A portentous port of a iPhone and Android app to traditional consoles, Dungeon Defenders lumpily mashes together tower defense with action RPG elements; and it’s good! As a Squire, Apprentice, Huntress or Monk the young dungeon defenders have been left in charge of the kingdom as their full blown heroic parents are off adventuring. Of course now is the perfect time for a never ending horde of orcs, goblins, death gnomes and the like to assault the land. The baddies are barreling their way toward the Eternia Crystals, beacons placed in each level, the destruction of which means that we lose, and also that unspeakable horror is unleashed on the land.
Luckily you and three companions can mount a ferocious defense. Laying booby traps, fireball turrets, electrical fields and ballista you can prepare the field in between enemy waves to combat the onrushing horde. But if sitting back and watching your towers do the dirty work isn’t your bag, perfect. Dungeon Defenders absolutely necessitates that you dive into the fray. As you cut through swaths of wyvern and orge flesh you find new loot to wield and earn experience and mana through which you upgrade and specialize your character. If you want your Huntress to excel at laying a storm of arrows into your foes at the expense of her traps effectiveness it’s not a problem.
But Dungeon Defenders, for all it’s approachability is far from casual. The hard and insane difficulty settings are justifiably named. Later levels, and special challenge rooms are only conquerable through coordination and teamwork and lone wolf players will likely doom their team. The menu system is awkward and clunky on the consoles and PC, a hold over form the smart phone tropes, and at times the loot system is capricious and random. These are minor flaws for an addictive little game with tremendous replayability. A — Glenn Given