Final Fantasy Tower Defense: Huge Virtual Control Stick and Tiny Game Screen
Final Fantasy: Crystal Defenders has arrived for the iPhone/iPod in the App store just in time for Christmas. There are demo version and full version available. The demo version is getting poor user reviews primarily because of poor user interface. The primary game screen consists of a huge virtual keypad and the tiny game screen, each taking half of screen space on the iPhone. Although players can tilt the iPhone game screen to landscape mode and get a larger game screen, they can’t add defenders or level up defenders while in the landscape mode. It is awkward to be tilting the iPhone back and forth just to play the game. The demo also only allows for 3 job classes. That makes the demo substantially less enjoyable.
Aside from the poor user interface. Crystal Defenders really is a good Tower Defense game with familiar Final Fantasy characteristics. When combined with a maximum of 8 job classes in a single game, killing those Final Fantasy monsters can be a lot of fun. Soldiers and Monks run around their posts inflicting damage to monsters while thieves join the fray by pillaging fallen enemies for twice the usual gil (gold). Dragoons, Black mages, Time mages, Archers, and other also aid in your task preventing those pesky monsters from getting to the other side. Finally, if those monsters are a little too much, unleash the summons to eliminate those monsters.
There are 3 different play modes in Crystal Defenders, each mode gives you additional maps, jobs, options, and summons. Each map has an easy and an advanced version. In W2 and W3 mode, the ability to use field crystals is added. Those crystals can add attack strength, range, or speed to neighboring defenders.
Crystal Defenders is a fun and challenging game. A fine addition to the Tower Defense category. However, the developers at SquareEnix really should be learning about optimal iPhone user interface for games. Staring at the tiny game screen for so long may make someone go blind! If SquareEnix doesn’t want lawsuits coming their way, fix the tiny gameplay screen and the big virtual keypad! Tap Defense and Fieldrunners are great iPhone tower defense games with excellent user interface! SquareEnix can take a few design lessons from them.