Slow but steady.
Review written by
December 20th, 2010
While certainly a growing genre with the onset of a casual smartphone audience, the tower defense is inherently a game that gives little in the way of actual success to the player. Oh, the games are fun, and building up different defenses is an entertaining exercise, but one cannot technically win a game of tower defense. Whether or not the player wins is entirely up to the aggressive force, as the player 'wins' when the forces cease their attack. With any survival-focused game, unless there is a cutoff point, the opposing forces will eventually overwhelm the player and end the game. It's such an intriguing concept in a world of entertainment focused on giving the player the tools to destroy. To be that opposing force. In a tower defense game, the player must defend their own space, and pray that the end of the enemy's waves comes soon.
And thus we have INKUB, a quirky, yet rigid sci-fi tower defense game by Cosmonaut Games. While the WiiWare may no longer have the energy and appraise it once had, there are still intriguing experiences to be had, and the consumer will most certainly find one in INKUB.
The game is centered on an egg of an unnamed, endangered creature. The player's job is to defend the egg with a number of weapons and tools against small floating enemies that gradually fall through plasma tubes. The weapons can be placed in predetermined slots within the tub, and a majority of the weapons can be upgraded. To buy and upgrade weapons, however, the player must wait for two pipes on either side of the screen to zap electricity (which occurs every few seconds) in order to accrue spending money. These power generators can be upgraded as well.
As the story mode progresses, the player is given more pipes to worry about, stronger enemies to face, better weapons to use, and more mechanics to work with. The distribution of these improvements can often times make the slow nature of the game more bearable, as it gives concrete incentive to keep progressing through the levels. I enjoyed the addition of new objects as it always meant I was given new tools with which to solve the tough situations more creatively. If one weapon didn't work in a certain circumstance, I could always swap it out for a different one.
That being said, the game does feel a bit on the slow side, with the enemy movement and resource accumulation speeds reduced to a slow crawl. I imagine this was a balancing issue, as the game could have been hectic if much faster. Still, this was the impression I got from the overall experience, and it's worth noting.
As for sound, the music felt like it knew its place. There was nothing excessive about the soft pulses in the light electronic songs, and because they serve to fill the background, the songs never became annoying (while at the expense of never potentially becoming catchy, either). Sound effect quality could have been better, but a lack of amazing sound effects in a game such as this should be neither complained about or even unexpected.
In retrospect, INKUB is really only an enjoyable experience for those who enjoy this sort of game. If you like the strategy and creativity associated with tower defense, then consider this a recommendation. If not, there are better uses of your 500 Wii points. There's effort behind this title, and it's enjoyable for its price, but it's definitely not for everybody. Nevertheless, the consumer is given a lot for the price. A total of 40 levels exist in the 5 worlds, and a survival mode of endless waves keeps things interesting as well.
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