Review: Canterlot Siege

Good (late) evening, mares and gentlecolts! For all of you teaching and learning this fall - myself included - who are regretting the end of another fantastic summer, I have just the thing. As for the rest of you, you'll probably enjoy this too. 

Yes, the fabulous futzi01 has once again landed a game upon my reviewing table. And it's a tower defense title, no less - something which we can never have enough of. Can the mane 6 blast their way through parasprites, griffons, and diamond dogs to become a fandom classic, or do they fall a little short? All this, and a secret code, after the break!

In Canterlot Siege, one places ponies around a the map in order to defeat waves of enemies - pretty standard tower defense fare. All of the mane six are available, and each one has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Each can be upgraded five times, becoming immensely powerful by the final upgrade. The game includes a pleasant amount of strategy, forcing you to optimize your tower layout for each enemy type while not becoming overwhelming. Additionally, it includes targeting options: you can set each pony to target the weakest, strongest, or farthest forward enemy within it's range.

I found the game playable, polished, and balanced - meaning that it definitely met my expectations for a tower defense title. In addition, the difficulty increases to the point where even more serious fans of the genre should find an enjoyable level of challenge. My only qualm was that occasionally, when the option to target the farthest forward enemy was selected, your ponies would fire on enemies further back along the path.

Strategy-wise, figuring out pony placement and how quickly to upgrade was key. Earlier upgrades buffed your ponies' attacks only slightly, but were cheap enough that they were well worth buying. Keep in mind that while one pony, depending on it's placement, might not need a range upgrade, it might be essential for another. Augment your bits by calling waves just far enough apart so that no tower has to fire upon multiple waves at once (unless your infrastructure can handle it.)

[MILD SPOILER ALERT] I told you I'd give you a secret code, right? As in a few of his other games (I'll leave it up to you to discover which ones) futzi has included a secret unlock related to the Konami Code. By keying in the particular sequence (up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-b-a) on any level, you unlock Twist Mode, which turns all enemy types into the unlucky filly.

There's not a lot to fault in this game. It's charming and very polished, and, thanks to it's rare qualification as a tower defense game, I'd give it a high spot on my list of pony flash. While perhaps not a massive undertaking, it stays within it's limits and solidly lives up to it's billing. 

- Arctic Lux

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