“Incredibly Polished and Professionally Sculpted, but Void of Personality.”
An XboxHornet review by Liam Jugler.
Its kind of funny that the biggest complaint I usually have about Indie games is their lack of polish and general spitshine, but Spoids has the exact opposite problem, being a title that is full of polish, very flashy, but lacking in any real staying power.
Which isn’t to say this is a bad game. Spoids is a tower defense that plays very much like how every Tower Defense (TD) game in the history of the genre plays. Put down your towers, make them shoot a never-ending supply of abstract beasties until you’re told you’re done. Spoids does make some efforts to mix up the samey gameplay by using objectives; every level has 3 objectives. Each objective is basically ‘Survive a few more minutes’ but it adds a little tension to the game and builds up that all-important replayablity. Add in the fact that the game has some passable voice-over work and if you’re a fan of the genre you could certainly do worse that here.
The problem lies in the fact that everything Spoids does, with the exception of the above gameplay mechanic (and I’m not much of a tower defense player, so that could even be cribbed from somewhere), has been done better elsewhere. The graphics are a mishmash of geometric neon shapes that spell the word ‘Geometry Wars’ as they spin at you, blinking. The plot of being a member of a team of ass kicking tower builders holding off an alien invasion reminds me of many TD titles’ attempts at “story”. I understand in this genre it’s hard to do anything really stand out and cool, so I’ll hold back my usual poorly actualized venom on this one, it was just disappointing to see a waste of such high production values on a game with barely anything I can’t get free elsewhere.
The game does have some neat stuff in there that isn’t really diminished by the lack of spirit. Some of the weapons feel fairly new and interesting in the world of TD, it is hard as all hell which I know appeals to a certain audience of sadomasochistic sociopaths (me) and the stilted way various upgrades to your arsenal of towers arrive manages to make not every level feel the same. In fact, that is probably Spoids greatest gameplay mechanic. It introduces new enemies along with the best weapon to combat them at roughly the same time. I know, it’s nothing ground breaking, but in plenty of these games you’re given every weapon as soon as you can afford it. Spoids handles it in a different way, and I appreciate how well it works.
And, ultimately, it is a very well made game. Voice acting, polished graphics and the UI are perfect. For the style alone I recommend this game. It may not be anything with a soul, or artistic or intelligent or thought provoking, but it is, at least, shiny.
Game Score: 5/10.
Download a free demo of the game here.