App Club: Star Defense: Nothing to Sphere but Sphere Itself

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OK, listen, Star Defense. Stop crying. I know I said some things on Tuesday. About your gameplay. And it’s not that I didn’t mean them. But that doesn’t mean that’s all I feel about you. I want you to know — jeez, would ya stop crying for a minute and listen?

I’ve played a lot of Star Defense in the last four days. Which is not something I especially expected to do after I downloaded it on Tuesday. It’s not a game that expands the horizons of game-play richness or anything. It will not spawn new disciplines of applied mathematics. It is, under all its graphical magnificence, a simple game. It’s tower defense, and not high-level tower defense. You can only promote your towers through three upgrade levels. And the fact that the enemies follow a fixed path kind of defeats the game’s main conceit — instead of expanding the tower defense genre into three dimensions (a sphere) it reduces it down to one dimension (a line).

And it doesn’t make any particular sense logically either. I mean, the enemy troops don’t even shoot back at you. And if you knew that the enemy armies were going to come at you along one particular path, it doesn’t take the very model of a modern major general to figure you’d probably want to, I don’t know, put a mine there? Dig a 10 foot pit? With some spikes at the bottom?

But such questions miss the point of the entire Star Defense Weltanschauung!

The point is — look, it’s a little tiny planet! It’s bumpy and glowy and really detailed, and you can fly your point of view over it with awesome speed and smoothness. It’s really, really three-dimensional. One of the planets is actually a cube. That’s extra-three-dimensional. Even the audio is 3D — when you swoop your camera over towards where the enemy ship is hovering, the roar of its engines approaches and recedes. If you angle the camera right you can watch as the enemies break over the horizon, their little heads bobbing along…

And there’s loads of cosmic stuff going on in the background, in the space around the planet. It’s like a game based on a Yes album cover. (<– joke for old people.)

So yeah, gameplay is pretty basic in Star Defense. You set up your Gauss turrets. You set up a goo cannon to slow enemies down so the Gauss turrets can take more shots. You set up a fire tower to make sure everybody’s on fire at all times. Then once you’re running a surplus you can afford a bunch of shock towers. Etc.

But so what? I’m just jazzed to hang out in Star Defense‘s mini-universe. I’ve probably gotten as much entertainment out of this thing as I got out of Avatar. And it only cost me $.99.

If you’ve been playing Star Defense this week too, please be sure not to comment below on your own progress with it, as we’re trying to beat last week’s App Club record for non-commenting. Which was 5 comments. Including a comment from the person who actually wrote the app. And her mother too, probably.