HDX Review: Tower Defense Without the Tower
HDX Review: An interesting take on a tower-defense game, as there is no tower but a small, home-bound turret instead.
Your job is to shoot down incoming attacks from land and air alike. The weapon you control is a turret that has a home base it doesn’t stray far from. Like a Roomba returning to its charging station, your turret can duck back to home base to avoid the incoming attacks. It’s also where you go to die when those attacks become overwhelming. While playing this game, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that this was Johnny 5 from the movie Short Circuit but with laser eyes. However, that’s not fair either to Johnny 5 or HDX.
You also have other weapons, such as bombs, at your disposal when the attacks get too intense. And there is a good mix of environments and enemies. You can find yourself on a beach taking out helicopters or in space taking out ships and flying saucers.
You control your turret with your thumb. Move your thumb up to shoot higher, move it down to shoot lower. While that seems simple, years of working with a mouse had me doing it backwards for a bit. And while your thumb controls most of the game, there are a few other controls on the screen that are useful for the other items at your disposal.
The graphics are bright and clear, and the movement is smooth. The environments are beautiful and varied, which mixes up the game to keep it interesting. There is not much information needed in the interface, so the screen remains clutter-free. And game music is suitable for an action-movie, which is essentially what HDX is.
My one complaint is that every time you restart a level you are presented with the instruction screen. After a few restarts, it gets old and feels a bit like a scolding. And moving between one level and the next takes a fair bit of skill and not much information on how well you did or how close you were if you didn’t make it.
Overall, it’s a solid game that’s difficult enough to keep you coming back to master it. It could use some small tweaks in the user experience, such as only seeing the instructions once and being presented with mission targets to achieve the next level. But if you like tower-defense style games where progress requires some skill, HDX for iPhone and iPad could be for you.
- Simple control paradigm to master
- Not as easy as it looks
- Nice graphics and environments to play in
- Can be difficult to precisely target
- Could be more specific on what is required to move between levels
- The instructions are only needed once