Sentinel 3: Homeworld shows how far we have come in the last couple of years. It is the first game series to venture into a third instalment as far as I know. Having a third game based on the same basic tower defense formula must mean that there is a demand for the series. The developer Origin8 has made sure to update the game with new content, and enhanced presentation. In Sentinel 3 they have created one of the deepest, and definitely the most hardcore tower defense game in the App Store.
The controls are your standard touch controls found in most tower defense games. Sentinel 3 has some extra menus that are easy to toggle, and some buttons connected to controlling the commander. The gameplay mechanics also follow the basic formula of set path tower defense. Critters, monsters and flying demons follow paths, and you have to make sure to kill them all. Game over occurs if they manage to destroy the headquarters. Beside the towers you place there are barriers that halt, and damage enemies. These take damage, but can be repaired by the mobile commander.
Origin8 has developed their own ladder of progression, and it is also used in the Space Station: Frontier series. You get experience, and credits for completed missions in the story mode. Experience lets you upgrade the abilities of the commander such as power, health and attack. Credits are used to buy turret slots. Soon you will have more towers to choose from than available slots. The same goes for the special Sentinel weapons that help you blasting the enemies, or to repair barriers among other things. This gives the game an extra strategic dimension. This mechanic is also used in Plants versus Zombies to great effect.
An endless mode lets you do your best to survive for as long as possible. You have your unlocked towers, and commander abilities at your disposal. Experience and credits earned carries over to the story mode. Intertwining the story mode, and endless mode in this manner is pure brilliance.
Finally there is a classic mode with pre-set conditions letting you try to beat online high scores. This mode alone warrants the price of the game, but it is really just a side aspect compared to the story/endless combo.
The presentation is excellent, and there is a lush rich movement to the battlefield. It takes some time adjusting to new maps, and finding the paths. The music is solemn powerful classical arrangements, and you can play your own stuff as well. Sound effects are powerful, and even though heavily repeated they never grate on my nerves.
The sheer amount of content available is astounding, and if you are into tower defense games this is the game to get. With Game Center and OpenFeint integration to cater for scores and achievements you don’t have to worry about which service you prefer. The only thing lacking is multiplayer. We can only hope to get some update for that later on.
Sentinel 3: Homeworld is a marvellous tower defense game. It caters more to the already initiated strategist, and it demands your time and effort. For newcomers the lack of story might deter the interest. For those already into the genre I fully recommend it. Snag it up now at a special sale price, and you are set for weeks.
Sentinel 3: Homeworld $2.99 Soon to be Universal
Seller: Origin8 Technologies Inc.