Simple and effective tower defense
The Nintendo Switch has been getting a steady stream of releases every week, however traditional tower defense games are a bit in short supply. Samurai Defender: Ninja Warfare answers that call.
In standard tower defense, you control a character or characters who are usually in a static position while waves of enemies come towards you. Samurai Defender is no different. One ninja archer is available at the start to protect your castle. As enemies approach, you move the arrow cursor around the battlefield to aim at the enemy and then once you hit the B button the archer will automatically continue to shoot until the level is finished. Seven lanes cover the battlefield so you need to be ready to change the cursor to match the path of the enemies. This is easy to pick up and play, but does get more interesting as you go through the missions.
Each level plays out the same way. Waves of enemies show up and your goal is to take them out before they destroy your castle. At the end of each level you are rewarded with copper and gold coins. Copper is used to upgrade your archer as well as unlock more colleagues to add to your main defense. The gold is used to purchase and upgrade secondary abilities that will be available as you level up. The downside to this is that the level cap is 30, which is pretty obtainable in a few hours. After that, there is very little replay value other than trying to get a higher score on missions.
I was disappointed with the lack of variety in missions and level designs. Every level uses the same back drop and even though the visual style is wonderful to look at, seeing the same battlefield for the 100th time becomes stagnant. The characters have a fun chibi style to them which does make things a little better, especially when you get to see a new enemy come out. My favorite is the ninjas that literally roll themselves out in what looks like a turtle car.
Samurai Defenders: Ninja Warfare is a simple but serviceable tower defense game. The gameplay is solid and easy to grasp but the lack of mission variety and level design make this one just as easy to put down. All in all, it was the chibi archers that kept me battling to the end.