03
Sep
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Yesterday, we announced Sentinel 3: Homeworld by Origin8 which hit the Android market as the third game in a very popular tower defense series, and the first installment to be available for Android. Normally I am not too excited about games of this genre, but I can honestly say that Sentinel 3 has impressed me both in terms of gameplay experience and sheer visual interest, thanks to the cleanly styled environments, visual effects, and smooth animation.

Sentinel 3 has three gameplay modes: campaign, endless, and classic. Each of them is a little different, and they each have their own merits. Before discussing these however we should talk about a few basics.

First, the game's environments. They are gorgeous. They are well-styled and clearly thought out. Although enemies approach from preset paths (often consisting exclusively of 90-degree angles), the action still looks smooth and organic, because there are enough set pieces to make the environment look convincing.

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Next is music. The game has a great soundtrack by Specimen A, a group from the UK who make music "for all those gurning ravers out there who cant get enough of the 'wowowowow'." The music is a very nice touch. Unfortunately I'd rather play with the volume down most of the time because the game also has a sound for the death of each enemy, meaning you'll hear the same dying growl about a million times each time you play. That's a shame.

I know some of you will wonder about tablet support - it works (just check out our screenshots), but some graphics appear a bit washed out. I'm hoping Origin8 has higher-res tablet assets somewhere high up on their TODO list.

Campaign Mode

Should you choose to play campaign mode, you can expect an intense 20-level battle. Each level starts off rather slowly but each wave of enemies gets tougher and tougher, requiring the user to upgrade their defenses constantly. Occasionally you can sit back for a wave and just watch aliens and robots get demolished by gun turrets, bombs, or missiles. It's also worth noting that each gameplay mode includes a "commander unit" which is a little dude in a robotic weapon suit who acts as the last line of defense against enemies who threaten your towers. He can level up and become more powerful as you play through campaign mode, but stays the same in the other gameplay modes. Personally I like campaign mode best, as the feeling of completing a level and gaining new weapons and capabilities is always gratifying.

Speaking of which, the selection of weapons is not only diverse but entertaining as well. For example there are weapons like the "slow" turret, a machine that sends out pulsing waves that slow enemies down. The player can choose which weapons to equip for a given level in the armory, buying more slots using credits which come from points/money earned throughout the previous levels.

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Endless Mode

Sentinel 3's endless gameplay mode is interesting. It uses the progress the player has made in campaign mode as a base for the abilities the player has on "endless" maps, in which wave after wave of enemies will attack until the player is defeated. The object, of course, is to get the highest score possible before defeat.

As with all gameplay modes in Sentinel, endless mode is available in difficulty modes ranging from "Easy" to "Psycho." Although I would argue that judging by the fact that endless mode uses campaign progress as a basis for play, the difficulty necessarily changes even within each difficulty mode.

If you've built up your armory in campaign mode, this is a great option for gameplay, allowing you to pick up Sentinel and play a few waves here and there.

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Classic Mode

Classic mode brings a different (one might say classic) twist to Sentinel 3, giving you all the possible weapons for each environment and letting you loose with rounds of 60 waves each, emphasizing skills and tactics over firepower or simple point-gaining. Happily, classic mode comes in two varieties - assault or endurance.

Endurance mode for each map is only unlocked after assault mode is completed, and, as the name implies, tests your skills to their limit by prolonging each battle.

Classic mode also pushes integration with Open Feint, which may or may not be appealing to some of you. Personally, I don't mind it and knowing that I can compete with others is kind of cool and makes Sentinel feel like a more developed game.

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Final Thoughts

Before checking out Sentinel 3, I hadn't played much in the tower defense genre, and really had little interest in pursuing new games of the style. Homeworld, however, makes the genre appealing, and brings a great deal more than I had come to expect. Its gameplay is engaging and gratifying, and it has plenty of gameplay modes to keep anyone entertained.

For a price tag of about $2.00, Sentinel 3 is a game that really shouldn't be passed up.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Adam

    I'm interested in seeing what veteran tower defense players think of the game. There are so many TD games that get glowing reviews on the market but they're too simple and offer very few upgrades. Fieldrunners for instance had very few towers and the levels were boring.

    It'd be nice to see TD games on Android and iOS reach the same level as some Flash games and Warcraft III.

  • SYO

    This seems similar in theme to Defense Grid. Now that's a TD game that ought to get onto Android!

  • Sean

    here's a tip for those who wants quick credits and exp.
    lock your phone at the last wave, just before the last few enemies die. then turn it on again, complete the level. go back twice, such that you appear at the main menu, and press resume game. complete the level again and you realise your exp/credits just keeps going up! :D

    it's a glitch, but until the dev fixes it, happy glitching!

  • juice

    Fieldrunners is terrific, and depending on which mode you play in, gives you different types of towers. It makes you work (ie think) hard to beat it (well, hold it out for as long as possible for two modes).

    This one is OK, but I'm preferring FR so far, because it requires a fair bit more thought.

  • Someone

    if you like the music you will enjoy "Bassnectar", especially their "Timestretch" track.

  • bigbadmonster

    ah..shame...

    i came here hoping to find this :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sentinel_%28video_game%29

  • http://www.funtdgames.com TD Games

    Sweet Games..but i have played better lol..

  • http://funtdgames.com Tower Defense

    Where Can i Get This Game.

  • help

    theres a bug where everything is a white box, is anyone else experiencing this problem??

    • david

      I'm haveing the same issue....I've tried remounting my sd card but that didn't work...if you find another forum or a fix let me know

      • vladimir

        Chainfire3D may help you

  • P-TeCH

    Sentinel 3 Homeworld is really worth a shot, don't expect a revolution of TD but a solid and well crafted piece. The graphics aren't stunning though, if compared to Lost Earth for example, this one really falls behind. Moreover it unfortunately suffers from the same well known TD problems as you push it to the limit in endless mode - as you pass wave 150+ you are forced to throw away all your towers but the fully upgraded beam towers, cause even the smallest and weakest little bastards gain so much health they can't be killed in time with others. An issue I've witnessed in every single TD game I've played so far - a challenging campaign (play hard mode as a TD veteran!) and some special features make it fun for a while anyway. Cheers.

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