Jelly Defense – 2.99 (Infinite Dreams)

Most tower defense games really feel like they fit perfectly with touch screen devices. For many people, their iPod gave them their first experience with tower defense games, and have sense become hooked. But over the last year or so, it’s been pretty hard to find originality within the genre. Thankfully, there have been a couple of tower defense games that have really added something new, or expanded on previous ideas, instead of just re-packaging the same formula with a different skin. Infinite Dreams has shown, with previous iOS releases, that they know what it takes to put together a game that has substance, and with the release of Jelly Defense, they’ve proven once again that they know exactly what it takes to create an awesome game.
Jelly Defense sticks with the jelly graphics that Infinite Dreams have made popular with the past releases of Jelly Invaders, Jelly Clock, and Jelly Chronicles. Black and white backgrounds with colored characters giving the game quite a bit of personality, while keeping a very vivid yet minimal look and feel to the whole jelly universe. The animations and use of shadows give the world tons of life, and it really has turned out to be a graphic style that stands out and will soon be the first thing that will come to gamers minds when they hear “Infinite Dreams” from now on. Alright, enough gushing over the graphics, let’s get on with the gameplay and mechanics.
To start the game off, you’ll see the jelly’s home planet being invaded by another race of jellies who are bent on stealing the precious gems of the residing species. Thankfully, you are pretty well prepared, and have exactly what you need in order to defeat these wild and crazy beings. Each of the 22 levels has different paths that the enemy can take in order to snag the green crystals, and make it out of the level alive. So you will need to place your attacking jellies on the sides of multiple pathways to try and minimize the amount of gems that get stolen throughout each of the levels. You’ll have 10 gems available, and once all 10 are stolen, or you defeat all waves of the enemy, the level is over.
There are two types of enemies; Red and Blue. Like Jelly Invaders, you’ll need to match the attacking jelly with the color of the enemy in order to take them out. You’ll start off with one red attacking jelly, one blue attacking jelly, and one red/blue attacking jelly that can take out both types of enemies. As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to use more types of jellies to take out your enemies, but the invading jellies also get upgraded enemies, so there’s never really a point in the game where you can just kick the crap out of the enemy with new and more powerful jellies. In order to use your newer and more powerful attacking jellies, you’ll need to grow them in a tree, first paying for the tree to grow them, and then paying again to place them on the paths. This usually takes about 2 or 3 waves to grow the characters before they are made available for use, which adds a bit of strategy as to when you start to grow them, and when you decide to use them.
As you kill each of the enemies, gold will appear; to collect it, you need to tap on it before it disappears. This gold is accumulated in the center of your green gem collection, and is used to buy attacking jellies, and to upgrade your planted characters. I say “planted”, because when you select a spot to place your jelly character, they will quickly grow from a small ball to the jelly that can attack the onslaught of enemies. You’ll need to keep this in mind while placing them around the levels, as deciding where to put them a little late can result in an entire wave of enemies passing by it before it’s ready to attack. This also adds quite a bit of strategy to the game, aside from the obvious strategy of Jelly Defense being a tower defense game. You can most likely count on restarting a level more than once before you beat it with all 10 gems remaining, learning what jellies to plant, and where, to start everything off right. One wrong move in the beginning can ruin the rest of the level. The game is also built around buying and selling a lot of your towers. To make it through almost all of the levels, you will need to constantly be buying and selling jellies in order to take on the current wave that’s making it’s way through the paths at that moment.
On top of all of this, there are power-ups thrown into the game. They are all pretty nifty, and require pretty good planning for when exactly to use them. There’s power-ups that upgrade all of your towers, drop gold from the sky, produce an earthquake harming all of the enemies on screen at the time, sending meteors down in a specific spot that you decide, and more. All of these need to be used at just the right time to make sure they are used effectively. If not, you could end up wasting a pretty powerful power-up, and risking your gems.
Infinite Dreams has, once again, given gamers a quality title with Jelly Defense. The graphics, animations, game mechanics, level design, it all screams professional, and well thought out. Even the soundtrack is great, and you’ll probably end up pausing the game just to listen to the catchy tunes Infinite Dreams have thrown into it. The launch price is $0.99, but the price after will be $2.99. It is Universal, and will provide you with plenty of gameplay. However, it is missing an Endless or Survival Mode, like most TD games have, which could have taken quite a bit away from the replay value; but there are GameCenter leader boards for each level, along with boards for how many coins you’ve collected, how many jellies you’ve killed, and a total global ranking leader board, along with 25 achievements, all filling that replay void that leaving an Endless Mode out of the game left. If you’re a fan of tower defense games, Jelly Defense is a must buy. Hours upon hours of your life will be sucked away, and the feeling you get when making it through a level, keeping all 10 of your gems, is great, especially in the mid and later levels of the game. Infinity Dreams has definitely helped raise the bar within the TD gaming genre.
Jelly Defense gets a score of 10 out of 10.

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