Most games found on the App Store and in the Android Market are quick cash-ins with little attention to detail, a weak design concept, suspect gameplay mechanics, and low replay value. A select few games, however, do away with rushed development in favor of a careful approach, with the final product exhibiting true craft. Jelly Defense is one such game.
Jelly Defense is a tower defense game that will feel familiar to any fan of the genre. All of the mechanical tropes established by games such as DTD and PixelJunk Monsters are very well represented here. Thankfully, the whimsy and creative flare of Plants vs. Zombies was also incorporated into the game, making for a powerful little package. I suppose Jelly Defense could be called derivative, but whenever a game can be compared to such illustrious titles, you know you're in for a treat.
There isn't much to the story, other than the Jelly nation has been invaded by an army of mean Jelly forces. It's up to the player to defend the planet by placing towers strategically.
- Lots of levels, enemies, towers, and strategies mean tons of fun-
Tapping the screen to collect coins and power-ups, dragging units into place, selecting towers for upgrade (or for trading in), and activating bonuses are all handled remarkably well in Jelly Defense. That being said, this game is best played on a tablet, especially if you have chubby digits. However, if you are thinking about picking this game up for your iPhone, iPod touch, or Android-powered smartphone, don't hesitate because the controls are still responsive.
Gameplay in Jelly Defense is marked by diverse levels, varied enemy types, interesting units with unique advantages and drawbacks, multiple power-ups to employ, level-ending boss jellies, and a nice ramp up to challenge. If you are a casual player, you'll be happy to know that levels can be passed with only a mild degree of difficulty. For those of you that are tower defense veterans, getting out of a level with all of your gems intact, setting a respectable time, and having coins left over will provide you with the complexity you crave.
What's more, Game Center achievements and global rankings will keep you coming back for more long after you've gone through the campaign. Jelly Defense is a strategy-filled pleasure to play and worth coming back to again and again. Hopefully additional levels, new enemies, and different towers are in the works, but there's more than enough content here to keep you happy for a dozen hours or more.
The presentation in Jelly Defense is second to none for handheld devices. The visual design is loaded with interesting and adorable characters, vibrant colors that are nicely set off by muted backdrops, crisp, high definition graphics, and a unified theme that quickly immerses the player into the Jelly universe. Enhancing the visuals are excellent, upbeat, original tunes that will have you tapping your feet and humming along. Likewise, most of the sound effects fit in perfectly and support the gameplay well.
- This game will keep you smiling long after you've stopped playing -
Only a handful of niggling bits stick out. For example, the blue, rook-looking, machinegun tower has a hastily drawn action animation, and the living planetoid the jellies inhabit lets out a comical “wooaahh” that gets tiresome quickly. Also, some of the English text isn't quite right, but this actually turns out to be quite endearing, coming off as sweet. These complaints are rather inconsequential though, as Jelly Defense really packs a punch both graphically and aurally. The beautiful look and catchy music leaves a lasting impression that'll bring a smile to your face, a bounce to your step, and tunes worth whistling.
The amount of effort that's gone into this title and the entertainment it provides makes this a real gaming value that should not be missed. I plan on downloading this app to all of my iOS and Android devices, and I suggest you do the same, as Jelly Defense really is a go-to game when on the go.
GameDynamo's Score for Jelly Defense (Mobile)
Cutting his gaming teeth at Aladdin's Castle and on the Commodore 64, JC entered into video game journalism in 2008. Helping run GameDynamo as its director is both a dream and a rewarding challenge.
[View Jelly Defense images / screenshots +]
[Watch Jelly Defense videos / trailers +]
[View more Jelly Defense articles (news, previews, reviews) +]
[View Jelly Defense cheats / guides +]
More from GameDynamo