Doomsday Defense is a solid tower defense game bogged down by needless complexity
While doing some research for this game I came to learn that Doomsday Defense isn’t only the name of a Facebook-based tower defense game, it’s also the name for the Dallas Cowboys offense in the late 60’s. I’ve no idea if the naming was intentional or not, and as of yet I haven’t seen a guy in a football uniform run through my gauntlet of destruction. Though, honestly, that’d be kind of cool.
While Doomsday Defense may not be a game about epic football defense, it is a game about epic tower defense, which certainly interests me more than some lousy football game. What really raised my interest in was the fact that it has a player vs. player mode (PvP) which is pretty uncommon in the tower defense space.
The game plays out pretty standard for a tower defense game. You build units up and then watch your enemies get mowed down by various towers that you create and upgrade. The towers are varied and look really cool, and will be instantly familiar to anyone that’s played in this genre before. Some towers fire missiles, some flame, etc. All need to be employed strategically for the best chance of winning.
Since it’s on Facebook you’ll do that by spending in-game and real world cash. And all of the standard features are in place, like timed treasures and friend integration.
Luckily the tower defense is solid, and provides a great amount of variety both in units and maps. Normally you’ll just play against the computer but when you think you’re ready you can jump into PvP and send your recruited party up against other people’s defense systems, which is a cool way to extend the life of the game.
The biggest issue I have with Doomsday Defense, however, is that there’s just too much going on in the game at any given time. There are more kinds of resources than there needs to be. In addition to upgrading your towers in the field you’re also buying gems and other items to boost them, blueprints to build more, accepting quests, harvesting materials from your city, upgrading buildings in that city, spinning luck wheels, claiming timed treasure, PvE, PvP, and so on. All this in addition to the regular old tower defense stuff that serves as the center for this cacaphony of “stuff.”
Normally I’m not one to complain about having more, but here it just feels like the kitchen sink mentality where you just throw as much as the game as you can, so it never really feels cohesive. The quests are a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Instead of just having a list of things you can do to earn extra XP or items you have to remember to click the quest tab and accept each quest. There’s going to be times when you say to yourself “I just did that!” when picking up a quest for something simple like upgrading a tower a few times but you won’t get credit for the quest because you didn’t accept it before you did it.
These kinds of choices just make the game unnecessarily complicated. The interface and guts are full of things that could either be streamlined, automated, or just removed all together. The breadth of all this stuff is exacerbated by the fact that it’s never really explained clearly in a tutorial. Even simple things like using some items from your inventory are needlessly complex. You can’t just use them, you need to click over to the right area to use it, even though there’s an option to “apply” the item…that just triggers a message that you can’t use it where you are.
You can’t really argue worth when it comes to a freemium game, it’s free so you can’t really feel ripped off if you don’t like what it offers. Value, though, is still measurable, since we’re spending our time on it. Doomsday Defense is an above average tower defense game with a really cool PVP side to it. Whether it’s worth sifting through the myriad of other things stuffed into the game and interface is really up to you. I’d rather it have more towers and less fluff.