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Game Review #422: Duke of Defense (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: WoodmanFLG

Developer: Christopher Anselmo, Sebastian Nigro

Publisher: Hitcents

Category: Tower Defense

Release Date: 6.20.2019

Price: $14.99

Buy Duke of Defense from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Retro Defense

Ever since the days of flash games on the internet, I had a love for tower defense games. The satisfaction you get from a well-planned-out defense is great, and it always requires lots of thinking, experimenting and tinkering. It was a genre for which my love never really fell out of favor, and as the people who made flash games grew into indie developers, the indie market grew and expanded. Now, this genre that was once mostly just MS Paint and stick men has a huge range of visuals, styles, and more!

It's been awesome to watch happen, and Duke of Defense is a fun one! Hosting a retro-inspired pixel aesthetic, there’s a good dose of action as you control the Duke on the battlefield, building and upgrading towers and slashing your foes with your mighty sword while combat-rolling around the battlefield, picking up more gold to fuel your defense! Duke of Defense is a unique spin on the genre, and it was an absolute joy to play! “Why?” you ask? Well, let's delve more into this game below!

Beloved Basics

If you didn’t know, the basics of the tower defense genre are generally something along the lines of you have a start spot and a finish line from which enemies will spawn and make their way to the end, along that path, it’s up to you to place towers to attack the enemies; and to make sure to place them to match enemies you will face, and upgrade the right ones. Generally, each enemy that makes it to the end will damage you or end your game. Basically, you have to do everything within your power to stop the enemies from getting to the end of the track!

Duke of Defense has you running around the field yourself, rather than just managing units. The Duke can spend gold to turn any tree on the battlefield into one of nine different kinds of tower, and then if he stands on it long enough, you get the option to upgrade one of two attributes unique to the tower. So, why wouldn’t you just stand on the towers, you ask? Well that is where the Duke comes in handy; you can get right in the face of the incoming goblins, spiders, and ogres, slash them yourself, and pick up gold! You will find the balance of when to fight and when to manage your defenses to be engaging—and lots of fun! You will have to pick the best towers for each situation, and you even get to have a skill tree with lots of fun abilities to augment your attacks, your dodge-roll, and your towers!

A Two-Pronged Defense

This game has a funny and witty storyline that will get some chuckles, but it just exudes good vibes the whole way. From the art style to the writing, this game left me smiling on the regular. I especially loved that they even included some co-op! Adding a friend opens up a WHOLE other can of strategies, and I did some of the game with a friend and thoroughly enjoyed it. You go on an overworld that has various levels, a way to get to the other maps, the well where you can spend upgrade coins to level up on your skill tree, and a place to turn on co-up or customize your fashionable headgear, of course! This game features a fun soundtrack as well that has a wide variety of tracks that will have you humming along for days!

Wrapping Up

Duke of Defense is a fun tower defense game for both fans of the genre and newcomers alike. It’s a friendly introduction with some difficult later stages. You have a big variety of enemy types, but the flying enemies often being a normal enemy with wings felt a little lazy—but it is not a big deal, I’d say. This, mixed with nine tower types, will have you experimenting a ton with what is the most effective way to defend your base! I had a good time with this game and would absolutely recommend it! It isn’t groundbreaking or anything, but a great entry into the genre that I am giving a great 8/10 score!

Score: 8/10

Buy Duke of Defense from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review code provided for review purposes.

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