Review Board Defenders
Tower defense meets chess
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 25 May 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Good graphics, unique gameplay, innovative
Typically, when you think of a puzzle game on your mobile phone, you’re likely to think of something like a match-three game. Board Defenders for Android is hoping to reshape that idea. It’s a really cool version of chess that pits you in control of several characters that tries to defend its side of the board from waves of enemies.
So the basic premise for the game is very chess like, but you’re not actually playing a game of chess here. Instead, you’ll have a few characters you can control, and what you need to do is move each of your characters in a way that prevents any of them from being taken, and any of the enemy pieces from crossing over to your side of the board.
So each of your characters move like chess pieces. You’ll start out with a queen, which means that character can move vertical, horizontal, and diagonal. You’ll then be introduced to the character who moves like a rook, and so on. The game is broken down into various levels, and each of these levels usually has a very specific way you need to move your characters around. The gameplay restriction here is what makes it a puzzle game rather than a strategy game, and I think that’s where the game sort of lost me.
I’m not a fan of trial and error, and some of the more difficult levels turns into that. In fact, the third level of the game I skipped entirely because I just couldn’t figure out the way I needed to properly move my characters to beat it. That said, I do really like the way the game plays, so I’m a bit torn. The gameplay can be frustrating but it’s really innovative at the same time.
A lot of people will really enjoy Board Defenders, but as much as I wanted to enjoy it, I just didn’t. The gameplay was too precise. I’d rather have a little more leeway that allows me to beat each level in various ways rather than having to figure out the only perfect way you can do it.