Dungeon Defenders was developed by Trendy Entertainment released on October 19, 2011 for the Xbox Live Arcade. It is also available on Playstation Network, PC, Mac, PS Vita, iOS, and Android and costs $15. The game sold surprisingly well surpassing the one million mark in just four months.
Dungeon Defenders is an interesting co-op game that is a blend between a strategy RPG, tower defense, and action RPG. While playing, you will progress through levels where you will have to defend Eternia Crystals. Your goal is to set up defenses and towers to prevent enemies from reaching these crystals and destroying them. Each level is split up into rounds consisting of a build phase and a combat phase.
During the build phase, you and your partners will build tower defenses such as barriers, projectile towers, and traps to destroy your enemies. Once you have your defenses built, the game will switch to the combat phase. This is when the enemies will be released and begin attacking your defenses. You will now be able run your character around and attack the enemies similar to an action RPG. Once all of that waves enemies are destroyed and your crystal is safe, the next round will begin and you can build and repair all of your defenses.
Each character in dungeon defenders has many unique strengths and weaknesses which can make them more effective in either the combat phase or build phase. You get to choose your character from one of four classes.
The first class is the squire. He is designed to build very powerful defense barriers to block the enemies from getting through them. He is also quite powerful while attacking and has lots of hit points so he can take a lot of damage.
The second class is an apprentice. He is designed to build projectile towers to shoot magic at enemies approaching the crystal. He has very weak attacks and honestly, is probably the worst of the four characters.
Huntress & Monk
The third and fourth classes were my personal favorites. They are the huntress and monk. Their powers were very similar in that you would place traps and auras on the ground and as enemies walked over them, they would be attacked by the traps effects. The huntress' traps focused more on attack power while the monks focused on slowing the enemies down and weakening them. These two characters required the most strategy, but once you learned how to use them, they were extremely effective. Also, the huntress turned out to be the most useful character during the combat phase.
Why I liked Dungeon Defenders
As you play through dungeon defenders, the levels will get increasingly more difficult with much more powerful enemies and many, MANY more enemies. By the time you make it to the final stages on insane difficulty, you will be fighting off thousands of enemies while keeping up to 30 towers from being destroyed.
My favorite part of this game, aside from it being up to 4 player online or local co-op, was the amount of strategy required. You really had to work together with another player to set up the best strategy before the battle even begins. If you built a solid tower defense, you could have real control over the combat phase and ensure your victory. If you were a little less strategic in your defense setup, you could still defeat the enemies just by shear power depending on how built up your characters are. The game is certainly available in single player mode, but for me, a lot of the enjoyment would be lost if I were playing this game by myself.
Another great aspect of this game is it's leveling system. Like most RPG's, you can build up your character by gaining experience and money from killing enemies. As you collect more money, you can buy more weapons, armor, and pets. You can then upgrade all of these items to fit your characters style. I found myself building one character that was geared towards building defense towers and a second character which I used strictly for combat. As you gained more levels through experience, you could then equip higher level items and access more difficult levels.
Should you buy Dungeon Defenders?
Overall, dungeon defenders was an excellent purchase, especially for only $15. I got 50+ hours of enjoyment out of this game and would not have been disappointed if this were a full $60 retail game. If you are a fan of strategy RPG's, tower defense games, or just looking for an inexpensive co-op game to play with your friends, definitely check this one out.