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Defense Derby - 3 reasons to play Krafton’s innovative tower defence game, now available for iOS and Android

Defense Derby - 3 reasons to play Krafton’s innovative tower defence game, now available for iOS and Android

Along with match-3’s, hyper-casual puzzlers, and idle RPGs, tower defence represents a class of game that’s quintessentially perfect for the mobile platform. Unfortunately however, it never quite soared to the same level of popularity as those other genres (with the arguable exception of Clash of Clans), but Defense Derby, which finally launched worldwide for iOS and Android today, might just be the very game to take this strategy subgenre to the top of the app store charts. And here are three reasons why:

Game modes galore!

During our playtest, we spent a good deal of time enjoying Defense Derby’s Blitz Mode; a stage-based PvE mode which rewards you with EXP and resources for successfully defending your castle from incoming waves of monsters. There are five other modes that are equally as enjoyable to play however, which include:

  • Derby Mode: a perfect option for those that crave interaction with other players; this real-time, online four player mode crowns the player that survives the longest as the winner.
  • Guard Mode: a variation on PvE which automatically sees your units defend your castle in the main menu. This mode accumulates a fixed amount of rewards as time passes, with the rewards increasing in value as you improve your standing in Blitz Mode.
  • Valley of Trials: a dungeon-based single-player mode in which the race of the hero and the units that can be used are set and changed every day. A highly rewarding mode that’s perfectly suited to experienced strategists.
  • Friendly Derby: a friendlier alternative to Derby Mode, this multiplayer mode sees up to 4 players compete against each other in code-unlocked matches, with rules that may vary depending on the host’s settings.
  • Themed Mode: a time-limited event mode that features different rules each time. These events will also periodically treat players to the modes voted most popular. This mode is perfect for those that enjoy an added challenge to their Defense Derby experience.

To sum it up, there really is something to satisfy everyone with Defense Derby, and more significantly each mode feels like it was designed with that intention in mind. So kudos to Krafton for that.

It’s the strategy that matters

Whilst an abundance of gameplay modes is certainly a bonus, the quality of its strategy gameplay is ultimately where a tower defence game is judged a success. And, as you’ve probably already guessed by the fact we’re even mentioning it, Defense Derby’s strategy gameplay is extremely good indeed.

One of Defense Derby’s biggest strengths when it comes to strategy is its implementation of an innovative bidding mechanic, “Betting Royale”, before the start of each round. With this system, players are afforded the chance to scout units before the battle commences to obtain the cards needed to defend their castle. This real-time scouting phase requires players to bid using Derby Chips, with the player who offers the highest bid winning the card. All players start the game with an equal amount of chips, with additional chips awarded to players that survive each round. Being able to outwit players with bluffing tactics and having an astute sense for the bidding the right amounts is therefore essential to your success, but the deciding factor on whether or not you’ll win will come down to how you deploy your units.

By placing multiple cards of the same race adjacent to each other, or placing three cards with the same attribute in a straight or diagonal line, you’ll greatly increase your Attack Power and boost your chance of winning as a result.

Before that however, you’ll need to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the units themselves. There are 3 faction types that are made up of Physical and Magical fighters that will vary in their attack, defence, attack range, and special abilities, all of which contribute to the overall performance of your deck.

The best part is there is no single formation or unit type that trumps all of the others, so there’s never a need to rely on a “perfect” deck.

In-depth growth systems

Growth systems are an essential part of any tower defence game and with Defense Derby, you’ll be treated to two methods for increasing the strength of your cards: Level Up and Upgrade.

Levelling Up will provide a general boost to the quality of your card, which can be raised to a maximum level of 200 at the cost of gold and elixir. Upgrading meanwhile provides 10 potential card upgrades, and each card can be upgraded by merging several cards of equal grade.

Beyond improving the quality of individual cards, Defense Derby also provides several systems for improving the performance of your deck overall. These include the Altar of Return, Army System, Artifact System, and the Talent System.

The Artifact and Talent systems are the ones where you’ll likely invest most of your time, with both offering huge potential buffs in return for discovering Unidentified Artifacts and investing Talent Points.

If you wish to try Defense Derby for yourself then you can find it available to download right now for free from the iOS App Store, Google Play Store, and Samsung Galaxy Store.

Luke Frater
Luke Frater
Considered the most likely member of Pocket Gamer's staff to be mistaken for Daredevil, Luke's role of managing sponsored content isn't nearly as glamorous or heroic as the actions of his superhero doppelganger, but he's still a hero to us.