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Savage Moon Review

February 8, 2009
The name doesn't lie, this game is savage

The name doesn't lie, this game is savage

Savage Moon is a tower defense game developed by Fluffy Logic.  Savage Moon is the newest game to be riding the PixelJunk Monsters band wagon who are bringing back the tower defense genre.  Is Savage Moon worth the $9.99 price tag?  The answer is yes, if you like to tear ur hair out.

Story

Before I get too ahead of myself let’s talk about the story.  Humans, the evil species we are, have run out of nessesary minerals on Earth and have gone through space to find these minerals.   Three moons have been found to be rich in these minerals, only problem is, they’re Alive!  So enter you, the military commander brought in to project the mines from the Arachnids err Insectocytes.  The Insectocytes are the moons, known as Imoons defense mechanism.

Most of the story, which I should say Lore, is found in the “Tech & Creature Library”.  Here information on the Imoons, minerals, towers, creatures etc etc can be found.  This works well to inform the players on the basics on each tower & Insectocytes, it does little beyond that.  The information it gives is limited, not even telling players what towers are effective against what enemies.  The information provided is also limited by the fact you have to use a tower before the information becomes available, leaving the player blind as to what the towers do in the game without first using it and finding out.

Gameplay

While there is no story to speak off, its not necessarily a bad thing.  Tower defense games are played for one reason, and one reason only, to defeat challenges.  The game starts off easy enough with the first three levels containing tutorials to give players the basics.  However after these tutorials end, the game goes bipolar on the player and goes full on difficult.  My best description is the continental shelf on the west coast (Yay science), it’s just a steep drop into “OMG why is this so hard?*territory and it never looks back.  While the game gets difficult fast it never really evens out, difficult challenges you faced before will seem like cake walks compared to the level after.

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An obvious reason for this could be the number of levels, with 3 moons with 4 levels each, there are only 12 levels in the game, however the difficulty curve shoudln’t be THAT steep.  Unskilled players, and even skilled ones like myself will find it difficult to progress very far in the game.  (I am stuck on the third level on the 2nd moon myself at this point)

Even with the severe difficulty curve the game is still fun…for the most part.  Unlike its artsy big brother, PixelJunk Monsters, Savage Moon is a very intense game.  Everything will happen in real time, and now should be a good time to explain what exactly happens.  Players are given a map and a mine to protect, once on the map the player has a number of gameplay mechanics to use to their advantage.  These include the towers (basis of the game), research, upgrading, advance waves & command skills.  There are more than a handful of towers to create, ranging from the standard Machine Gun tower (pictured), to the advance Mine & Chaos towers.

To go hand in hand with the towers are the search & upgrading aspects of the game.  After killing Insectocytes and gaining credits (Money), the player can use the credits to build more towers, research new ones or upgrade towers.  The game quickly becomes a fast paced debate on what to do at any given time.  Upgrading towers is useful, however it takes a few seconds for the upgrade to be complete, leaving the tower useless at that time.  If I may digress for a minute, the tower upgrades are great to watch as you’ll see towers completely transform, and become almost unrecognizable from their lower level counterparts.

In order of awesomeness, first being the least, last being super awesome!

In order of awesomeness, first being the least, last being super awesome!

Researching is useful to utilize more powerful towers & to research more powerful upgrades for the towers.  Last, but not least, are the advance wave & command skill aspects.  Players will be given to ability to advance the waves of enemies that come to gain more credits.  This becomes useful to quickly gain valuable credits when low on funds, but can also be devastating if the player is ill prepared for the next wave.  Command skills allow players to prioritize play styles.  There are 3 skills, credit, damage, and defense and choosing 2/3 of these skills allow the player to customize priorities.  For example solely choosing damage will increase the damage the towers do dramatically, but also reducing the credits & defense of the towers dramatically.  Choosing damage & credits will lower the amount that the damage bonus does, but at the same time raising the credit bonus.  It becomes a balancing act of what is important when.

Graphics/Audio

The doesn’t have any particular strengths of weaknesses in this department.  The Insectocytes bring back old memories of Starship Troopers & the music & sound effects aren’t anything to write home about, however they are well done enough for a downloadable game

Conclusion

At the end of the day, Savage Moon is a good game.  Things like the extreme difficulty make it hard to recommend  & hamper it from being a great game.  If your a fan of strategy games, pick this one up, at $9.99 it won’t set you back much, for those interested in the genre, go download PixelJunk Monsters first before attempting this game.

Great

Great

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