Price: $2.99   Score: 9/10    Category: Games

The tower of life is under fire and the only thing standing between the enemy and the end of the world is you. Welcome to Defen-G Astro, an iOS app store newcomer by way of Korea.

On paper the spear throwing ninjas going to battle against pea blowing plant heads doesn’t feel entirely original, but this game plays the tower defense formula with near perfect precision. The developers, Innodis know how to keep gamers hooked with enough upgrades to waste the day away.

Defen-G Astro starts with a short, meditative lesson from a master of the universe. The developers squeeze in a quick tutorial teaching gamers how to position troops for battle and then send a siege of black ball enemies towards your line of defense.

Every different kind of warrior fulfills a specific purpose that doesn’t require work on the behalf of the gamer, but regardless of whether your troops are shooting arrows or hurling unidentified jelly objects, it’s important to keep an inventory of their vitals.

A small meter above the head of every fighter shows their health status so gamers can act accordingly depending on things like money, first aid supply, and shield levels. Money allows gamers to buy or upgrade to earn more troops while first aid and shield are portrayed by the amount of red or blue liquid that fills a glass on the top of the screen.

Everything about the game relies on your ability to strategically manage all these moving parts, making for a wonderfully addictive and fast paced experience. During the first few stages the game doesn’t look much like the graphics depicted at all (it’s more like a dull colored 8-bit retro throwback) but rewards come to those who keep playing.

Over time everything about Defen-G Astro becomes increasingly addictive. At first I wanted to call this game 1-bit Ninja meets Plants Versus Zombies, but after some play it’s clear this game is also an entity unto itself.

Special character upgrades and addictive power ups like falling fire make for an experience that builds upon itself like an epic journey. Innodis did a great job introducing new features quickly enough to keep things interesting but slowly enough to give gamers time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of specific warriors in the field.

All said and done, Defen-G Astro is an experience that starts out slightly above average and then builds to become one of the better tower defense titles on the iPhone. The controls where players upgrade health and create shields can be sticky, and sometimes I wish there was more information about each character (not to mention the fact that you have to go online to view character sheets on a website), but overall Defen-G Astro is an epic war journey that provides hours of solid entertainment.

Those who win the war and save life can strive to conquer the world record in infinity mode, but whether you aspire to become the best or just a warrior, this title is both consuming and addictive.

Bottom Line: Defen-G Astro is a defense strategy game out of Korea equipped with an RPG-like flare. Definitely worth a download.