Tower defense games are a dime a dozen in the iOS world, but Blade Guardian is from the creative mind of Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. Anytime a visionary steps onto the gaming stage, there’s a ton of pressure, but thankfully he and his Mistwalker team deliver with a highly entertaining and layered gameplay experience.

You are tasked with placing various weapons and building walls to keep aliens from reaching your home base. The best tower defense games contain a level of complexity, and thankfully Blade Guardian offers enough of a challenge to keep you interested, but not completely frustrated. The most difficult aspect of the title is the aliens will come at you in huge waves, whether on the ground or in the air, and if you arbitrarily place a bunch of weapons along a single vertical line, the game is over. Thankfully, you have a wide array of weapons to choose from, and if you can save enough points, I suggest immediately grabbing a laser tower and a few cannons to boot. Although you will need catapults to take down the air based monsters, the rapid fire capability of the cannons and the point like precision powers of the laser tower is the best way to start off each level.

The ability to upgrade your weapons during battle is also a plus, and in the heat of all your kills you may choose to either pimp out your Laser Tower or purchase a few more cannons to increase your overall gunfire. There are no arbitrary decisions in this title, and getting through each level requires a bit of thought and strategy. Don’t expect the creatures to be easy kill fodder either. With each successive wave, your enemies are faster, stronger, and they may even sprout a little monster from their stomachs after you blow them up. So if you’re looking to set up a few guns and just leisurely sit back and watch the carnage, this won’t be up your alley.

Don’t think you’ll be defending your fort all by your lonesome, as mechanized warriors known as Blades will help vanquish your foes. The Blades are held captive by transporters, and the sooner you rescue them from their captors, the better. When free, the Blades will take out any villains in their path as they head out to destroy their nests. Once all the nests are destroyed, you advance to the next level.

Blade Guardian is an intricate tower defense game which is a bit on the difficult side, but it will appeal to players who want to put a little thought into their experience. The upgradeable weaponry, the addition of the Blades, and the premium placed on strategic maneuvering are among the title's strongest aspects, and it's a hard game to put down. And as far as alien driven projects go, skip all that Prometheus silliness and download Blade Guardian, a story that actually makes some sense.


App Store Link: Blade Guardian for iPhoneiPad | By Mistwalker Corporation | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.1 | 44.1 MB | Rating 9+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating