Lock's Quest

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Lock's Quest review


A fresh take on the Tower Defense genre

Defend Your Castle

About a year ago, I got hooked on a free flash game called Desktop Tower Defense. The game was ridiculously simple in concept – you built up a structure of turrets, and used them to fend off waves of enemies. Since then, games like PixelJunk Monsters on the PS3 and the DS’ Ninjatown have allowed the genre to break into the mainstream. The newest addition to the tower defense craze is 5th Cell’s Lock’s Quest.

When you compare Lock’s Quest with Desktop Tower Defense, it is quite apparent how much the genre has evolved in the past year or so. While Lock’s Quest uses many of the same ideas as other games in the genre, it offers up more than enough twists to keep it feeling fresh. This is tower defense redux, and while all the ideas may not work out perfectly in practice, it is still a decent collection to any DS owner’s library.

Lock’s Quest tells the story of Lock, an orphan who lives with his grandfather and sister in a quiet seaside village. Lock is an ‘archineer’ in training – someone who can use the power of ‘source’ to build structures. In the game’s introduction, Lock comes across an injured archineer named Isaiah, who’s been injured by members of the Clockwork Army. The Clockworks are the henchmen of the Lord Agony, who supposedly died in a battle years before. Lock suddenly finds himself in the middle of the struggle when his sister gets captured by the Clockwork forces. The story is told in long, un-skippable cut scenes with the amount of text I would expect from most Atlus games. But despite the quantity of dialogue, the characters all feel cut from the most basic mold and the story never really seems worth paying attention to.

Just Like Clockwork

While battles in Lock’s Quest vary in objectives, they always come down to protecting a source well from enemy forces. There may be side objectives such as protecting ally troops or wiping out certain enemies, but generally, your effort will go into the source well. The battles take place in two phases: Build and Battle. In the Build phase, you have a set amount of time to build up your fortress in hopes of protecting the source well. During the battle phase, you manually move Lock around the field, fixing damaged structures or engaging enemies directly. After a set period of time, the Clockworks will break down and another brief Build Phase will begin.

Thankfully, your creativity is the limit when it comes to constructing protective structures. You gradually unlock new walls, turrets, and traps, which can be placed almost anywhere to build your dream fortress. Providing there is the source required structures can be built to match any strategy. One strategy I used involved building rows and rows of walls, which can waste precious seconds of the Clockwork’s attack phase. Experimenting with the building tools is very fun, and in later missions a bit frantic. When I found myself low on source, I had to figure out which lines of defense had to be fixed and which I had have to try and live without, all within the two minute time limit. It is an absolute blast.


fun score

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