Time to cure what Dave brought in Plague Inc.
The human body is an intricate design created by either a large number of coincidences, a higher power or an unknown alien species. No matter what kind of idea you have for walking the Earth you have amazing innards well worth defending. Us humans have created a lot of measures to counter infections, and viruses. Form mildew we got antibiotics, but once we learned to wash our hands we upped the survival rate significantly. Most cures against viruses involve overt medications, and it is still science fiction to enter the body to stop the malice spreading directly. In Human Defense we get a close up of the war between viruses, and the immune system.
Human Defense is a tower defense game trying its hardest to make something new in a truly dense genre. The basic formula follows the classic path tower defense with set paths for the enemies to walk down. New is the fact that you can switch lanes, or rather veins. The currency used in Human Defense is active, and moves about just like the virus you try to eradicate. To build a tower you tap one of the available points to bring up the build menu, and then select the tower you want to build. Now you have to make sure nutrients move past the tower to have it built. Until that point it is just a blobby mess not defending at all. If you want to upgrade a tower just tap it, and select the upgrade option. This also turns the tower into a passive blob until nutrients have been added. This could be a fresh inclusion to the formula, but for me it kind of limits the appeal and strategy. The game turns more into an arcade experience when I can’t plan ahead far enough, and constantly sit around waiting for enough nutrients in a wave.
Nutrients also act as actual nutrients for the body, and to survive you have to feed it as well. This takes away currency for the towers, but not feeding the body leads to decrease in health. If you overfeed on the other hand it is just as bad, and there is a balance beam you have to keep in the green. This mechanic feels cool though, and adds an element of care about the person you are trying to cure.
I do have some issues with the game that I have to address as well. For one the viruses are all greyish in nature, and I find them hard to tell apart when they stream down the veins. There is a rock/paper/scissors kind of strength/weakness thing going on between towers, and viruses. With everything grey this is hard to keep track of, and I would have liked colour coding to show it clearer.
Another issue is the fact that you kind of have to use some IAP not to feel like a fool wasting your time. There is an Alpha Enzyme at $0.99 that doubles earned income that feels almost mandatory otherwise everything takes twice as long. There is a shop outside the level gameplay that allows you to buy powerups, and upgrades. These can really turn the tides of war. Still the game is rather short at around four hours, but to earn full three star ratings you can spend quite some time with it.
I really like the presentation, and humorous sounds the tutor exhales. Gibberish perfectly suitable to small intestinal haemoglobin, or whatever. The bright colours of the levels are also cool, and it is a shame that the viruses moving about aren’t as interesting. The developer has kept the game quite friendly, and at times I wished it had more of an Adult Swim approach to it with over the top humour.
Human Defense is a tower defense game set inside the human body. Some aspects it does really well such as forcing you to keep the body healthy using the same currency you spend on building towers. Other aspects are not as good such as the boring grey towers, and viruses making it harder to tell everything apart. Only recommended to tower defense completists who have to try them all, or to those who need a simpler take on the human body after flunking med school.
Human Defense $1.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod