Game Reviews

Kre-O CityVille Invasion

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Kre-O CityVille Invasion

This is a freemium game review, in which we give our impressions immediately after booting a game up, again after three days, and finally after seven days. That's what the strange sub-headings are all about. Click on the link to jump straight to day three.

Kre-O is a brand of building blocks and figures from Hasbro.

You can lock different blocks together, combining multiple themed sets to create something new from your own imagination.

If I were being snarky, I might call it "off-brand Lego".

With a hint of Lego City to it thanks to the added CityVille licence, Kre-O CityVille Invasion is the game adaptation of the new toy line. However, though there are elements of the city-building of CityVille, this is being pitched by Zynga as a much more action-oriented experience.

Does this shooter-builder tower over the opposition, or should it be scheduled for demolition? Join me for the next week as I find out.

First impressions

Dr Mayhem is after the sonic generators so that he can control the world, but the Kreons - a task force of chiselled heroes - really don't think that's for the best. So the evil doctor (it's not yet been explained how he got his PhD) decides to destroy districts of the city you call home.

You're tasked with rebuilding the city, installing automated defences, and defending the districts from further attacks.

The story's pretty thin, then, but it's just about enough to justify the Story missions, which are your barriers to progress. As you complete Story missions you unlock more Kreons and districts, and as you increase your experience you gain the ability to unlock better weaponry.

The core gameplay involves guiding your character about an area, trying to avoid attacks while holding the 'fire' button to automatically target baddies with a multitude of weapons.

Rather handily, the environment you play in is shaped by what you build, so if you construct a gun turret it will assist you during an attack.

Though it definitely looks like a Lego product, Kre-O CityVille Invasion is nonetheless a handsome beast. The environments you play in are detailed and, unlike the Traveller's Tales games, really do look like they're completely made of building blocks. The engine runs smoothly too, with only the occasional hiccup as you move from district to district.

However, whether this graphical sophistication will translate to long-term appeal remains to be seen.

Day 3: Kre on in

A tower defence element has crept into the gameplay by the third day. You'll need to be a high enough rank to unlock more Story missions, and in order to do this you'll play the Invasions, where you'll need to defend a specific building.

To do this you'll need the automated defences you've installed, and you'll have to run around thwacking baddies yourself. The goons will mostly follow a designated path to their targets, so you can block them off by standing in their way and bashing their plastic-y skulls in.

As you progress you unlock more characters, all featuring differing abilities such as running faster or taking more damage. Equipping them with special hats and suits adds further stat bonuses, and you can upgrade these for even more powerful Kreons.

Then there are weapons and turrets to unlock and upgrade, rubble to clear, and buildings to build. If you have a slightly compulsive personality there's a lot here to sink time and money into.

Unfortunately, what's also crept in is the need to spend money to keep playing. After one mission, all of my buildings in the two districts I've unlocked have been destroyed, and if I try to play either an Invasion or Story mission the game politely informs me that I'll need at least one building at full strength to play.

So now I'm waiting for the repair timer to tick down until I can play again. Alternatively I could pay a few Bricks to skip this process.

It's added salt to the wound of defeat. If I fail a mission spectacularly, I feel it's pretty harsh to penalise me by taking away my access to the game for the best part of half an hour.

How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below.

Kre-O CityVille Invasion

Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.