Keep Defenders

I’m as delighted as I am pained to review Keep Defenders from Itty-Bitty Games LLC and hopefully that statement makes sense by the end of this review.  What we have here is a game billing itself as a fast-paced realtime combat game.  I’ll buy that; quite accurate and while some reviewers are lumping it into the castle defense genre it far more resembles a traditional (medieval) RTS sans base building.  You control a small army consisting of 3 unit types (soldier, knight, archer) and attempt to fend off wave after wave of enemy units (which are unfortunately just darker-colored versions of your own guys).

First the good: the graphics and sound…excellent in both categories which definitely takes the game up several notches in production value.

So now the bad stuff mixed in with some sincere suggestions:

-10 lvls seems ok for this kind of game but they’re quite small and the random nature of enemy spawns means you’re always just hanging around the keep and never able to explore the map
-controls are a stinky mess, clearly this game would be great with a mouse but it’s horrible on a touchscreen (is this a port?)
-could use a button (or a double touch) to automatically select all nearby units without having to draw a rectangle and also a way to select just a certain unit type
-could use a way to cycle through units as it can be frustratingly difficult to activate the unit you want in a battle mosh while he just dies as you tap away
-could use formations, at least a couple (think Myth The Fallen Lords if any of you know your gaming history)
-archers are a joke, almost impossible to be effective with as often you tell them to attack and they rush up and melee instead!
-can almost never get a unit to disengage which kills the MAIN strategy of the game which UNFORTUNATELY consists of way WAY too  much micromanagement
-maybe some challenge levels could be introduced where you get a set number of units to achieve a goal and can’t buy more
-plodding pace, levels take forever to complete as each wave can consist of several separate attacks and units have godlike amounts of HP so while the battle animations are great it gets tedious
-fortunately you can pause and resume w/o having to restart from the beginning or can you (at least I think you can)

The developers at 1 point (forever ago) promised new levels, units and a faster pace and if they ever did that plus add a MAJOR UI (and AI in the case of the nitwit archer) overhaul, they’d have themselves an absolutely stellar game for this platform which I would recommend to anyone and everyone.  Unfortunately, in the impossibly absurd amount of time it took me to publish this review, there has never been another update and the dev website hasn’t been updated in just as long so I’m afraid this is all you get.  As it is then, what’s here is a beautiful experience to behold in the audio/visual dept but excessively frustrating to actually play due to some confounding play mechanics.

Version reviewed – 1.1
Reviewed on – iPhone 3GS 3.1.2
iTunes Link – Keep Defenders

2 Responses to “Keep Defenders”

  1. ipad tricks Says:

    Like what other reviews has said. It was easy in the beginning and gets very difficult as you go further. Those enemy archers are very hard to handle but I have managed to finish it anyway. All in all it was a good game and they should make a sequel for this. Highly recommended!


  2. BoardGames Says:


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