AKA ZaciSa's Last Stand) In North America (Ntsc)
About The Game
ZaciSa: Defense of the Crayon Dimensions! is a simple, yet challenging, 2D tower defense game set in space. Build different bot weapons and defend your base from an evil space empire that wants to destroy the Crayon Empire at all costs! Earn money by defeating enemies as they try to destroy you and build better, smarter weapons to defend yourself. Can you survive the onslaught?
Tower defence is a genre with a wide scope for creative freedom.
While the core idea (protecting some form of base or exit) is the main goal of the genre creative developers have almost limitless options in terms of style and execution.
ZaciSa’s Defence is graphically on a basic side of the spectrum but given the budget involved I quite like the idea of the crayon look and trying something a bit different.
The game finally saw its European release (the version reviewed) over a year after its North American original but the delay allowed a bigger game than originally released in the Usa.
The game features 12 levels to play on Including a some collaborations many will recognise, each has between 1 & 4 bases to protect.
You’ll do so by placing various weapons in a limited number of fixed locations on the map as well as being able to purchase drones that float around the entire map attacking and slowing down enemy attackers.
Drones can also be controlled on the tv by real life players.
It’s not the most spectacular multi player addition ever created but it’s still an added feature some may wish to take part in on occasions. (especially younger kids for whom the core game play might still be a bit difficult.
There are a couple of level design collaborations man gamers will recognize
A criticism used far too often in tower defence games is that you play, eventually figure out what works best set it up and watch the game play out on its own with your only input being occasional upgrades.
While that is true of some basic games in the genre it’s not something that should be thrown in the direction of every new entry to the market.
Each of the games 12 level designs play differently enough to ensure that variations in tactics is a must if you want to rack up the big scores.
Of course once you’ve found a reasonably successful combination on a particular level it is something you’ll return to again and again.
Which weapons to upgrade first, their stats, when to use bonus items like double cash, double points, nuke button or extra health are all options that will continually evolve dependant on how an individual game is currently proceeding.
I would also suggest since each stage has 3 online high score tables (hard, insanity and endurance modes) if you want to aim for the very top you’ll most definitely want to keep experimenting in ways that could earn you extra points.
There's also a bank option where you can borrow set amounts of money to spend on new equipment or upgrades and pay off during the battle.
It's another option that can further extend the strategy involved and give you more options to play.
You've got a few options on where to lay down your cash most levels will require different strategy at least in the early going.
insanity mode mixes things up even more by often giving enemy waves have power ups added to them before they start.
This can occasionally mean the game is over literally as soon as you’ve started if wave 1 enemies begin with double health or double speed you will almost certainly fail before you begin.
It’s not something that I encountered a lot but it is something that caused some annoyance when it did happen.
These extra powers appear at random can occasionally help too when the enemy is reduced to only half its life making them a quick & easy target.
This happens just as randomly on level 1 as it does on level 30.
Off tv play is fully featured but should you choose to stick with the tv the game pad can be put to use upgrading your weapons or using your bonus items.
It’s probably a slight advantage since playing on the pad alone means you can’t see what’s going on while performing such upgrades.
If things at any point begin to get a little easy and at the current level you are completely blitzing the enemy with almost zero threat to your base(s) you can change the speed of the game and make it perform much faster to simply get the level out of the way.
It’s a minor thing but still another little mini addition that helps keep boredom away when you go through a phase of dominance.
A screen taken from easy mode on my first ever attempt with the game, I got to level 32 feeling invincible, then I finished at level 32 feeling defeated!
12 stages each offering at the very least different tactical variations to the game
36 different online high score tables.
4 modes of play (easy, Hard, Insanity, Endurance) most players should find a level to suit their skills.
All 12 levels offer enough subtle differences to make early strategy adapt to each of them.
Even if you only play on a few of them the it's probably worth the budget asking price.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
In Insanity mode random enemy power ups / downgrades can mean early In the game the level is lost before it’s began and later in the game a level is so easy you won’t have to do anything but collect the points and the money.
The graphical style is very much a personal hit or miss choice.
If you’ve never been much of a tower defence fan this doesn’t bring enough new ideas or game play to change your mind.
In the insanity mode if you get this message on level 1 you're almost certainly finished before you start.
I’m a tower defence fan and I’ve played a lot of variations over the last 30 years.
Some take the genre to new heights with plenty of additional ideas, styles or all around game play.
ZaciSa’s doesn’t have enough new elements for me to put it in that category or make me desperate to play it above my all time favourites of the genre.
However despite the odd early level frustration where the enemy wave is so over powered your dead before you begin the game overall offers simple, coherent and most importantly addictive game play.
Those with a tower defence or high score chasing itch on their Wii U could do far worse than this budget title gem.
A review copy of the game was provided by ZeNfA Productions and reviewed in accordance with the review policy.