We love all sorts of games. Sometimes it is hard to cover a game in our traditional review style that’s why we have tidbit-style reviews. These shorter reviews cover games that deserve attention too but simply don’t fit our good, mixed, and bad template. In addition, they get a monthly summary article to give them even more reader attention!
Defend the Rook | Score: 63%
Developer: One Up Plus
Let me start with the most negative thing about Defend the Rook, I can’t recall a game on Xbox with worse controls. It is a true pain to get used to the confusing controls for moving around the square board. The game doesn’t always understand if you want to move up a tile or go left or right. That’s because the camera angle makes the square diamond-shaped, obviously a design decision as the game was first released on PC. (Keyboard controls)
Besides the controls, this roguelike tower defense game is a rather fun game. Everything about it is above average, although the difficulty can be all over the place. Your main piece, called Rook is a tower that you must protect at all costs. You have a couple of options for that, placing towers and your trusty character pieces. Those all have unique move sets and passive abilities, it all comes down to finding a tactic to survive the challenging waves and enemies. Upgrading your characters is key for surviving, while your Rook piece is the most important thing on the board, it is actually more important to have a decent defense from the character pieces. It all feels a bit like chess, moving pieces, and placing towers. It really felt like a checkmate at times when the enemies managed to beat me.
What I liked most about Defend the Rook is the beautiful art style. Character pieces are nicely animated and designed and I loved the larger person looking down at the Diamond-shaped board. It gives a specific atmosphere that suits the game really well. Performance is great too with everything going smoothly when pieces start to attack. Sound and music are present but nothing is out of the ordinary. Like I said in the beginning, everything about Defend the Rook is above average. After a while, you even get used to the awkward and bad controls!
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