Game Reviews

Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville

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Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville

As someone who did the vast majority of his cartoon watching during the golden period of the late '80s and early '90s, The Powerpuff Girls doesn't really hold much cultural cachet.

But then, to my knowledge, neither the Ninja Turtles nor the Thundercats have ever starred in a decent iPhone game tie-in.

Chalk one up to Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, then.

Full of Fluid JoyJoy

Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville is a surprisingly accomplished tie-in.

Well, it's "surprisingly" decent because it's a tie-in. Take a closer look and its quality really isn't too much of a shock.

Developer Radiangames has turned out a whole bunch of consistently slick and playable iOS games, such as Fluid SE and JoyJoy.

As you might expect given that heritage, this is a fast-paced action game with slick 2D graphics and plenty of neon-coloured fireworks.

Getting Mojo back

As you start the game, your solitary Powerpuff Girl is completely powerless thanks to Mojo Jojo and his Disremember Ray.

A little wandering through the first couple of interconnected caves that make up the game's vast map will soon grant you a powerful punch, then the ability to fly.

After some aerial scrapping, the game shifts into frenetic shooter mode as you gain the ability to launch laser attacks against the game's plentiful robotic enemies.

And that's the template for the entire game, really - keep exploring, broadening your skill-set so that you can reach new areas of the map and discover more abilities in turn.

If you've ever played one of Nintendo's classic Metroid games, or one of Konami's Castlevania games, or the hundreds of free-roaming platformers that were subsequently influenced by them, you'll appreciate Radiangames's efforts.

Power control

Eventually you'll unlock all three Powerpuff Girls, each with a unique power that grants access to new areas. Once you do this, you can switch between them at will with a virtual button press.

There's also a button for shooting or punching, a button for dashing, and a button for switching attacks, alongside a virtual D-pad for flying about.

Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville controls pretty well on a phone or tablet with virtual controls, but you can tell it wasn't originally made for such devices. It was made for PC with its limitless choice of physical control pads.

As such, it plays a lot better if you use a compatible controller.


There's also no denying that Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville is a bit of a grind, in its own way.

The gameplay, like the three girls' move-sets, gradually expands rather than springing off in new and intriguing directions. It gets better and more interesting as your options increase, with a choice of bonus abilities (tougher defence, faster flying etc) adding a dose of customisation.

But there's not a great deal here that will surprise you.

Fortunately, the game's core components are solid and appealing enough to keep you bashing away. There's a pleasant knock-about feel to combat that sees enemies sent spinning backwards or exploding in a satisfying cloud of sparks.

There are power-ups and even whole rooms that will have you looking at the map and pondering how on earth to get to them. And there are the Powerpuff Girls themselves, sharply drawn (in classic or modern style) and ever quick with a quip.

It all makes doing the same thing again and again in this generously proportioned action-adventure more than bearable. It makes it fun.

Now then - any chance of getting Radiangames to make a M.A.S.K. game?

Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville

A sharply drawn free-roaming action game that combines knock-about combat with a steadily expanding world to explore
Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.