This game's got guts.
Many games feature blood and guts, but Human Defence has more of these than pretty much any other game, choosing to put you right inside the action inside the human body
Human Defence is, in its most basic form, a Tower Defence game mixed with visuals from the board game Operation. The action is set inside the human body, with various organs becoming levels. Keeping heart, lungs and kidneys healthy and free from harmful bacteria is the task at hand and the game gives you the tools to protect the body against anything out to attack it.
To combat viruses there are antibodies which take the form of traditional towers. These range from long distance towers to syringe-like towers that poison the virus as it makes its way through the bloodstream. To build these you need to collect proteins, which appear at the start of waves of viruses. With gates that lead to different arteries, the trick is to lead these proteins down the right path and feed the towers in order to complete them.
As you progress through the game, the towers can be upgraded, requiring further proteins. While being upgraded they are out of action, meaning that any approaching viruses can sneak past. This adds an extra layer of strategy to the game. How many proteins are arriving in the next wave and can I re-build this tower before the next wave of enemies arrive?
Further complications come in the form of spiky viruses that can make their own, more direct, way through the bloodstream towards the infected organ. While opening and closing gates allows you to stem the tide of enemies to one section, these little critters just march straight through. Ensuring you have enough defences up around these paths is essential.
Further into the game there is yet another factor to consider, colour coding. Using a scanning tower, the game requires you to build a defence tower of the same colour as the enemies coming through in order to kill them. The wrong coloured tower will just ignore anything else flowing past it. This extra layer of gameplay may be too much for some, but I found it a good challenge and it added yet another layer to what was turning out to be far from a standard Tower Defence game.
While the presentation in general is great (the menus and backgrounds in particular), all this fast paced action is slightly let down by the design of the viruses. It can be difficult on an iPhone to tell these critters apart, given their small size and uniform colour. On an iPad this isn’t so much of an issue, but more could have been done to provide a more varied design for the different enemies.
While there are too few levels to keep you playing the main campaign for long, the survival ‘ER’ mode really presents a challenge and the addition of new levels at a later stage bodes well. The game will keep you coming back thanks to this survival mode and the educational information about the organs, viruses and how they are defeated provides a nice little extra.
Human Defence’s premise, great cartoon graphics and educational aspect sets it apart from other Tower Defence games and creates something which is unique and fun at the same time. Only the lack of detail on the viruses themselves dampens the fun.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 7
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 8
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