DWD (out now, $0.99) is a turret-style defense game where players assume the role of a recently deceased wizard called ‘David William Dagenhart’ (hence the game name). You must protect yourself from invading skeletons and other monstrous creatures from the Dark Servant’s army. It doesn’t sound like anything special just yet, but I bet your ears will pop up when you find out it’s powered by the Unreal Engine.
In each level, you must defend a magical artifact. Once you have completed the level, new powers will be unlocked that will help you to fight against more powerful enemies. As the game goes on, more cool attacks will become available such as area effect attacks, defensive barriers, and more. New baddies are introduced quite often to keep the variety going as you stay in the same spot for quite some time, shooting at the same faces throughout each level.
DWD is based on the idea of staying in one spot and protecting yourself against oncoming enemies. That’s why it is dubbed a ‘turret-style’ game, which looks cool on paper, but plays horribly when you give it a go. The enemies approach from all directions, including behind you, so you need to swipe from side to side as well as behind you and back around again. What makes it worse is the shooting — the auto-aim isn’t every helpful when it needs to be, so it’s very easy to miss by just a few centimetres.
The graphics are by far the best bit of DWD. The environments and enemies are detailed to every blade of grass and bone of a skeleton. They are just as wonderful as you would expect the Unreal Engine to power, but there could have been some smaller effects added in as extra goodies. A lamp or a sunset in the darker levels would have made the environments more realistic and bumped up the ‘wow’ factor a bit, but the current detail is still nice.
iFanzine Verdict: You can’t deny the great effort that the developers have put into crafting DWD. They started off with a good idea of playing as a turret, and built on that with a large variety of enemies, powers, and upgrades. But then they fell when it came to developing the core gameplay. The controls are sloppy and the gameplay becomes a bit repetitive, making DWD a difficult game to recommend.