Games that don’t suck: Army of Darkness Defense
GAMES THAT DON’T SUCK is a feature dedicated to games that I think are well worth your hard earned money, but not worth me sitting down and spending 3 hours crafting an in-depth review (these things are usually 99¢ after all). However, you can rest assured that any game bearing Macenstein’s GTDS rating is worth buying, sight unseen, based solely on my expert opinion.
Army of Darkness Defense (iPhone 99¢, iPad $2.99) is one of those rare Games that doesn’t suck that may actually suck. I honestly can’t be objective here. All I know is I’ve been playing it about 3 hours straight. As a grown man who has an Army of Darkness poster hanging in his office, who sat front row in the “splatter zone” of Evil Dead: The Musical on Broadway (OK, it was OFF Broadway, but not too off) and who can recite every line from AOD and Evil Dead 2, I fully admit I am smitten with this game, much in the same way I would be smitten with a Raising Arizona or Three Amigos Tower Defense game.
So, let me just say upfront there’s a good chance how much you enjoy Army of Darkness Defense will likely depend on how big a fan you are of the film, and of Bruce Campbell in general. In the game you of course play Ash, the self-absorbed, one-handed wisecracking hero of the franchise, as he attempts to protect the Necronomicon (the Book of the Dead) from the evil army of the dead. During each round you earn money (whether or not you are victorious) that you can use to upgrade Ash, his military units, and the castle’s defenses. You can also buy gold with REAL money via in-app purchases, but you really never need to. The money is quick to pile up.
If you are a fan of the Evil Dead films then this is a no-brainer purchase. You can upgrade Ash’s stump arm to a metal fist, and then of course the Chainsaw. All your favorite characters are featured, including Evil Ash, Shelia, Arthur, “She Bitch”, and the army of little Ashes. Add to that what seems like over 100 memorable movie quotes, some extremely smooth animations (at least on gen 4 iOS devices) and some really cute character designs, and you have a truly fun, horror-themed castle defense game. As a possible testament to the game’s appeal, I will say my 7 year-old son appears to love the game, and never saw Army of Darkness, and only has a passing knowledge of Bruce Campbell from the episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess I am making him watch.
My only criticism of the game is that I am at level 47 and so far have not heard Bruce say “It’s a trick, get an axe”. Otherwise, it’s the perfect Army of Darkness game. I’ve bought both the iPhone and iPad versions, and the iPad is slightly more enjoyable due to a better use of screen real estate for controls, but otherwise the experience is identical on both devices. If you love Army of Darkness, then buying this games means you are shopping S-MART. (I had to put that in).