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Are the recent free Star Wars games worth your time (and money)?

Andrew Hayward | Dec. 5, 2014
Disney and DeNA explore different styles of strategy gameplay with their latest licensed freemium games. We explore both.

But tower defense games are uniquely devastated by freemium shenanigans, which is why all the best iOS entries are paid, premium experiences. It's a genre that relies on pitch-perfect balance to feel rewarding despite the oft-immense challenge, and that's where Galactic Defense loses its footing. Namely, the game feels designed to require the various power-ups that you can buy with in-game currency--accrued very slowly, no doubt to push you towards buying more with real money. 

You're given very limited building spots and minimal money, and Galactic Defense likes to suddenly dash your best intentions by dumping a load of enemies onto the screen--sometimes in the very first wave. What are you to do besides frantically tap one of those power-ups? It's sort of a helpless feeling, but acceptance comes quickly: this is how freemium tower defense games operate, complete with convoluted currency swaps and a grinding progression, and that's exactly why they rarely warrant more than casual, sporadic play.

Which is the most I'd recommend here. It doesn't help that Galactic Defense feels like it's simply a Star Wars skin--attractive as it may be--applied to a common tower defense genre mold instead of something that feels unique to the franchise. Also, the unlockable champions are wildly expensive, meaning many players will never access their favorite franchise heroes without spending a solid bit of cash to speed along the process. Like many licensed freemium games, Galactic Defense is free and adequate entertainment that's totally outclassed by the genre's best.


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