Lock’s Quest Review

When the tower defense genre sprung up last year, we saw countless titles trying to capitalize upon the simple (but addictive) formula. Dozens of games across handheld and downloadable platforms added their names to the growing list of tower defense titles, and it seemed like no matter how hard people tried, there just wasn’t anything a developer could do to make their game truly unique.

Then came Lock’s Quest.

Developed by the team behind Drawn to Life (which is now trying to capitalize on the Spongebob name) Lock’s Quest shows that they certainly weren’t a one-hit-wonder.

For those three people unfamiliar with the tower defense genre, the basic principles are simple: bad guys advance across the map, and you place various types of towers (or other weapons) to slow them down or kill them in order to protect your base. Lock’s Quest follows this basic principle for the most part, but manages to kick it up several notches.

While the main emphasis is to build towers and kill bad guys (robots!) the game borrows from Pixeljunk Monsters by giving you an avatar on the field rather than an omnipresent being building from the sky. That’s already quite the change for most tower fans, but things are changed even more with the introduction of objectives. Depending on which mission and which point of that mission you’re on, things may change drastically from “run around and build/repair towers!” You’ll have to use Lock to kill bad guys via melee attacks, run from your base to their base to take THEIR base down, and more. It adds an element of RTS to the tower defense genre, and it’s a really nice change of pace after the innumerable tower games I’ve played while bored at a computer.

But perhaps the best feature of Lock’s Quest isn’t the innovative gameplay for the genre, but the innovative story. Unlike just about every other tower defense game ever, Lock’s Quest is an RPG at heart. Taking between 20 and 30 hours to complete, the game is chock full of narrative which will make any handheld RPG guru fall in love. Cutscenes aplenty; dark, brooding narratives; and lots of dialogue make Lock’s Quest unlike anything yet in the tower defense market.

If the game has any faults, it’s that sometimes it just tries too hard. Whether it’s an overly frustrating mission which leads to your failure numerous times, a couple of cutscenes which go on just too long, or pathfinding failing in more populated screens, the issues in the game are minor inconveniences brought about more due to the limit of the developers than the game itself.

I can go on and on about the game, but the bottom line is this: Lock’s Quest is the best game in the tower defense genre by far, and a shining example of how even a small developer can put out an instant classic.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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