There are only so many times that I can play another tower defence game that looks and acts very much like the last tower defence game I have played. Spira Defence is something different, but at the same time it retains the essence of what makes tower defence games fun and challenging.
It is a single screen game with five open slots for upgradeable towers in the middle. Enemies enter on the edges and find their way to the centre, sometimes in a spiral, sometimes not. The free version has 72 levels, whilst the premium version has unlimited levels as well as being ad free.
I picked up Spira Defence a few times before it sunk its claws in. It’s not a visually appealing title, by now I really should know that some of the best games aren’t and strategizing with coloured dots, squares and circles did not create an instant appeal the first time I played a level.
It stuck with me though and after picking it up four or five times, things suddenly clicked in and I played for a marathon session trying to beat my previous progress. As it is essentially one very long (or infinite) level, some of the replay value is lost by having limited content that does get boring after a while. It is worth noting though that it does hold multiple hours of enjoyment for tower defence fans. I spent a whole afternoon playing and that’s quite a bit of mileage for a free to play Android game.
Spira Defence is very accessible if you have photophobia, motion sickness, blurred vision, visual loss or a colour vision deficiency. It has almost no flicker, flash or other bright visual effects and there are no motion sickness triggers. The menu system and user interface uses quite large text and interactive objects are easy to spot against a high contrast background. The only way to differentiate the towers is unfortunately, with colour. The rapid tower is green, the chain tower red, the slower tower blue etc. It is possible to deduce the tower by its ability, the rapid tower fires with a single straight line, the chain tower fires with a straight line as well as a connecting line between multiple targets hit, enemies visibly slow down after being hit by the slower tower or are displaced after being hit by the Pusher, but it is harder to play if you are colour blind.
It is very accessible to anyone with with a hearing impairment. There is no audio only cues and it can be played with or without sound with no discernible difference.
The controls are touch screen based. It is mostly tapping to select towers and upgrades. It cannot be played on pause, so occasionally quick decisions and quick reactions are required to save the game.
Spira Defence is a strategy based game that requires concentration, organization, planning and memory skills to play well. The user interface is a bit cluttered which can be confusing when looking for quick updates when the pressure is on. There is a basic language requirement, statistics are provided in table format. The tutorial is written text only, but anyone who has ever played a tower defence game will not need the tutorial as the game explains itself very well just by playing it.
- Pause on new level Yes/No
- Powers on RHS Yes/No
- Sound FX Yes/No
Spira Defence is a charming tower defence game with a twist that makes it challenging and fresh without compromising the ground rules of the genre. Its user interface is not very user friendly, but looking past that its simplistic visuals and controls make it very accessible to most disabilities with only two main requirements – being able to use a touch screen and enjoying strategizing and puzzling over how to obliterate circling squares by placing and powering up coloured dots. I thoroughly enjoyed playing it and would highly recommend it to fellow tower defence enthusiasts.
[stars rating=”3″ type=”Game”]
Product: Spira Defence | Developer: Craig Hart | Platform: Android | Genre: Tower Defence | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | Content Rating: not rated