Wot I Think: Dungeon Defenders

By Jim Rossignol on October 24th, 2011 at 1:19 pm.

Painted crazies.
The tower defence genre seems to be filling out a bit now. Not in a bad way. It’s not getting flabby or anything. Perhaps more cuddly, at least if Orcs Must Die and Dungeon Defenders are anything to go by. Dungeon Defenders in particular is super delightful to the point of being saccharine. As violent as the theme is – murdering convoys of fantasy creatures with spikes and spears and magic – you just want to pick it up by its Unreal-rendered polygons and give it a squeeze. So cute!

Yes, the “running around actively combating the creeps” offshoot of tower defence (a sub-genre that includes the excellent Sanctum, which is a good sci-fi alternative to this) has found its most adorable incarnation in Dungeon Defenders. It’s colourful and compelling, with surprising depth, and really goes all out to get a charm potion down your neck, sending you off into a goggle-eyed dream of four-player co-op delirium. But that’s not to say it’s not challenging: /Holy fuck/ it can get difficult.

But let’s knock this lurid beast on the head for a moment, lay its body down on the examining table, and use the big sharp knife of analysis to lay out a few of its constituent organs on a large metal tray. What’s it all about? Well, it’s about defending a crystal. Goblins and orcs and stuff are going to come in and try to smash it, for reasons contrived. It’s your job to defend it. You do this by running around in third person as one of four character classes. Each of these has his own set of abilities, both as a character you control, and as a builder of structures which can be erected to defend the crystal.

Some folks who play Dungeon Defenders will probably have a crack at it solo, and if they do this it will rapidly become clear that this is not really the way to tackle it. Multiplayer is the way, and the maps (and challenges thereof) really do lend themselves to having lots of people running about as the various classes. You can play local split screen – which I did with a chum on an Xbox pad and me on mouse and keyboard – or you can play online, which I also did for 2 to 4-player sessions.


So yes, those classes, then:

  • The first class is the apprentice, a wizard. He’s got a big old hat and some ranged attacks. His towers provide a range of attack and defence powers, as you’d expect from any tower defence game. Dungeon Defenders tell us that this is the easiest character to play.
  • Then there’s the Squire, whose towers involve quote a lot of chucking spears and rocks at the enemy, but who has no ranged attack at all for himself. As a melee character he’s pretty good, and has special abilities that blocking and hitting slightly harder than usual. Dungeon Defenders tells is that The Squire is of a medium difficulty to play.
  • Third up is The Huntress. An elf lady with a bow, she has lots of ranged power. Her buildable bits are traps, which can be set off to do superior damage. Can also stealth to some extent to get around the map without trouble. The creeps in DD, you see, will go for you, and a band of them can flatten you quite quickly up close. Anyway, Dungeon Defenders tells us that she is difficult to play.
  • What Dungeon Defenders does next is tell us that class four, The Monk, is for veterans. The reason for this is not quite clear, as he doesn’t seem particularly challenging to me. His powers are odd, however, because what he’s able to leave in the path of enemies are various force fields that have different effects (slowing them and down and so on), which I suppose takes some getting used to.

Yes, the four classes do seem well designed to complement each other. They’re not so focused as to create that MMO tank/healer/damage sort of routine, and their range of abilities can be quite esoteric, but they do offer a spectrum of tactics, allowing some players crowd control, others harassment, and others straight-up damage to the streams of baddies that roll in.


Everything is, of course, limited by a resource: mana. This magic pool, which is collected from the crystals dropped by slain baddies, is used for everything you build on the field (in a distinct “build” phase, which allows you to prep between attacks) but also for upgrades which you will perform later on. Because you are running around whacking dudes in the action phase, building and repairing is limited, not least because you need to stay alive. Yes, additional challenge arrives from nearby creeps going for you and chasing after you. If you die, there’s a respawn timer, which allows enemies to get ever closer to the crystal.

Right, listen: I’m not even scratching the surface here. Dungeon Defenders seems like a simple and cute sort of thing, and it is, but there’s multitudes in here, all of them wrapped up in a bow of pristine presentation. There’s levelling up of persistent characters, and points to spend on your character during play, and an inventory full of loot which can be equipped or stored or sold. There’s a brilliant lobby system with a shop, where you can sell stuff, but also where whoever is hosting the game can fiddle with the setup of the next session while you all talk it over. The way the game is set up allows you to play locally, or to play with specific online characters on ranked servers, via “TrendyNet”. This seemed a bit disconnecty to me, and I found myself getting “connect lost” in about one in three games. I suspect that’s due to launch popularity and general teething, but it’s catastrophically irrirating when this game leans so heavily on online play.

Hrmph! I wonder, actually, whether perhaps Dungeon Defenders actually does too much. I don’t mean this in terms of “perhaps they should have done less”, but rather that the game struggles to articulate everything that is going on to you. The first time through the full tutorial is a quiet wall of information, which most gamers will soak up quite readily, but it leads lots of stuff unanswered: What do all these towers do? And the stats I am levelling up? The rest of the game has to be trial-and-errored a bit, which means going online right away is probably not entirely advisable. It’s what I did (of course) and I found myself standing around a bit, working out what was going on. Best to grab a chum and play splitscreen for a bit. (I did that, later.)


I know some readers will be thinking “I want solo play, not for me”, but really it’s a minor bump, and playing with randoms does work pretty well. That said, getting tactics co-ordinated can be tricky, and even on the middling difficulty maps you face some astonishingly heavy waves of enemies, which means Dungeon Defenders will defeat you, from time to time. This, I feel, is a good thing. This is a game that throws down a chunky, shiny little gauntlet, without demanding lunatic twitch skills, or even strategic prowess. It’s got something else going on. A sort of organisational combat thing where knowing your priorities and weighing up the odds counts as much as timing or flat our skill.

What Dungeon Defenders does more often that defeat you, however, is delight you. The action cascades through each level, with swarming, seething masses of enemies, and – when things are going well – a stream of traps, attacks, and other effects from the defenders. It’s a superb thing: gloriously colourful, robustly made, filled with tonnes of loot and skills and towers, all so much that you will still not master it in a few days. I could say more. I won’t. Just consider this worth a look.

But don’t take my word for it, there’s a demo here and here.

Dungeon Defenders is out now. UPDATE: RPS Steam group for DD here.

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75 Comments »

  1. LuNatic says:

    I’m thoroughly enjoying this game, though I’m a little worried that the content will run out soon.

    • misterT0AST says:

      so you’re saying that you might not be content with the game’s content.
      I know it was a lame pun.
      Worthy of contempt.

    • Burning Man says:

      @misterTOAST

      *gnash* WAIL

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Now is the dungeon of our discontent, made glorious summer by this pun of misterT0AST.

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    • Xerian says:

      It seems they’ve got two more characters lined up, berserker being one, and then theres the fact that they’ll have events – Hallows End (for one thing) Easter, and some more. And they’re steadily polishing and fixing the game quite alot. (4 updates which fixed ALL of the worst bugs during day 1? Damn, thats good, quick work.)
      -They’re also hosting some player-appreciation events and such throughout time. I wouldnt worry about content with all the current challenges, difficulties and trophies, achievements and such. And then with all these events, and new content? Yeah, I’m not worried. (Hell, stuff like this is why I often love indies; They work hard for their money, even if their games are cheaper than cheap.)

  2. lanster27 says:

    I did enjoy this game, but for people getting it on Steam, they should probably take into account some of the nasty bugs this game currently have, in the form of not saving your characters after you’ve quit. It’s the only thing keeping me from actually playing this game.

    The developers just released patch 4 today, and the issue is still not addressed, even when there’s a bunch of related posts on their forum.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      The patch also hasn’t fixed a common problem whereby users have to reinstall drivers EVERY SODDING TIME they want to play the game – otherwise their mighty PCs run the game at slideshow rates.

    • JohnH says:

      Just want to chime in and say that I have the Steam version and I’ve had no issues at all with this game since the 7.02 update released not long after the game was released. A friend of mine ran into what seemed like a lost character, but it just took the game 5 min or so to retrieve it.

    • lanster27 says:

      Yeah I’m not saying a lot of people are getting the lost saves issue, but it is an issue for some, me included. I played local coop for 4-5 hours to get our characters to level 10, was fully enjoying the game, then the next day none of our characters were there to continue from. it’s just the sort of frustration I have long forgotten. Made several new characters and played the first stage, and still none of them were saved.

      It seems to happen to some people and not others. If you get the game on Steam, people should know what risk might be involved.

    • elwood_p says:

      I’ve had the same problem on steam.

      Played through the first couple of maps with different characters to get them levelled up – but when I returned they had both gone back to their previous levels.

      It’s really frustrating, especially as I’m playing single-player.

      Also had an issue where the challenge options weren’t available when trying to start a level from the tavern.

      The review is bang-on when it says the game doesn’t really explain a lot of it’s features properly.

      A bit more bug-fixing and polish and this could be immense.

    • sneetch says:

      I had the no-save problem too I found that the actual save folder and its files in Steam was marked read only for some reason. I can’t remember where the folder was but unflagging it as read only seems to have fixed the problem for me.

      Stupid really, you’d imagine there’d be a loud klaxon if it can’t write a file for whatever reason.

    • Xerian says:

      about … ALL of these issues have already been fixed, for everyone reading it “now”
      (atleast, according to several of my mates and the patch-notes for their über frequent week-one hotfixes, polish-patches and such. These guys are hard-workers, it’d seem ;)

  3. Danny says:

    Awesome game. It’s insanely addictive with it’s Tower Defence goodness, combined with loot fever and persistent characters.

    Fortunately, there’s a small RPS community to be found:

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/RPSDD

  4. loGi says:

    It has some ridiculous FPS issues on some setups.

    Tons of fun nonetheless.

  5. Nevard says:

    What I do wish is that they hadn’t put unplayable classes in the release version of the game.
    Forum posts say that they may well be released free at a later date, but it still smells of “advertising for paid DLC” to me.

  6. Jubaal says:

    I really want to try this out with some friends but the Demo has no invert mouse. I appreciate it has been patched into the full game, but I want to try it before I shell out for it. Unfortunately any game without Invert Mouse is unplayable to me.

    /sadface

    • RegisteredUser says:

      +1

      I was about to post “Know wot I think? That if you can’t even be arsed to get proper translations(the words do not even make sense in non-english languages in the demo), let alone offer mouse inversion, then I think you best bugger off and come back when you learn how not to piss off half of your audience with a simple lacking checkbox.”

      Especially when you’re already using a readymade engine that enables all of that in a flick of the wrist..

    • Baka says:

      “half of your audience”
      As much as I understand that this upsets you, the amount of people needing that option can’t be that big if this feature is missing in every third or fourth game. Can it?

    • johnpeat says:

      I’ve mentioned this before but anyone who can’t adapt to the mouse settings almost everyone else on earth uses, cannot really complain.

      I’ve never looked-for nor needed an ‘invert mouse’ function – I’ve no idea why people would as almost every game has it set the same way.

      Maybe it’s time you adapted to the world instead of expecting it to adapt to you.

      Meanwhile your friends are enjoying DD :)

    • Red Squirrel says:

      @johnpeat

      Get off your high horse. There are people with the invert mouse requirement. Enough for the developer to issue a day zero patch to enable it.

      Imagine if the next game you go to play only had invert mouse as the default? You’d be less than pleased at having to re-learn how to control your character.

      And we should be applauding more choices available. I’d rather there be an option or command to change pretty much everything than having zero or restricted choice in the way I play on my PC.

    • Dare_Wreck says:

      You know, it’s funny… the first FPS game I played with mouse look/aim (if I’m remembering correctly) was the original Dark Forces. However, the proper direction for moving your aim upon pushing your mouse forward or backwards hadn’t been decidedly standardized by then. Turns out, Dark Force’s mouse look was inverted from what would be the eventual standard, and the darn game got me so used to it, that I had to set the invert mouse option for every FPS since then up through about Quake 3 or so.

      I then started playing Battlefield 2, and figured, “aw what the hell, I’ll give the standard mouse aiming a go” and forced myself to get used to it. Now, I can’t go back to what is now known as “inverted mouse.”

      Sorry for the long story – back to the inverted mouse bickering…

    • Jubaal says:

      @johnpeat – I don’t think your comments are helpful and it makes you come across as both arrogant and selfish, which I like to think you aren’t. Your response is like saying that you shouldn’t have the option to re-map keys in games because users should just get used to the default settings. “Invert Mouse” has been an option in gaming as far back as I can remember (and I’ve been gaming for 30 years) so a request to include it in the Demo isn’t that much to ask, especially when it has been patched into the full game.

  7. Daz says:

    The game is really fun overall, I definitely recommend it. There are some rough edges, most of the player character attacks feel very underwhelming from a visua;/audio point of view, they need more punch, and I am suffering a few disconnects as the article mentioned.

    It’s also worth mentioning that most of the levels are just not completable in single player with certain character classes, the game really isn’t designed for SP and with the monk & huntress having no build-able walls you get quickly overrun.

    Also, the squire seems ridiculously overpowered at lower levels! As in there doesn’t seem to be a reason to take any other class. Maybe it evens out later on but for the first 15-16 character levels that I have seen the squire is by far the best character in the game, by a long margin. I smell nerfs incoming.

    • Baka says:

      It really does not. Squire is the go-to class if you want to win everything the easiest way.
      Luckily my bunch of friends decided to carry my useless Monk behind through the levels. Stacking his Auras on a spot is not THAT bad – Until the huntress ravages through the enemies stacked through my Ensnare Aura with her level 20 ability in mere seconds.

      Regarding the demo, the game felt too slow and boring for me playing it solo – I still got “convinced” to a 4-pack. If you have the same objections but buddies to play it with, go for it! It’s really, really great.

    • elfbarf says:

      The Lightning Aura is pretty ridiculous at lower levels as well, was having some difficulty getting XP with my monk friend when I was playing an Apprentice (who don’t really pick up they get fire/lightning turrets).

    • Atrak says:

      3 friends and I started characters from zero and played through until about level 11-12 we noticed that the monk levelled fastest and was at level 12 while the apprentice was stuck at level 8 still. I am sure the monk’s ability to gain xp will peter off as the other classes get better towers etc, but at the beginning those electric auras certainly do a lot of damage. And his speed means he can get to mobs a lot faster than the squire who plods along.

  8. wccrawford says:

    “complement” not “compliment”.

    And I’ve been playing solo. For apparently 30+ hours, and I’ve beaten each level on Easy. I expect to be able to beat most or all of them on Medium, solo, and Hard and Insane… Well, we’ll see.

    Also, while there are 4 characters, you aren’t actually restricted to only 1 at a time. In-between rounds, you can switch as many times as you like. So you can lay traps, towers and auras, then pick the huntress and go on a shooting spree as well. Solo.

    It may have been designed for multiplayer, but they didn’t neglect the single player experience.

  9. michal.lewtak says:

    “Orcs Must Dye” – this is why I come to RPS.
    Anyway, this game won’t launch to me, at all (at least the demo). I don’t even think it launches any process, but then again it may opening and closing so fast that I don’t even notice. Does anyone else have this problem?

  10. johnpeat says:

    I hammered the demo to death over the weekend and had no technical issues at all (and my PC is no firebreather).

    In fact the only faults I can find are the cluttered and messy menus (the shop interface is a warcrime) and the stupidity of denoting classes with difficulties which make no sense at all (arguably the Knight is the easiest class to play anyway).

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      It makes sense because 2 of the classes (Huntress and Monk) are harder to play solo has they have no blocking barriers.

    • johnpeat says:

      I makes no sense because

      a – in single player you’ll swap classes in order to get anywhere at all
      b – the Apprentice is arguably harder to play than the Squire and yet the game pushes new players into the Apprentice regardless

      In fact, it’s encouraging of people to use the cute guy in the big hat is probably why a lot of people are whinging – they need to try the Squire (or accept that this game is not for them!!)

  11. suibhne says:

    I like Sanctum (aside from its balance issues) and I love TD in general, but I found the demo for DD to be incredibly slow-paced and, frankly, boring. My characters moved so slowly that they seemed to be swimming through molasses, and the weird camera issues didn’t help (i.e., the fact that the camera behaves totally differently when you zoom out a bit; you can’t simply zoom out to get a wider view while still maintaining the same control scheme). Orcs Must Die! seemed to have far better pacing and control.

    • johnpeat says:

      It takes all of 10 mins of play to stop noticing those issues.

      The camera in the PC version is MILES better than it is on XBOX too

      The speed of your character is a limitation you can choose to rectify if you think it gives you an advantage and all that…

      Seriously – don’t whinge after 2 mins of play.

    • suibhne says:

      I played about 45 minutes, so your claim that all of the game’s issues vanish after 10 minutes is objectively false. Nor am I “whingeing” (silly Brits). I gave the demo a fair shake. I’m sure it’s more enjoyable in co-op; unfortunately, my buddies are mostly as irritated with the demo as I was.

    • johnpeat says:

      What the hell were you doing for 45mins which didn’t offer you ‘go faster’ items or a ‘go faster’ skillpoint upgrade??

      You can level-up y’know – some items help you out too – you could try em :)

  12. googoogjoob says:

    i don’t have anything useful to say but i would just like to say that the ui looks extremely similar to the one in torchlight

  13. acidtestportfolio says:

    if a game can only stand up on co-op but not on single player well that’s just too damn bad, because i don’t like people and i don’t want to play co-op

    the fighty bits of the game where you leave towers for protection/babysitting while you run around and beat the shit out of monsters is fun. i like leaping from a high ledge and getting stuck in with six monsters to fight at the same time

    the looty bits, however, suck. since the game is built for co-op and not singleplayer, you have to run around collecting all the loot, because if you don’t collect all the loot and turn it into stored mana, you’re going to get left behind when it comes to singlehandedly taking care of bigger waves. and then there’s the whole agonizing process of collecting all the fucking mana in the arena and then putting up with the user interface that drags it’s ass to upgrade swords and stuff. this part of the game heavily gets in the way of me just wanting to kill monsters.

    no sale.

    • acidtestportfolio says:

      (for reference: i was playing as a squire)

    • Baka says:

      If you press Shift (or whatever you bound your map to) after a wave, every item represented by a green dot instead of a grey one is an upgrade for you and should be checked out. Everything else can be auto-manad. Pretty convenient, if you ask me.
      The rest of the user interface is rather clunky, I agree.

    • acidtestportfolio says:

      i didn’t know that, though i am not going to be assed to try this again

      also i dislike picking up my toys

      and that INTERFACE. thanks for not changing it for the PC crowd, you lazy jerks.

    • johnpeat says:

      @acidtestportfolio yeah, they’re write a completely new custom-interface for PC owners in a game which costs <£10 – sure…

      I'm sure they'll improve it but the game is quite playable with it – the lazy jerk here is not them…

    • acidtestportfolio says:

      oh well if they’re not going to make an interface that is tolerable then why the fuck should i give them money

      i just realized that the ‘drop item’ and ‘back’ buttons are right next to each other on the menu, so after you finish tricking out your item you can drop it on the floor like a parkinson’s sufferer and pick it back up again

      maybe if the game came with a controller built into a rhino they could make their game just that much worse

    • zaygr says:

      Also, upon starting a new round all un-picked up items are instantly sold and the mana banked. In multiplayer you also get a multiplier added to the mana value of items and then is distributed to players based on perfromance.

    • Thants says:

      @johnpeat: Yes, having an interface that works well on PC is a reasonable expectation for a PC game. Even one that’s <£10.

  14. Agramenauer says:

    I just wanted to point out that the Spanish translation is TERRIBLE, so much i’m almost certain that they just used google translator to do the whole thing. It is so bad that i found myself looking away from the tutorial and just listening to the english voices because it was extremely confusing to read the spanish subtitles.

  15. MattM says:

    It seems like co-op just turns reviewers judgement off. Any game that includes a not completely broken co-op gets a 7 or better even if it has few other positive qualities. Observe the reviews that the new Ratchet and Clank have been getting. When played single-player they acknowledge that there is little variety, challenge, or though needed in the game, but when two players attempt the same game the reviewers like it much better. This is despite there being little possibility for complex teamwork meaning that they are essentially just sharing the same lousy experience.
    Co-op also seems to steal reviewers focus even when it is just a small part of the game like in Dark Douls. While playing this game I only engage in co-op about 3% of the time. When reading about others games, it seems like they too were primarily playing it by themselves. I have read several reviewers gushing about how essential the co-op is, but when i summon hollows I get a speed run to the boss skipping many enemies and a overly easy fight in a game that is supposed to be about challenge and caution. I am OK with the option being there, but I am glad the game is really designed around a single player most of the time.
    I really wish reviewers would be more careful to consider sp separately from co-op without just playing the easy mode provided by most games co-op and I wish they wouldn’t just let the fun of spending time with friends get confused with their enjoyment of the game. Bad movies can be fun with the right group but reviewers don’t give them credit for that and I don’t want to share a bad co-op game.

    • acidtestportfolio says:

      co-op is a bandaid for shitty design

    • Archonsod says:

      See, the problem there is the reviewer is crediting the reader with enough intelligence to realise a game designed for co-op is probably going to work best in co-op. Unfortunately, it seems they may be overly optimistic in that regard.

    • Nevard says:

      While co-op may be a bandaid for a bad game, I would argue that this doesn’t necessarily mean the reviewers were bad for giving it that score
      Even awful games can be very enjoyable when played with people you know in real life, if a game implements this option then it’s going to be more enjoyable, and what do you use to compare video games if not the level of enjoyment provided?

    • MattM says:

      I think that reviewers are way too kind to co-op games. If a game is functional and includes co-op it gets a high score and the reviews seem to ignore faults like repetitive gameplay, no real challenge or complexity, overly busy visuals that obscure information etc.. Enjoying spending time with people doesn’t mean that the game is providing that enjoyment. When I play a bad game in co-op I just suggest we switch to a better game or go do something else. I don’t keep playing the bad game.

      Also, I am not saying games cant be designed as co-op only , a few like l4d really were designed around co-op and benefited from that focus. Most games aren’t willing to focus like this and are designed, marketed, and sold as complete sp AND complete co-op games. In the few cases where games have collected data from players it seems like sp is still the primary way a majority of people play games that have multiple modes, although the mp and co-op people tend to play far more hours per player. The developers/publishers don’t want to lose this market so they make games that support sp. The reviewers then drop the ball by failing to cover the single player adequately in favor of switching to co-op whenever the game gets hard. I am thinking about the way a lot of co-op games allow infinite resurrections as long as one player is still alive. It often breaks the games and stops rewarding skillful play, but when you are racing against a review deadline that must be a nice time saver.
      If a game includes a sp that is boring or too challenging without other players then reviewers need to fully cover those problems not just put in a line about how they switched to co-op. As it stands, a lot of reviewers are unhelpful because their reviews give short-shrift to sp and go “OMG CAN PLAY WITH TWO PEOPLE!” for co-op.

  16. joe2 says:

    As a huge fan of TD games, I have played every TD hybrid mentioned (sanctum, OMD, DD, and others) and they all have the same fundamental problem: your enemies are nothing but hundreds of HP bars.

    TD games are based on friendly AI units (towers) fighting non-AI (creeps). The whole point of the TD is strategy – placing, upgrading and combining towers and sitting back to let them do the dirty work.

    When you add one more friendly unit – the player’s character – it breaks the design of the game. A human is dynamic – thinking, moving, aiming, shooting, weapon selection, target selection, etc. But the enemy is static – it’s a line of numbers, basically.

    The result is that humans involved inevitably have little to do but imitate a tower – attack at maximum RoF at the nearest enemy. Sanctum is particularly bad at this because the towers and weapons don’t scale up much so by round 10 you are literally firing hundreds of times just to clear each wave, with no thinking required. DD isn’t as bad because balancing is perfect (between towers and players – not between classes, which are unbalanced as hell) and the towers scale up well. But it still boils down to human vs dumb AI which is really not exciting or satisfying gameplay in the long run.

  17. Hendar23 says:

    Didn’t this come out on iOS forever-ago?

  18. DK says:

    I took them years and years and years to port the game from phones to PC – and the controls still ended up utter crap. Especially the click-to-attack. You’ll need about 120 clicks per minute to get your maximum firing/slashing rate, and that has to be kept up for the entire round. Utterly horrible design.

  19. Metonymy says:

    I disagree rather strongly with this WIT, I consider this game to be pure shovelware.

    -Menus are designed about as bad as they can be, there is no reason for this kind of mess
    -The resource is very poorly handled, you have an artificial carrying cap and it drops almost infinitely
    -The interface to the towers and minimap are unnecessarily convoluted.
    -Critical features are still missing. To give an example, Invert Y-axis wasn’t included until the 3rd patch. Mouse sensitivity still doesn’t work at all. The slider is there, but it only affects one aspect of the top-down view.
    -And the main thing, it’s just a level grinding game. There is no ‘tower defense.’ The towers have health, can be targetted, and attract attention. And there is no distinction between towers. They all gain damage, speed, and AOE by ‘leveling.’ Most javascript TD games are better than this.

    And of course, no single player design. I guess it could be good with another half-year of work? I’m not touching it.

    • phanatic62 says:

      I’ve only played the demo (I intend to purchase the full game), but I think calling this game “shovelware” is giving most shovelware way too much credit. See: 98% of Nintendo Wii games.

      You can bank mana in the forge, thus it doesn’t matter if you get more mana than you can carry. On the same note, limiting mana early on is obviously their way of limiting what you can/cannot build at the early levels.

      I have no problem with the tower/minmap interface, so I don’t know what your issue is there.

      And last time I checked, if your tower provides defense by killing things, it’s a tower defense game. And by far most of the TD games I have played (love the genre, played dozens upon dozens) where you can level up are grindy to some extent. I agree that this seems like it could get old if you have to replay the same level repeatedly just to beat a high level boss, but there aren’t many TD games that avoid that fate.

      And there is single player design, you can change your character in between rounds. It is certainly made more for co-op, but there are plenty of people talking about playing it solo.

      It’s fine if you don’t like the demo, but at least get your information right before trying to bash the game.

    • johnpeat says:

      If you’re still using the ‘wheel menu’ to lay or repair towers, you’re either blind or daft – the stuff you need is all on hotkeys (customisable once you get a lot more stuff later on).

      You can’t expect them to do a custom conversion of a cheap game for PC – we get the XBOX version but with FAR FAR superior control options (believe me, try this on a controller and you’ll see how well the PC version controls!)

      Your other points aren’t faults with the game – they’re things which the game is and which you don’t want it to be – they’re your problem and your loss.

    • Thants says:

      You can’t expect them to do a custom conversion of a cheap game for PC

      I can and do. Lots of tiny indies manage to make good PC interfaces, it’s not that hard. And if they didn’t plan ahead for a PC versions it’s their own fault.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I can and do.

      As you should. I’m currently working on separate phone, tablet, and PC interfaces for a game. And for a game with a lot of GUI stuff, it does require quite a bit of time and effort. It’s not trivial. And yeah, I could hypothetically shoehorn the phone interface onto the other platforms. But that’s bullshit. You take full advantage of each platform to provide the best user experience possible. Anything else is unacceptable. And who the fuck am I? I’m nobody, with no money. I just value good work.

      Except for graphics technology, indies should absolutely be held to a high standard. Even more so when you’ve already been a big success on iOS and now you’re a featured thing on Steam. That’s the big time for any indie.

  20. Spider Jerusalem says:

    also: mod support.

    apparently the mod tools are very easy to work with and the devs are encouraging total conversions.

  21. mmalove says:

    Playing this, fun title so far. Has some technical glitches, some balance issues, and multiplayer servers aren’t exactly stable yet, but I’m hopeful for it.

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  23. kavika says:

    Yes I’m a PC gamer at heart, but this game is totally console.

    I got it in XBLA before I knew it was out for the PC (was crusing for hack-and-slash demos with my lovely girlfriend). She’s begging me to come over so we can play more. Definitely good fun stuff for couch co-op.

    I basically agree with WIT.

    Those saying this is completely a console port aren’t quite correct. The game/buy menus seem like they are some weird hodge-podge on console, too, trying to use different sets of buttons for controlling several sets of menus at once, rather than moving through via joystick =P It’s all controller based hotkeys. The actual gameplay part is well designed for a controller tho.

  24. TheGameSquid says:

    Does seem like a bit of fun, but I’m not a huge TD game fan, and I also don’t like the “OMFG SPELL EFFECTS GALORE MEN” style. Reminds me a bit too much of your standard MMO. Can’t keep up with games that have too much visual snazz going on.

  25. eryynlhanu says:

    If you’ve never played either of the Neverwinter games then stop what you’re doing and go buy them. Where have you been these past 10 years? The series is arguably one of the last bastions of quintessential cRPGs, where your character build and the story telling play a more important role in the game. Remember when levelling up your character meant putting points in to your attributes like strength, dexterity, agility and so on and so forth? Remember when you could pick from lots of different classes, feats and abilities and you could literally spend hours planning your character build before you’d even started playing the game (and enjoy doing it, as well)? Remember when storylines were at least half interesting and slightly less clichéd and generic? Remember when developers didn’t think you had the attention span of a five year old? That’s Neverwinter Nights (and Icewind Dale, and Baldur’s Gate…).kinh mat thoi trang

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