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iPhone  header logo

Sentinel 2: Earth Defense

For: iPhone

All queued up with nowhere to go

Product: Sentinel 2: Earth Defense | Developer: Origin8 Technologies | Format: iPhone | Genre: Strategy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Sentinel 2: Earth Defense iPhone, thumbnail 1
Despite having the intelligence to conceive of massive spaceships capable of traversing the expanse of space, the stupidity of marching single file into a line of defensive towers is completely lost on would-be alien invaders. It's a good thing, too, because while they threaten us with weapons of incalculable technological sophistication, we can humiliate them like third graders queueing up for a lice inspection in Sentinel 2: Earth Defense.

Your job is to plunk down towers along the edges of winding pathways to keep these alien aggressors at bay. A four-mission campaign brings dozens of waves of insectoid enemies face-to-face with seven different towers, including laser turrets, bombs, and devastating snipers.

Each of the four maps precisely fills the screen, though you can zoom in and out using multi-touch to position and upgrade your defences or simply to get a closer look at the action.

The graphics pop with detail, even if the actual paths through each map don't. It's difficult to delineate where the paths winding across the screen are until the first wave of enemies trundles by.

A stylish interface contributes visual flair and ensures intuitive play. Icons lining the bottom of the screen are used to situate towers onto the map with a slide of a finger. Upgrades - a total of three levels available per individual tower - can be purchased using resources with a tap directly on the tower.

Saving funds for upgrades yields better results than doling out cash to builds a smorgasbord of towers. Sentinel 2 aims for variety with its slate of towers, yet the game's balancing obviates building more than just a few types. Levelling up a few basic laser turrets and setting down a powerful beam or sniper tower are enough to deal with most challenges.

Special attacks launched from an orbiting capital ship introduce an inventive element, though these often prove unnecessary during the course of the campaign.

Most waves are defeated using a simple upgraded arsenal and taking advantage of barriers that hold back enemies at specific junctions. These walls, which automatically fire on any nearby enemy, can even be repaired by purchasing drones.

As though aware of the limited scope of its campaign, Sentinel 2 broadens its appeal with a set of objective-based missions and an endless Endurance mode.

The former present specific situations that require you to exploit each of the various towers, special attacks, and test your tactical prowess. One mission starts you off with no resources and tasks you with defeating enemies using only orbital ship attacks. Another requires killing a super strong alien with a shockingly small amount of money.

Endurance mode does less to encourage tactical variety, though its never-ending waves do allow more experimentation than the main campaign.

The replay value here is unquestionable, especially when accounting for four levels of difficulty in both Endurance mode and the main campaign. Additionally, achievements tied to OpenFeint are sure to keep you coming back.

Sentinel 2 provides good gameplay and great value, even if it doesn't seize its full potential. Tactical variety could be improved by pronouncing the differences among enemies and towers to a greater extent. These distinctions exist, however understated. None of this puts a permanent damper, though, on what is a fun, immensely playable game.
Sentinel 2: Earth Defense
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 29 June 2009
Sentinel 2 stays down to Earth with its approachable brand of tower defence gameplay that needs a couple improvements to go from good to out of this world
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