Review: Ezaron Defense
By Laura Collins (Blu3Rizing)
Developer: RVL Games
Available on: PC (Steam)
If you ever find yourself looking for a more favorable and less intimidating entry into the Tower Defense genre, Ezaron Defense might be the game for you.
Tower Defense games have long been a guilty and mostly secret pleasure of mine, and I understand that with so many on the market to choose from, finding one to play for the first time can be a rather daunting endeavor.
Ezaron Defense is simplistic, which makes it incredibly easy to follow along with. I also found it to be a relatively easy game in general when compared with many other Tower Defense games. You are only given a weapon at a time to learn and strategize with, and there are only a few that you are provided with. Then you are tasked with upgrading and making them more powerful, so the learning curve is very shallow and should never really be a problem.
Despite the simplicity of Ezaron Defense, I was intrigued with some of the gameplay mechanics. When completing levels, you collect “Tools” based on your performance of the level, and these “Tools” are used to help you build up a city. With City Builders being one of my great loves in the gaming world, I was incredibly excited to see the concept introduced early on in Ezaron Defense. Building and upgrading the various facilities earn you crystals which are then used to “Research” new abilities and spells. These would do things like give you increased Life or Mana, increase the potency of spells or decrease the Mana used for those spells. This is also how you got access to upgraded and more powerful weapons to use during the levels.
The one downside to researching new spells and upgrades is that you can do so even from the game’s earliest stages. This makes it so that many of the levels that may have been a challenge otherwise are no longer posing any kind of challenge or threat whatsoever. Placement and strategy mean far less when you could follow around some of the stronger enemies and just hit them with Spells until they are no longer a threat. I found myself wanting to hold back just to force myself to strategize in better ways. Still, towards the later levels, even just the upgraded Weapons were overpowered enough that I would not have needed much Spellcasting in any case.
While I appreciated all the different areas and subareas you could research, I wish they went a bit further with the City Building aspect as the mechanics and incentives stopped at earning you more crystals. I hoped that building or upgrading would have some sort of effect outside of earning you a crystal or two. Still, perhaps that could be expanded upon in the future as it had the beginnings of a neat idea. Aside from building and upgrading, there was also nothing else to do with the “Tools,” and quite a bit earlier than I would have liked. I ended up with nothing further to upgrade, but with an abundance of crystals and nowhere to spend or use them.
All this said I do believe Ezaron Defense could be enjoyable to newcomers to the series and has the potential to be an outright amazing game if they push some of their ideas and mechanics just a little bit further.