall
You might know this game as Secret of Mana 2, but this video is titled by the only name it was officially released as. This was a Japan exclusive game in the Mana series that many people aren't aware existed, but let's change that starting right now!... [read more]
From the Editor's Desk: Is the Gamestop Lawsuit Good or Bad for Gamers?
Gamestop settled on a lawsuit regarding the sale of used games that are missing DLC. Is this lawsuit a win for gamers or will this cause more problems for gamers? ... [read more]
Defenders of Ardania Review
Posted on April 07, 2012 by Jack

The Tower Defense genre is perhaps one of the more saturated in gaming at the moment.  Because of this, if a game wants to stand out from the rest of the pack, it has to do something a little different. Defenders of Ardania does this by attempting something so simple that it’s frankly amazing it hasn’t caught on more: it gives you the chance to attack your enemy.  By doing this, Defenders of Ardania merges the lines between Tower Defense and RTS, creating a blend of building strategy, resource management and tactical offense that calls for more player input than just placing your buildings and letting the enemy come to you. With the added inclusion of online multiplayer, does Most Wanted Entertainment’s latest effort deserve to be defended? Or should you leave it to the undead hordes?


Vacation Spot? - Ardania is blessed with one of the more complete envisioning of a world that I have experienced via the downloadable medium. Sure, you don’t see people going about their everyday business, buying groceries and picking the kids up from school, but the variation in landscapes and races is higher than I’ve come to expect from non-disc-based games. What makes the variation even more welcome are the clean visuals used to depict various aspects of the world. Everything from farms and mines to jungles and temples is included in your trek across Ardania, and each environment looks and sounds different from the one that preceded it.

Defensive Awareness - One thing that usually drives me crazy with strategy games, and a problem that is often exaggerated on consoles, is the sheer number of shortcuts that need to be remembered, or the number of sub-menus that need to be navigated just to access a simple command.  Defenders of Ardania removes this heartache by having each set of commands accessible via a single button push. Whether it’s spells, construction, upgrades or unit management, each can be accessed by an assigned direction on the d-pad. When you’re flying around the battlefield giving orders left and right, it’s nice to know you can get stuff done quickly and easily.

Patchwork Army - Any fantasy epic needs a liberal dose of strange races, unlikely alliances and villainous enemies spread throughout its narrative, and Defenders of Ardania lives up to its fantasy aspirations. Whilst the playable races don’t include all the ones listed here, throughout the course of the game you will encounter wizards, dwarves, the undead, animals and minotaurs, each with their own playing style and range of units. The number of units available almost matches the number of races, with the addition of a new alliance member opening up the chance to build new and more powerful units. Each unit is able to unlock a ‘hero’, which is essentially a more powerful version of the base model, and these come in incredibly handy, particularly during the later levels.


I’m The Cock of the Walk! - For the first twenty minutes of Defenders of Ardania, I was trying to work out just who did the voice of the king’s main advisor was. At first, it sounded like Brian Blessed, with all his shouty, over-the-topness, but then I began to wonder if perhaps Sean Connery had got in on the act, as the accent seemed to veer all over the place. Turns out, I was wrong on both counts, and it was just someone doing a poor impression of the both of them. This trend continued throughout the game, unfortunately, with almost every character being voiced by what sounded like a high-school actor, over-acting as if their lives depended on it. In an era when voice acting is becoming a respected profession, amateur efforts just don’t cut it anymore.

I Just Can’t Wait To Be King - The one bane of tower defense games that I find affects almost all of them, is what it is you’re supposed to do once your towers are built and the enemy is attacking. Defenders of Ardania attempts to remedy this by having you attack as well, but even then, much of the game can be completed by working out which units are most effective on a particular map, and just spamming numbers. There’s no need for tactical nuance, or strategic placement of units, and it’s impossible to attempt to create any kind of formation, as units march single-mindedly towards their destination at whichever speed is default to them.

That’s Your Defense?! - Defenders of Ardania has a pretty long campaign, and each level will take you a good 20-40 minutes to complete, depending on how badly you mess up your tower placement and resource management. You WILL complete it though, as Defenders of Ardania is remarkably easy, even in the latter parts of the game. I think I failed a mission only once, and that was because I couldn’t work out how to target an individual unit until it was too late. For the rest of the game, spamming numbers and securing important areas on the landscape will be enough to secure victory, and from then it’s merely a matter of waiting for the opponent’s hitpoints to drop.

Defenders of Ardania offers up a good deal of content for your money, but it just doesn’t offer up a lot of challenge. The world of Ardania is inviting, and each level contains enough variation in terms of environment and units to keep the game fresh from beginning to end.  That is no mean feat in a game of shorter length.  Unfortunately, you’ll be able to race through it (as much as you can in a strategy game) in a number of sittings. Defense games should force the player to experience some degree of peril, and the overwhelming desire to flee in the face of unassailable odds. Instead, Defenders of Ardania decides that allowing players to merely go through the motions will be enough to secure victory, and the game suffers for it. For all the imagination put into creating an interesting world, players will become bored with the lack of challenge long before they’ve explored each corner of this new world.

*This review was based on the Xbox 360 version of the game with a review code provided by the publisher.*

Jack - Staff Writer jack (@) | all author's articles

Is crowd funding the way of the future?

Absolutely. It gives power to the gamers by letting them pay for the games they want to see.
Nope. Crowd sourcing will be fine for a year or two until too many developers do not follow through with their games and waste our money.
View Results - View Comments


Con talk, Mass Effect 3 talk, and Asshole talk

Commanders: Attack of the Genos Review

Commanders: Attack of the Genos Review

Anomaly: Warzone Earth Review

Other Gaming News From The Web
Gaming News