October 01, 2010, at 03:49 PM

Mini Review: Rampart

Here’s an unusual game. An arcade conversion (by Kevin Seghetti... urk) of the proto-tower-defense/Tetris game. But is it any good?

Graphics

Generally bad, I presume they’re all programmer-generated instead of using a real artist. They seem quite in-line with the arcade, though.

One of the more confusing aspects is that they swap between “schematic” block-based views (when building) and “3D” views during the shooting phase. This is often weird, but I guess authentic to the original.

The ending is a full-screen graphic which is nice, I suppose, although it’s also ugly and could be done a lot better.

Sound

Almost none. Considering Monopoly and Alf, that’s a good thing.

Longevity

The game is essentially random, but the landscapes seem predefined (the first four or so are based on an island, the rest are just non sequiturs). This severely restricts the variety of the game as the difficulty level is pretty much just whatever the random number generator produces. The lack of repeatability makes replay much more frustrating. Savestates nullify this to some extent...

Plot

None to speak of. Well, you have a castle, you are trying to defend against attackers... fill in the gaps yourself.

Fun

Once you get used to the clunkier aspects of the game, it’s not bad. The randomness, however, is quite frustrating. When the game decides to put non-buildable-damage in the middle of a 1-block-wide wall with no space around it, you’re just screwed, which is really irritating.

Innovation

For all the annoyances, there’s nothing else like it on the SMS. The innovation is all in the arcade original, though.

Conclusion

Not awful, but not great.


Mini Review Ratings