- Reviewed On Switch
- Obtained For Free Via eShop Coins
- Also Available On PC
I’m in a weird spot here. Duke of Defense is a silly-fun, if traditional tower defense game with some game-breaking bugs that need to be patched. You play as a nameless knight, out on a quest to save the magical lands from evil, childish wizards.
You’ll go through different levels in hub worlds that contain your favorite environmental flavors, defending the castle from different enemy types that range from ground to air, and some enhancements like armor or ones that can do some problematic magic.
You have an arsenal of towers up your disposal, none of which are new to the genre, but the fact that you need to be around your towers for an upgrade bar to fill does add some strategic layer of which tower and upgrade(s) do you really need to focus on the most.
Your playable knight is also a vital thing to keep alive as if slain by the monsters, will end in defeat, just like losing your castle. Besides going around, building and upgrading towers like any tower defense game with a playable character, you can provide support damage by smacking enemies with your melee weapon.
The way of how hordes operate, much like the types there are and what towers you can possess, is again very much familiar if you have played a few tower defense games, but not in a bad way. Duke of Defense pretty much takes in the fun elements of a tower defense-type game, adds some oddball humor with the story cutscenes/visual jokes, interesting boss battles involving you having to lure one of the wizards in with a preferred tower for a strike and an skill system that looks similar to the one from Borderlands, giving you three different play-styles to progress towards.
I’ll say though, the type of retro art style used in this is not all that exciting to me, and that might be because of the endless supply of indie games that look exactly like this one. Though, the soundtrack is pretty catchy for the familiar chip-tune beats its striking, mixing in with rock-in-roll instruments.
If there’s one thing that drags the satisfaction of the game down substantially, its the technical hiccups I’ve endured throughout my playtime. Most of this seems to happen during levels where if you get through a wave without losing any of your hearts, the game will decide to just not progress. I think this may be because the developer thought their game was so hard that this wouldn’t be possible.
I’ll give them that, this game is challenging in both the right and wrong ways. Having a varied selection of mobs can push you to think on your feet…even though the game can maybe push a little too hard. There are times where there’s so many enemies at once to where it feels almost impossible to get through everyone.
I think a difficulty slider and a patch or two could make this a more enticing purchase. For now, Duke of Defense is one of the games you may have seen and played before, but in execution, is quite refreshing and a joy to play on-the-go or in couch co-op…even if its a bit frustrating at the same time.