Once upon a time, in a galaxy not so far away, lived a simple jelly nation. Things were peaceful until one day an invasion of kiwi-flavoured-halva-shaped spaceships arrived with the intent of stealing the jelly nation’s gems. The result was a whole lot of jelly screaming and a 20+ level tower defense game for you to sink your fingers into.
I’ll leave the full exploring of the game up to you, so as not to ruin the fun and excitement. However, let me take you through a quick review of the design, gameplay and performance, plus give you a glimpse at some of the great visuals that make up Jelly Defense.
Jelly Defense is a tower defense game with great aesthetics and intriguing characters. After downloading and installing Jelly Defense from the AppStore, the game will load and bring you to the main menu where three jellies with signs are waiting for you. It is well worth clicking on the blue “help” jelly before actually starting the game, as the eight-screen help section is a great way to get your bearings.
The “Start Game” jelly will bring you to a short introduction followed by moving you onto the game’s tutorial. As keen as you might be to jump straight into the game, value the tutorial and the opportunity to practice, otherwise it may bite you in the jelly posterior later.
In Jelly Defense, your peaceful nation of jelly inhabitants has been invaded my monster invaders who have one goal in mind — to steal your green gems. Each level brings you face to face with fresh waves of invaders and you need to strategically build a tower defense system to keep the monsters from stealing your gems. The more gems you save, the higher your score — but if you lose all of your gems, you must replay the level.
The twist to Jelly Defense comes in the form of the towers. Certain towers do certain things, including being exclusive about who they will attack. For example, red towers will only attack red monsters and blue towers, blue monsters. Knowing which towers to place where and in which number comes down to a (sometimes painfully frustrating) process of trial and error.
The monsters also vary in what they do and how they act, from quick moving blue monsters to Mr. Jellicious who spawns large groups of mini-monsters. You can also upgrade and sell towers providing you with more power and more cash, as well as conduct “research” to invent new towers.
Don’t Get Distracted by the Design
From the moment you open the greyscale main menu with its selective reds and blues until you are building towers and zapping monsters, you are bound to love the Jelly Defense design. It’s attractive and inviting yet simplistic enough to not leave you trying to figure out what is what. The detailed colour screens in between are even better.
The jellies themselves are cute and endearing, even the gem stealing ones, and the overall background is unusual enough to hold-up the illusion of being somewhere not quite Earth-like. All in all, this is a great looking game that entices you in from the moment it loads.
With all those monsters trundling your way, shots being fired, gems sparkling and coins scattering across the screen, it’s understandable that you might be a bit worried about the game’s performance.
Surprisingly, even with monster meltdowns Jelly Defense’s playing performance holds up well. I didn’t experience any lag time or crashes during game play and loading times were generally quick. There was the odd occasion when clicking on a menu icon was a bit slow but it was hard to determine if this was something game related or if I was just having a fat finger moment.
It is no secret that the AppStore has an almost endless supply of games, so Jelly Defense has its fair share of competition. How does it hold up? On the downside, the game can be confusing at times even after the help screens, tutorial and random tips that pop-up here and there. This could be helped with some web-based tips, tricks and tutorials, which until recently were basically non-existent. However, the iDreams website appears to have had a breath of life blown into it with not only a forum and a “how to play” appearing but a “jellypedia” as well. Granted, some areas are not totally populated but once they are, this will be a welcome addition to the game.
Jelly Defense does however have some great design elements and stable playing performance going in its favour. Plus, the creative use of twists and turns means that the monsters’ movements are more interesting and suspenseful versus the “we’re coming straight at you” approach.
I can’t guarantee that you will make it through all of the levels but I am pretty sure that you will have some fun trying.