Price: $7.99 (£4.99)
Description: Unique Sci-fi Tower-Defence
Pros: Lots of content, good progression, brilliant gameplay.
Cons: Paths and turret places lost in the environment.
Advised Control Method: Mouse (trackpad cautioned)
Sentinel 3: Homeworld is one of the few examples of a tower-defence done right, and I mean spot on. There aren’t many other examples that I have played that match the brilliant experience I had with Sentinel 3. It’s definitely one to pick if you are even remotely interested in the genre.
In the game, you are given a field with set paths that the aliens run along. You can then place turrets along those paths to attack anything in range. Sentinel 3 includes all the basic mechanics that come almost mandatory in every tower-defence such as unlockable and upgradable towers, flying, crawling and walking aliens with differing stats and the ability to speed up gameplay. But Sentinel 3: Homeworld adds its own little twist.
First off, in Sentinel 3 you have a mech. Your mech guards barriers which the aliens are trying to break down and get through. Other than shooting and tussling with oncoming aliens, your mech is also equipped with some wicked abilities and weapons. After each battle you can upgrade your mechs stats as well to make it perform better in combat. If your mech dies then it is beamed back up into space where it will repair and return to fight again.
The gates play a massive role in Sentinel 3. There can be more than one game in each level, when a gate is destroyed then the enemies move onto the next one. Sentinel 3 is very strategical in that you need to take advantage of choke points in the game to have the most effect on oncoming evemeis. However, as you progress the placement of the barriers are more spread out forcing you to prioritise and plan.
The game comes with three modes; Campaign, Endless and Classic. Campaign is a continuation of progressively harder maps to fight in. You start off with a basic turret and then unlock and upgrade things as you progress. Endless mode then takes the progress that you have made in Campaign and just puts it in an Endless setting (you can only play with towers and levels you have unlocked in Campaign). Classic puts you through the same levels again but with all weapons unlocked. On the iPhone version of Homeworld, Classic has more of an arcade formula where everyone is on level pegging and you compete in highscores to get the highest, but as the Mac does not have its own highscore social network, the mode on the Mac become pointless. But the truth is there is a lot of content packed into Sentinel 3 that will keep you occupied for a long time.
However no matter how many extra features you pile on, a game such as this can fall heavily if it’s no fun. Getting that right balance of difficulty and strategy is very hard to do, but Sentinel 3 nails it. It’s extremely fun to play and fasted-paced. The addicting gameplay works perfectly and the steady progression only makes you want to play more and more.
Sentinel 3 does have some small issues though. The graphics look amazing but make it difficult to know where you can and can’t place turrets or even to see the pathway when you load up a new level. Maybe a little more variation of enemies aside from bat-thing, bug, mutant over and over (excluding from the bosses) would have been nice. However these minor hitches do very little to take away from the overall game experience.
Sentinel 3: Homeworld is the best tower-defence I have played in a while. It looks and plays amazingly well and the amount of unlocks, upgrades and general content makes it your moneys worth. If you like tower-defences then this is the perfect game to satisfy your cravings.