Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cellfense - tower defense gone puzzle?

Cellfense is a new game on the app store, having been released only yesterday. It's a tower defense game, and the pretense is simple - defend your phone from the evil viruses! The graphic style is neat, if uneventful, and overall the game is pretty average - however, it has one (in my opinion) large flaw.

It's not the particle effects.
You see, usually the idea of tower defense games is that you have to be creative with tower placement in order to find a positioning that works. Cellfense is a little different - here, you have to find THE positioning that works, because far too often, it feels like there's really only one solution to each level. There are several reasons for this:

  • Too few & too strong enemies.
  • Too little leeway (one enemy with 5% hp slip past you? Game over.)
  • Limited numbers of turrets (!!!)
I don't mean the last one as "Oh, you can't just fill out the entire level with turrets". The game gives you a number of enemies visible at the start of each level and the bare minimum of turrets needed to take them down, and then it's up to you to place them properly. This is done through the energy system - you have limited energy that you can choose to spend on towers or powerups (there's a vastly unreliable slow and a fairly useful "berserk" effect available from the start). Because of this tightness, you have to be fairly spot on to the developers' logic in order to beat each level. 

Don't get me wrong. I like the game, but I feel that it's too hard from the start, and not in the "challenge is fun" sense. I don't know if the problems mentioned above are balance issues or intended, but if it's the former, then they really need to be addressed.

The game is $0.99 on the app store for the full version. There's a lite version for free that gives slightly less content than the full. I wouldn't recommend the game now, but if the issues described in this review are addressed, I promise to go back and give it a second look.


  1. At first glance I thought this was soccer

  2. Hmm i actually like those crazy hard games :P

  3. Looks amazing. I can't wait! a3

  4. I loooove castle defense games lol

  5. Always love a new twist on the defense genre. Thanks!

  6. dont usually like tower defense games, but this looks interesting

  7. Might get it. Been looking for a harder tower defence game - not like that one with the monkeys and the balloons.

  8. yeah totally looks like fun I might check it out

  9. I love Tower Defences :)
    I have to play this game soon, looks nice.

  10. Hi iKill, thanks for the review, I'm one of the developers of Cellfense. Our idea for the game was to create a very challenging strategy oriented tower defense since most of them were more action oriented. We know it's a hard game but all levels have a logical solution once you figure out enemies and towers characteristics as well as the LTA and power up features. Anyway, we just released 1.01 with more easy levels and some bug fixing. Check it out it's also for Android.