Jelly doesn’t sound menacing to me, but then I am not made of jelly myself. When the evil jelly invaders attack the Jelly nation you have to help the good jellies defend their turf. Jelly Defense is a tower defense game set in a beautiful world reminding me a bit of that found in DeBlob.
The gameplay in Jelly Defense differs slightly from the established tower defense formula. It has the basics in common with just about every other game in the genre. You place towers around a set path, and try to stop the enemy jelly invaders from stealing your crystals. Upgrading towers, and building new ones in key positions is important. You have to guard your crystals for a set number of waves.
Jelly Defense has some own additions to the gameplay, some good and some not so good. Killing enemies earn credits, and you have to pick up the coins manually. This gives the game a bit of variation, as coins will disappear if not picked up. One thing that I dislike though, is that there are simply too many waves for each level. It gets tiresome, and as I don’t get to know what enemies are coming, then I can’t really plan ahead that well. Furthermore the cool powerups turn up only at specific times, and soon I got into a game of memorisation. Restarting a map because I miss picking up the vital “upgrade all towers” powerup is really annoying for example.
Towers are blue, red, a mix of the two, or special. Special includes the piggy bank that gives you interest based on your available money at the end of a wave. Red towers only targets red jellies, and blue of course attacks blue. The mixed towers can attack either colour. There is also a cool research option later in the game where you can select what tower you want to have available. I think there are enough towers in the game, but there is a lack of information concerning their power. I would also like information on how effective upgrades are. Does it pay off upgrading, or is it better to place more cheap towers? To be able to truly plan ahead I need that information.
Another aspect I am not really sure works out that well is that you often need to sell, and place new towers swiftly. The controls wants me to hold the sell button for quite some time, and then new towers take some time to upgrade and start firing. To me a tower defense game should be kept strategic, and not be too much about quick movements.
Achievements and leaderboards through Game Center is included. There are quite a few levels in the game, and maps are varied. There are also some special missions that have more of an arcade gameplay to them. These are more filler material that helps setting the scene. The level select screen with the weird music-listening space-jelly-turtle-donkey creature is awesome.
Where the game truly shines is in the presentation department. It looks beautiful, and the attention to detail is mind-boggling. Every menu features some sort of jelly character, and the rotatable world is one of the best level select screen I’ve seen in a while. Jellies come in all shapes, and sizes but at times they are hard to keep apart. There is a Jellypedia that helps you keep track of towers, enemies and powerups. It sounds good too, and all- in-all it is one of the most polished tower defense games.
Jelly Defense is a tower defense game set in the established world of jelly that already has a few games, and applications on the App Store. It looks absolutely marvelous, and this is the strongest selling point. As far as the actual tower defense gameplay it is quite limited due to lack of tower information. There are also too many waves for each map later on, and the game demands a bit of memorisation of when powerups will show up. Still, it looks and plays different to other tower defense games. It is not the best in the genre, but still worth getting for the cool world of jelly that the developer, Infinite Dreams, has created.
Jelly Defense $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Infinte Dreams