Defenders of Ardania

7.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Audio: 6/10

Great Concept | Huge Potential

Audio | Simplified Races

Defenders of Ardania is one of those games you want to like. Like really like. And it can be one that you really like but you have to overlook certain things for it to be there fully. It’s a game with a great concept and solid gameplay but it finds itself lacking in other areas.

The core concept of Defenders of Ardania is a tower defense game where you both attack and defend simultaneously. Through the course of the Campaign you are introduced to new aspects of the game, such as different units and towers. You start out with simple towers, the Spear Thrower and Ballista. You’ll use these towers to stop the attack on your Castle by Sir Foxwalde’s troops. While you’re building up your little defense, a stream of troops will start coming out of his base. When you’re done with that you can start returning the favor by sending back troops of your own. You have the option to send Guardsmen, who travel in packs of three, that are basically cannon fodder but still find use; Soldiers who are a little more sturdy than Guardsmen; Clerics which are walking tanks that can heal themselves as they slowly plod along; or Rogues who run really quick but die even quicker if left exposed.

You will use a combination of these units and towers to see you through the first few missions which will allow you to pick up the aid of the Dwarves and Mages, both units which are very useful. You also gain access to spells such as the ability to heal your base or strike down the enemy with lightning. Couple that with the ability to purchase upgrades that affect things like resource refresh time, unit cost, and tower cost, and you will quickly deplete your reserves of cash/mana (still not sure what it is exactly as it is referred to as both in game).

As you progress through the game you will play either 2v2 or 1v1 matches against AI opponents, such as dissident priests and the undead. Objectives for these matches can cause headaches, such as one with the Elves where you must take out two enemies, while simultaneously not killing more than 10 Elven units, who are trying to take out your base along with the other two enemies. And you have to do this with a limited resource pool and a limited number of towers you can build. Needless to say, this game can present some very interesting challenges.

The multiplayer is similar to the campaign, except of course that you have every unit and spell and tower from the get go, preventing experienced players from wiping the floor with newbies. Multiplayer games can be matches between either 2 or 4 players in a Ranked or Private game with Ranked Games updating the online leaderboards. Game types are Free for All, 2v2, and Team Survival where it is 2v2 with the enemies being AI units and you and your partner have to survive as long as possible. The maps for multiplayer are the same maps from the Campaign, and you have the choice to play either as the Humans, Elves or the Undead which are all essentially the same with only cosmetic differences. Each race has the same spells on the same timers, the same unit types, and the same tower types. This can lead to long frustrating matches where little ground is gained by either side as it’s a near constant back and forth of the same stuff. Misplace one tower and it can all be over very swiftly as your opponent rips that little crack in your defenses wide open and takes you down.

Unfortunately where I find the game a bit lacking is that lack of diversity between the races in terms of mechanics, as well as a bit of a shortcoming on the audio side of things. Graphically the game looks very good and runs very smooth. It’s hard to not crack a slight grin as you first hear your advisor in the game with his Sean Connery-esque accent giving you instructions and platitudes. But when you get to the dwarves in the second level, you wonder who did the voice for them as it is kind of half hearted and not at all what you expect from a high fantasy dwarf. They look the part of what is expected: short, stout, and armored up carrying axes and shield. And they make the requisite dwarves are drunks insinuations, but when Gilbon starts yammering at you in his nasally kind of whiny voice it is hard not to cringe a bit.

Overall the game delivers a fun mash up of tower defense and real time strategy, and the ability to play multiplayer definitely increases the replayability of the game. But with the homogenization of the three races and limited maps, the game can quickly grow stale, even in multiplayer.  If this game gets the support it deserves and further development in the form of DLC then it can really take off and make a real impact on the future of tower defense games.


Author: Bryce Jenkins View all posts by
Gaming for years on end Bryce has some odd views about gaming. He's been with jggh since it's official founding, lending support and ideas. In his non-gaming time, he's a lead farmer. He can be reached at