Aegis Defenders Review
Nintendo SwitchAlso available on Sony PlayStation 4
Humanity has all but ended and the last remnants survive amongst ruins of a far greater civilisation. Humanoid robots are worshipped as gods and technology holds more power than ever before due to the scarcity of it. This is where you meet the two main protagonists of Aegis Defenders Bart his granddaughter Clu.
To get buy in this world they hunt ruins and old artefacts to sell so they can make some money and keep eating. Of course you'll be spending money on upgrades and new weapons and thankfully the characters eat from their own stash of money and not the hard earned stuff that you spend.
The game is an action platformer where you can either switch between characters or use the drop in/drop out splitscreen co op to manoeuvre through the puzzles and enemies to get to the end of the level. It is at this point that the tower defence kicks in and you are tasked with defending against waves of enemies by building turrets, traps and road blocks as well as using your characters weapons to take down the approaching hordes. Along with the building aspects you can also leave the characters you aren't playing as in different spots to either repair, defend or attack around them.
At the end of each level you are given various bonuses if you manage to accomplish a few objectives in the level, these range from item bag upgrades to cold hard cash. You then set up camp and get a chance to chat to the various endearing characters to find out more about them and purchase some upgrades and new weapons and fusions.
You build towers by using each characters unique building block and combining them in different ways for a different effect, in terms of early game, you can use Clu's bomb and Bart's block to make a turret which fires in three directions at once dealing both of their damage types as a result. As you go you get more complex combinations and you get to incorporate each of the four characters to do the best damage type to each enemy. Think Pikmin for this, blue does more damage to blue, yellow to yellow and so on, it is an interesting system that adds a little more to the strategy elements at play.
Both the graphics and the sound are wonderful throwbacks and ooze the same level of charm as the characters themselves. The interactions between Bart and Clu in particular are heartwarming and feel honest in a way that some games lack. The integration of backstory as you progress through the levels is an interesting way of doing it and the cut scenes have a distinct art style that looks good and fits the rest of the games aesthetic.
The game has eighteen levels and multiple difficulties so you can get a fair amount of game time out of the eight to ten hour campaign. Due to the variety of traps and towers you can craft you could feasibly do each level in countless ways. Add in the co op and you can have a fair amount of fun with the game and the interesting mix of genres that are on offer here.
While the game on the whole is enjoyable some of the tower defence sections feel as though they drag on a little though this can certainly be combated by playing with someone else as sometimes the AI doesn't fire as fast as the other characters as would be ideal which can be a little grating in single player.
Thankfully the story and characters can carry you through these slight dips in an overall enjoyable game and the crafting system for the towers is fun to get to grips with as well as upgrade. If you were forced to describe the game in one word it would be charming and it would be well earned, worth a look if you like tower defence games and interesting new takes on mixed genres.