Game Reviews

iBomber Defense

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| iBomber Defense
iBomber Defense
| iBomber Defense

When it comes to decisive military tactics, speed is key. That's why cavalry ruled the battlefield for hundreds of years, only replaced by the brute power of tanks.

No doubt blitzkrieg is the name of the game when it comes to Cobra Mobile's iBomber Defense.

Based in the same colourful World War II setting as the successful aerial iBomber games, this tower defence title is all about pace. There's little micro-management here, as iBomber Defense is less about strategy and more about the spectacle of beating waves of enemies time and again.

Less is more

Compared with most tower defence games, this simplicity is intentional.

The enemy can only attack along preset routes, giving you plenty of time to build out your defences starting with quick-firing interlocking guns near your base and then more powerful cannons as the resources become available.

The combination of lots of enemy waves - anything from 20 to 50 - plus a generous allocation of cash to buy units also helps. Finally, restricted weapon options means your choices are fairly simple: they're driven more by your available resources than tactical style.

For example, there are only three weapons available: two anti-vehicle and one anti-aircraft. There are two upgrades for each, but further variation is added via force multipliers. The sabotage unit slows down the advance, while radar units increase the range of any adjacent weapons.

Order of battle

If there's one rule in iBomber Defense it's that getting your units destroyed is a real waste of resources.

In this way, your experience with the game is split. Early on, you can fail since the misplacement of even one unit can prove disastrous. By the time you've got a bunch of cannons in place, however, your role switches to that of the armchair general and it's harder to fail.

Towards the end of many levels I happily played my own sub-game: building up as large a bank of resources by placing as few additional weapons as possible to boost my overall score.

This feeds into the social side of the game - supported with Game Center and Crystal - as you can compare your high scores on leaderboards and unlock achievements.

Role reversal

With some levels taking 30 minutes to complete combined with the option to replay all 22 as the Axis once you've finished the original Allied setting, you're getting plenty of game for your cash even if you're not a completionist or show off.

The other neat way Cobra has extended the game is with its bonus Counterattack missions. These avoid the slower setup phases of each level by taking your final defensive positions, bombing them to reduce your forces and change the map topology, and hence opening up new routes of attack. The enemy waves then kick off all over again.

Combined with crisp graphics, punchy audio, and a polished user interface, this twist demonstrates the thoughtful way in which iBomber Defense makes the most of the tower defence genre, without getting bogged down in micro-management and minutiae.

iBomber Defense

By limiting the number of units, and focusing on simple, explosive gameplay, iBomber Defense turns the tower defence genre into a more enjoyable spectacle