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Review: Trenches

February 2, 2010 , Posted by App-reciation Reviews at 5:00 PM

Category: Games

Price: $ 1.99
Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch, OS 3.0 or later
Version: 1.2.5

What's good: If you enjoy TD games as much as we do, then you can't possibly miss out on one of the top contenders in a crowded genre. Widely acclaimed as one of the best games of 2009, Trenches by Thunder Game Works is an excellent combination of tower defense, strategy, and line-drawing. This 2D side scroller is set in an environment that emulates the look and feel of the dark battlegrounds of bygone war times, with a single main element that makes it unique from all the rest - the trenches. Basically, you start at the left side of the screen and make your way through the field to the right end where you then proceed to bomb the enemy spawn point located there. The path to that destination, while relatively short, is riddled with enemy troops and spells danger for yours. Plan carefully, take shelter in dugouts and trenches along the way where your men will mostly be immune to small arms fire, and use your resources to buy different types of soldiers and artillery - new options become available as you progress in the game and provide very different offensive capabilities, which means that your success is directly affected by your choice of upgrades as well as when and where you deploy which kinds of troops. Far from being the usual defense game you play, however, this title requires the mind of a true strategist - one who is always thinking ahead and evolving with the enemy's every tactic. If you stick to a handful of your tried-and-true moves, you will soon be unable to declare any victories. How come? Because the developers, in a stroke of pure brilliance, have integrated an adaptive artificial intelligence system that finds counter-measures to players' most common maneuvers, meaning you will need to outsmart the computer as it constantly tries to outsmart you! This certainly makes the game that much more challenging, and it also ups the replay value to virtually infinite. Add to these impressive features the immaculate rendering of the cartoon-style artwork and soundtrack, the character detail and humorous animations (we especially love how severed body parts fly through the air when bombed), the smooth and intuitive controls that make truly good use of the iPhone's touch screen and accelerometer, various difficulty tiers and two game modes to cater to individual preferences and skill, and the World War theme that has been consistent throughout the game - woven into everything from the storyline to the smallest triviality, well, there's really not much else you can ask for, is there?

Suggestions for improvement: After a great update and promise of a multiplayer mode, the only things we can suggest are to add more unit types (medics, for example), give players an option to advance only troops of the same type, and perhaps tweak the difficulty a little bit since the game may be far too hard to complete at this point, especially for casual gamers.

Breakdown:
Graphics - 5/5 Creativity - 5/5 Gameplay - 5/5 Controls - 5/5
App-reciation - 5/5

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