SNK Playmore are opening up a bit with their games, proof being this one, Metal Slug Defense for Android and iOS. This is not the normal Metal Slug all-out action that gamers are used to but instead, the Metal Slug world retrofitted into a Tower Defense engine. The funny thing is, it works.
Let’s get one big ugly thing out of the way early on. Metal Slug Defense has In App Purchases and it is a “time game” similar to Montezuma Blitz, Candy Crush and many other mobile titles. You start with a certain amount of energy and taking on each stage depletes it. There are various ways to replenish it, winning levels and by paying real money to buy more energy. The cool thing here is you can purchase upgrades with in game winnings that makes this replenish more with each win. All in all, I was able to play for several hours on my first run through and still had 35 out of 100 units of energy left before I stopped playing on my own, not because the game made me wait. That says a lot for how the IAP is handled in Metal Slug Defense.
Now to the game itself. Everyone that grew up in gaming through the 90’s, or simply looks at pics/vids now, knows how super detailed SNK Neo Geo games are. These are not just simple one dimensional games, there are tons and tons of details in the background graphics, the character graphics and everything else that makes the game, the game. Metal Slug Defense is no different. Whether fighting in an underground Egyptian tomb or in a jungle infested world with a river running through the middle, detail is set to stupifyingly high. This is a Metal Slug game just with a different take on the action.
The Metal Slug series is known for its over the top action and challenge. Metal Slug Defense takes that action and challenge and replicates it quite well in short levels, shorter than the average Metal Slug level, where combat is focused and just as intense. Like other Tower Defense games, you have to build up gold, in this game, to bring in new units to attack the enemy base on the other side of the level. As you progress, bigger and better units are made available, all units are capable of being upgraded to improve health, attack power and regeneration of powers.
Ah, their powers. This is where SNK Playmore placed all of the extras that were available in the arcade version. The base grunt has a grenade for a special power, and in true Metal Slug tradition, launching that grenade is overly exaggerated and requires correct spacing and timing to hit a moving enemy. Hitting an enemy with a grenade results in a bloody explosion worthy of any Metal Slug fan.
The levels are kept short but challenging, the enemy can spawn units slightly faster than you can- more noticeable in later levels. If you don’t pump funds into unit upgrades you will hit a roadblock rather early on. Don’t worry, you get plenty of money from winning rounds to keep your units fairly competitive with the enemy. There is even incentive to replay levels to save all of the P.O.W.’s in that level, which unlock additional abilities for units which makes them stronger.
There is a Wi-Fi versus mode available but I was unable to check that out personally.
The weird thing about Metal Slug Defense is, I like it. I played for a solid two hours without noticing time was flying by and I was having fun. This is notable due to the fact that I am definitely not a fan of this type of game, I have spent the last half decade purposefully avoiding writing about them in news posts let alone game reviews. If you are interested in more of the Metal Slug universe, here you go. Metal Slug Defense will appeal to more gamers than just the core audience.