Thursday, April 14, 2016.
by Brent Roberts

McDROID Box art Tis' the time for big blockbuster games to become far and few between and the mundane to take over the world, for now. I am a big fan of tower defense games as I find the cerebral planning and strategy a fun and addictive break from headshots, kill streaks, and more. McDroid from Elefantopia sets out to be a tower defense game unlike anything you've ever seen before. So do they manage to pull this off?

Unfortunately, not this time, but let me explain. When you're talking tower defense games you're not really talking about a story of any real depth or meaning as it takes a back seat to the strategy. The story for this game is generic and simple as you find your ship returning to your home which is called Planet M. Through in-game dialogue, which I found somewhat meaningless and annoying, you find out that Planet M is sick because it has been poisoned by the Somanto Corp. So naturally the game is about you healing a planet and making everything good again. That's it. No really, that's a summation of the entire game. The best way I can describe it is that you are playing essentially a tower defense captain planet versus global warming/mutant hybrid game.

First off McDroid (the character not the game) is a multi-tasking machine. This little WALL-E on steroids seems to be this entire planet's only hope. Through levels you will have to gain strawberries, which become your in game currency, to buy your towers once you've unlocked them. Your towers are unlocked by collecting diamonds and spending them on blueprints. As you progress, you will unlock items such as other droids, rocket launchers, and even magical trees which act as support for your turrets.

In order to collect these items, McDroid must destroy enemies which can drop seeds and diamonds. Once you have a seed, McDroid can plant it and after a set amount of time he will have strawberries to harvest. Once he has collected so many of these items, McDroid must head back to your ship to store them. An innovative take on resource management, but the execution is horrible. Let me tell you why.

The thing about a good tower defense game is your ability to adapt on the fly, and while McDroid does allow you to do this, the constant returning to the ship to drop off your grocery bag full of strawberries and diamonds takes you completely out of the fight. This abrupt dismissal of action really becomes frustrating as you progress and find out that McDroid has to do a tremendous amount of different tasks. It almost becomes more of a balancing game of responsibility than a tower defense game.

That's not to say though that you can obtain some amazingly fun towers to play with, the problem though is that you're required to actually play through this game, a lot, if you wish to obtain all these toys. That's an experience that I'll gladly pass on. This feeling is compounded more thanks to some of the achievements which involve McDroid's Nightmare mode, which by the sounds of it, means pray to whatever deity you believe in because this game just got a whole lot worse.

McDroid (now the game, not the character) is a generally pretty cel-shaded game that is bright and vibrant with graphics are generally appealing to the eye, though not jaw dropping. The music though is a different story. I actually found more enjoyment playing this game with the sound off than with it on. I can honestly say that since I really found the story to weak, there was no reason for me to subject my ears to this noise. McDroid just does his best R2-D2 impressions with a bunch of bleeps and bloops while your shuttle craft chimes in with what he would consider a pithy comeback. All of this leads to a very lack luster experience and that's what got me thinking.

This game originally released in 2012 and the reviews were fairly solid; however, upon a transition to a gaming console in 2016, it seems that the shift did not go so well for this little droid. I do have to say that McDroid does try to give those die hard tower defense fans something to smile about, and for only $7.99 there is a bit of reason to's cheap.

A the end of the day if you don't go into this thinking you're getting some phenom of a game, you may not mind McDroid at all; however, I can honestly say that there are better alternatives. Consider some of the tower defense games that are backwards compatible from the Xbox 360 store instead. For an extra $2 you can get Defense Grid which is a far superior game. At $7.99 plus tax, you get what you pay for.

Overall: 5.7 / 10
Gameplay: 5.5 / 10
Visuals: 6.4 / 10
Sound: 4.8 / 10


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