Board Defenders is a relatively new game in the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Stores that has you defending a chess board playing field from advancing robots. The goal is to keep your enemy from crossing the board by moving your characters in chess-like fashion where they can stomp the robots into submission.
Board Defenders has over one hundred levels of gameplay, four unique characters to defend your board and fantastic graphics. You will also find a challenge mode where you can practice your skills with a specific character. After playing Board Defenders over the past few days, it comes across as a fun, challenging game and a fantastic addition to your gaming library.
The main menu for Board Defenders is fairly standard. You have options to jump into game play, access the game's settings, view your achievements, share the game and view other offerings from the developer.
There are two gaming modes available with Board Defenders. You have the primary gaming mode that has 100+ levels spread out across three gaming arenas and a challenge mode where you can practice your skills with a specific gaming character.
The premise of Board Defenders has you defending a chess board styled playing field from a wave of robots (some levels will throw in rival, neighborhood kids as well). Using your players, you will need to intercept them and kick them off the board. Just keep in mind that your opponents can also capture your players, which will end the game and allow the robots to claim victory.
Board Defenders will start you out with a tutorial level that covers the mechanics of gameplay. In a nutshell, you tap on your player to highlight the possible moves, tap the square you want them to move to and if the destination is beside a robot, they will kick it to the curb. Robots advance from the top of the game board and will try to work their way down the screen to the bottom of the board. If your player moves into a diagonal position to a robot, the robot can boot your player off the gaming board ending the game.
As far as the gaming screen is concerned, there is a series of statistics displayed in the upper left corner. Here you will find your current level, the number of robots to defeat and the number of gears earned. As you start playing a level, you will have an undo button appear that you can use to take a move back and any scoring multipliers will appear.
The four gaming characters are available in various numbers depending on the level of play. Each will have movement limitations, much like a chess piece would have, which will impact your strategy for taking out the robots. The four characters include:
- Queen Marie, who can move horizontally, vertically and diagonally much like a chess queen.
- Bob and Rob can move horizontally and vertically much like a chess rook.
- Paul and Paulo can move diagonally much like a chess bishop.
- Johnes Brothers move much like a chess knight moves (two squares in a direction and then left or right one square).
Gameplay is turn-based, but you can only move one player while the entire group of robots will move during their turn. Granted they can only advance one square, much like a pawn in chess.
At the end of each level of play, should you eliminate all the robots, you are scored based on the number of moves it takes. While there isn't one solution to success, you will have a chance to watch a video replay illustrating the solution using the fewest moves. It's a nice touch and offers a little insight on gameplay that may prove helpful in future levels.
One of the downsides to Board Defenders is the lack of a help section. Tutorial pop-up windows will appear as new gaming features become available, but a reference section would be nice.
The only other downside to the game is a glitch that locked up the Lumia 950 on occasion. It only happened twice while playing the game, but while I could still play Board Defenders I could not exit the game or shut down my Windows Phone. It required a battery pull or holding down the volume + power buttons to set things right. Again, this glitch didn't happen often but it is one that needs to be ironed out.
Even with the glitch, I found Board Defenders to be a fantastic game with which to pass the time. It is perfect for a tablet or Windows Phone and not too shabby when played from the larger screen of a laptop or desktop computer. At last check, the game is pulling down a 4.8-star rating in the Stores with reviews describing the game as "awesome", "the best game app" and "faaantasic". All of which we agree with wholeheartedly.
Board Defenders is a free, ad-supported game available from both the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Stores. The game does have several in-app purchase opportunities that will remove the ad-support. If you have given Board Defenders a try, let us know what you think of things in the comments below.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.