Defentron is a game developed by Zerouno Games, and published by Planetfall Studios. I was provided a review code by Zerouno Games. It was released on December 17, 2020 on Steam and on the Nintendo Switch. Handheld Gaming Community originally reviewed this game in 2021 by Hideki Atago.
Defentron is a tower defense game where you must defend the core computer system against viruses. The game has a very retro feel to it. In someways it looks like it was inspired by the Disney Movie Tron. The sound definitely sounds very futuristic, and reminds me of Axiom Verge.
This game, Defentron, is a classic tower defense game at its core. If you put a blindfold on and started playing the game you might get through the first couple of levels. It does add some new elements like Overload that can basically send the turret that you select into a berserk mode until it explodes. This isn’t an optional mechanic either, I came across a level pretty early into the game that was practically unbeatable unless it was used.
The game does a good job at making you think about strategy. Placement of your turrets has a real effect. If you put your first turret too close to the start of the parade of viruses, your turret may not be as effective as if you had put it back a few spaces.
The one frustration I have with this game is the difficulty. I expected to be challenged as I progressed into the second stage, but I didn’t expect to be thoroughly routed. I don’t think the game’s difficulty is a deal breaker, but it will test the boundaries of your frustration tolerance.
Defentron does have in game acheivements, and they seem to run the gamut of basic ones like you killed 500 enemies, or you beat the first stage, to far more granular ones for the person who has mastered this game.
Defentron is a good looking retro game. The retro style of the games graphics is well executed and definitely makes you believe that you are in the middle of a computer system zapping viruses. The one complaint I had with the graphics, is that there wasn’t a huge difference between some of the enemies, and in the middle of a battle, you might be confused about which kind of unit is hurting your computer system so badly.
The audio in this game definitely helps set the mood for the game. Fans of Thomas Happ’s Axiom Verge will feel right at home listening to Denfentron’s futuristic beats. As much as I enjoyed the track I heard, I didn’t hear much in the way of variety. This was important as you will be repeating some stages many times.
The tower defense genre doesn’t really scream great story to me, and this game isn’t any different. However I like the premise that the game is based.
When I started this game, I would have swore on my Daredevil Yellow hardcover edition that this game must have started as a mobile game. That isn’t a knock on the game, but the touch controls are so good that it honestly felt like the way the game was meant to be played.
That isn’t to say the physical controls aren’t good, but they are a little awkward. The biggest issue I had while using the controller was panning. By default, the auto-pan setting is checked. The result of this is an awkward situation where part of the screen is cut off. You can move your cursor to the part of the screen that is cut off and press the A button, and the view will adjust. But that is the only way unless you uncheck the auto-pan option. When you quit the game, and come back to it, the box is still checked by default. Not a horrible issue, but just one extra step to take every time you play this game.
Defentron retails for $9.99 on the Nintendo eShop at the time of writing this review. While you will certainly get lots of playtime out of this game, I would definitely wait until it goes on sale. At even a slightly lower price this becomes easy for me to say get out there and buy it. My review code was provided by Zerouno Games, and I would like to sincerely thank them for that, and making such a good title! You can buy your copy on the Nintendo eShop.
Defentron is a good Tower Defense style game with high replayability. While difficult you don’t have to wait to get back into the game. I found myself playing for hours this way. Tower Defense style games aren’t known for their stories, Defentron isn’t any different. However the premise for the game is an interesting one. As noted in a previous review the ability to pan the camera around is a pain, but not a deal breaker. If you love Tower Defense games, and have $10 burning a hole in your pocket, then this game is definitely a game you need to pick up.