Windows Phone games that have descriptions that read, "Please Note: This game is intentionally difficult" tends to attract attention. Such is the case with Lushington Springs.
Lushington Springs is a tower defense game that will eventually throw everything at you (maybe even the kitchen sink). The story goes that Lushington Springs needs help in defending the territory from hostile attacks (as if there was friendly attacks). Terrain ranges from forests to snowy passes to deserts to urban areas.
Follow the break to find out more about this fast paced tower defense game.
Lay of the Land
Just a quick overview of Lushington Springs' main menu shows access to the game itself, your awards and perks, the help and options menu, and for those running the trial version, the option to buy the full version of the game.
The help and options menu offers a rather healthy help guide on how to play the game as well as the various units you will control. Game options are solely with the audio controls.
When you first start a game, you will have to choose what area of Lushington Springs you will defend. At first, the only level available is the Forest and as you progress through the levels additional terrains become available.
The layout of the main gaming area has your vital statistics and game controls across the top of the screen and your defensive weapons lined up at the bottom of the screen.
Starting from left to right at the top of the screen you will find:
- Your credit totals (used to buy weapons/upgrades and earned as you take out the enemy)
- Health meter (the heart)
- Your approaching enemy strength and rank
- A plus button to speed up the time in-between waves or send in a second wave prematurely (just to make things interesting)
- A playing speed control (fast or normal speeds)
- A pause button (gear symbol)
To the bottom have weapon choices of anti-infantry, anti-armor, anti-air, ranged weapons, and enhancements that you purchase to defend the region.
The maps you'll defend are fairly large, comparable to the size of the areas to defend in Crackdown: Project Sunburst. You place your defenses by tapping and holding on the icon you want to purchase, drag it to the position on the map and if the circle (representing the weapons range) is green, you can place the defense in that position.
Weapons are not indestructible and to check on the status of a weapon, to sell it or upgrade it simply tap on the weapon to display its status. From the status screen you can also set how the weapon fires upon the enemy. You can set it to fire upon the closest, fastest, strongest or weakest enemy units.
The huge map is touch scrollable but not touch zoomable. There are plenty of twists and turns in the roadways you defend to place defensive armaments but you have to choose your positions carefully.
As with any other tower defense game, to succeed at Lushington Springs depends heavily on the placement of your defensive arsenal. What makes Lushington Springs a touch more challenging than other tower defense games is the amount of area you have to defend.
Enemy troop volume is respectful, even during the first level, and if an enemy unit passes through, you loose health points. The pace of the game seems faster than other tower defense games I've played which is not necessarily a bad thing. The fast-forward button helps you get through the slack periods but there weren't many of those present.
If I had to find a nit with Lushington Springs, it would be that you start out with very little credits. Only enough to buy one Pill Box. The only saving grace is that you build up enough credits during the first few waves of attack to build up your defenses fast. It takes about three waves before you earn enough credits to buy your second defensive unit. Personally, I would have preferred to start out with enough coin to buy two defensive units.
As game play progresses, the enemies get larger and harder to defeat. You really have to stay on top of where your defenses rest and upgrades. Being able to select which targets your defensive weapons aim in on helps as well. When you begin to see the larger enemy units, it's nice to concentrate your larger weapons to give you half a chance of wiping them out.
Lushington Springs lives up to its billing in that it is one difficult game. Difficult enough to be challenging but not too difficult to become frustrating. Graphics, animations and sound effects are really good. The game ran smoothly with no bugs, glitches or crashes experienced.
Some tower defense games will let you set your defenses up and allow you set the game down to basically run itself. This is not the case with Lushington Springs. You have to manage your weapon placement, upgrades and enhancements constantly. The only breather you get is the few seconds that occur between waves.
If you like tower defense games, Lushington Springs will be right up your alley. If you're on the fence there is a free trial available to let you try before you buy. The full version will run you $1.99 and both can be downloaded here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.