What I Played this Week - Magic Defenders

Magic Defenders, a tower defense challenge for iPad and iPhone that requires you to master a mix of magic weapons to keep the invading orcs out. Other than pleasing animations, the game is pretty standard TD--not that it isn't still fun to flatten a bunch of orcs with a bombardment of lightning (especially the ones riding the green walruses, if that's what they are).

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You can get Magic Defenders on iTunes from your device directly using the App store app or via your PC or Mac. The game is only around 39M in size, so shouldn't be a problem downloading it directly on your device. A feature I really like in the later versions of iTunes will let you sync apps and music to your device automatically (of course the device has to be connected to the internet). I had no problems running MD on my iPod touch 4G under iOS 4.3.5.

Starting out with a pretty easy forest mission--very typical tower defense--your goal to smash the advancing enemy with your magical weapons. Some examples include: impede or pummel a group of them with area effect; or mainly zapping them with your primary weapon. One mage (Steve) has a marked advantage over the other, in that his basic primary weapon causes damage across the entire enemy advance, while the other impacts only a certain area.

As you advance to Wall and Town levels, your mage gains experience points, which will translate into a higher damage ratio. Of course, the enemy becomes more numerous, and there are multiple paths to guard, and thereby negates this advantage somewhat. You will simply be blasting endless advancing hoards with your upgraded powers. As you zap, burn, and pummel, you can monitor each opponent's health by a small meter that moves with him/her (or "it" in this case). Your overall health is indicated at the top center of the display. Let too many enemies get past you and eventually it will dwindle and you will lose!

Each mage gets a selection of advanced weapons to use in concert with the primary weapon (which has no limits on usage, other than a lack of rapid fire). Advanced weapons are earned during gameplay, and have a time-limited or area-limited effect. Advanced spells include Infected ground (which slows and eats enemy health), lightning attacks, a nifty boulder smash and yet more interesting magical weapons. Your character will enhance the power of these attacks with additional XP.

I like the Magic Defenders, but also would like a few more interesting and varied features. Pretty predictable blasting endless lines of enemies all taking the same route (though TD is typically that kind of game). The ability to throw up obstacles, or change or alter the course that enemies must traverse might make it a bit more interesting. I think both the graphics and in-game music are well-done enough to make it a compelling choice, if you really like TD that is. You can grab Magic Defenders for 99 cents at the following link here.

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Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.tumblr.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.