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Bally tenpenny ones dropping in the custard!
Whew. What a trip. Lone Defender is a surprisingly earnest turret defense game that single-handedly delivers on the promise of every cheesy over-produced war game ever released to the Xbox generation.
I'm amazed no other game has attempted this. Capturing authenticity is easy when you USE ACTUAL HISTORY. Instead of making up some bullshit one-man army superhero story with like a few elements borrowed from WWII and plugged in as set-pieces, Lone Defender just shows you a front page story from an actual newspaper from back then.
Click the words "continued on page 2," and you'll get a link to the actual web archive of the actual articles! I was just along for the ride, at first, but every now and some random article would really grip me. We humans are fantastic information-filtering machines. We tend to skip over stuff we're not personally interested in, but we're great at skimming. For me, it was moments like the clever "ducks and drakes" bombing runs against german dams, the descriptions of horrified allied troops liberating a german concentration camp, the Americans and Soviets making contact behind enemy lines, Winston Churchill losing to the Labor party depsite succeeding gloriously as a wartime leader. Little details like that meant the world to me, and you'd never get those in like Battlefield 47 or whatever.
I'm sure other players would filter out other key moments and identify with them, but the point is that the game just tosses a ton of information at you between levels, and you'll probably come away with a few moments that really mean something to you personally.
Best of all, you're not getting briefed by some commander or something, you're just reading it on the front page of the newspaper like every other working-class sod. It's a brilliant way to convey story, and I applaud the author for it.
The game itself is just a stock turret defense game with little connection to the events of the war. You start off flacking the enemy with a slow, inaccurate piece of crap, (just like in real life,) but don't worry. The first stage is just barely playable, and as long as you don't neglect damage and spread some points around a bit, you'll soon build a gun you're comfortable with.
I actually held off on reviewing it until I beat the game, because I was worried about how playable it would be without the tier 6 powerups. I like NG because the black background lets me focus on the game, and the ads shut off so Flash Player has more resources to use on driving the game. Free is free, but if the sponsor's corporate agenda to come between me and playing the game, forget it, I won't play the game. I'm out. Mercifully, LD slips you the tier 6 powerups under-the-table after you've exhausted all other upgrade options. Then the game becomes a more standard TDG, with gradually escalating challenge. In the last few levels, I had to let some planes through because the first wave sends like 5 advanced prop planes with stars all at once, so there's nothing you can do but kill one or two of them and let the rest through. I beat the last stage with 1 life left, which is why I'm giving this game a 10 and not cussing the author out over a lack of any saved game system.
I wish all Edutainment titles worked this way. Sure, it's hard to cover all the establishment's programming when you let the player merely skim the articles, but I think I learned more about WW2 by playing this game than I did throughout grade school and high school.
I didn't mind the British frame of reference, either. It was a nice change of pace, and it served as a humbling reminder that while we may have ponied up plenty of planes, bombs, infrastructure, and some invasion troops, the bulk of the fighting was done over there in Europe.
In fact, after playing this game, I'm not convinced you can really tell the story of WW2 from an American soldier's perspective. Not that that will stop EA, but it's good to know that indie game devs on Newgrounds will always be around to pick up the slack.
This game just draws the player in! At least, it does for anyone with an attention span of longer than 30 seconds :) I didn't want to stop playing until I looked at the clock and saw I spent an hour or so on it. Not sure what round I was at, but I had all the up-grades and tried for about 6 rounds after that to get lvl 6 up-grades before I finnaly read the notice that they're only in the deluxe version. Even then, woulda kept playing till the end but reality forced me to stop as I have running around to do today... Damn it real life sucks!! Keep up the amazing work, please!!
this defence game was good and i like how it's telling you parts of the WWII events
plus i kinda of quited after i couldn't get lvl 6 for all of my lvl 5 upgrades
great game but no lvl 6 upgrades......