As an English writer on a UK website, writing the title of this game was physically painful. “Armored?” “Defense?”
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that most of the bitter reviews in the Market weren't from Brits impotently wailing about American spellings, but because the game has the temerity to charge for extra maps in the paid version.
Fortunately, however you feel about extra maps, one thing is pretty clear: Armored II is a very accomplished tower defence game that should keep you busy for some time, giving you leisure to decide whether the developer deserves more money.Soldiering on
As with most tower defence games, your play area consists of a winding path with the structure you're tasked with defending at one end and enemies spawning in from the other in waves.
In this interpretation of the genre, there are two key deviations from the norm. The first is that the maps are massive. You have to scroll across several screens to see the entire area.
The second is that it's a lot more open-plan than most tower defence games, with several paths for enemies to take and wide areas allowing them to spread out.
To counter this, not only are you permitted to put your three kinds of turrets on the hills around the paths but you're encouraged to build railway tramlines for one of the units, which can then travel itself.
You can ignore this on the easier levels, but on harder modes it really can make all the difference as enemies become faster and harder to take down.Many tanks
The game encourages better performance by awarding you with upgrades to your units as you go. For example, surviving a set number of waves without letting the enemies through will give you an improved rank and an extra airstrike to use for those pesky enemies that do break through your defence.
And this will happen. Armored II is a tough old game, even on the medium setting. And because each level has 70 waves (a few too many for my taste, but there's a save option for each mission so you won't lose anything by tackling them in segments), things really get tight towards the end, albeit in quite an exciting way.
The presentation is decent throughout, with the tiny tanks having a certain Airfix quality to them. The sounds are suitably gun-like to fit the mood (although Galaxy S2 owners are warning that, at the time of review, sound isn't functioning).Stick to your guns
All in all, Armored II is a very accomplished tower defence game that manages to be distinct from its genre stablemates, in part due to the massive environments.
There are a few things you can quibble with: the handful of towers to build and upgrades for them, the palpable lack of variety, the confusing menus, and of course those extra paid campaigns, but none of these prevents the game from eating up more time than is healthy.