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iPad Game Review: DOFUS Battles 2 HD for iPad Review

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DOFUS Battles 2 is a Tower Attack game (as opposed to Tower Defense) set in the lore-drenched world of Dofus. It features excellent graphics, innovative gameplay, and is so charming it will make you squeal with delight.

Gameplay

Aesthetically and mechanically similar to the original DOFUS Battles, DOFUS Battles 2 does an excellent job of not simply offering more of the same. While Dofus Battles is a role playing game wrapped around a classic tower defense game, Dofus Battles 2 switches things up and places you in the role of the comically named big baddie from the first installment, Jeff Stobbs.

Core gameplay takes place on a series of grid-based battlefields where you will launch your assault on the forces of good. To mix things up further, instead of farming and gathering summoning energy to build your forces, you are given a limited amount of it at the beginning of each battle. Each time one of your creatures dies, its energy is returned to your resource pool, enabling you to summon a new one. This complete changes gameplay in that you won't be able to overwhelm your opponent by amassing an unstoppable force as you can only have a limited number of creatures on the battlefield at any given time. This built-in limitation effectively slides the genre needle significantly toward puzzle and away from strategy as only careful planning and a deep understanding of the opposing forces will ensure victory.

There are also some other significant changes that really make this game feel fresh and completely distinct from its predecessor. For instance, Jeff can also be moved around the battlefield, which enables you to summon creatures anywhere and not just the back row. Also, you are also given the ability to change the direction your armies will move when they enter particular squares on the grid. This is absolutely crucial as many levels have obstacles that must be negotiated in order to be successful. This last bit gives the game a really fun programming feel.

Thankfully, Ankama didn't reinvent everything, however. There are still creatures to tame/level, artifacts to find, and mini games to solve. The RPG element means you will be revisiting some areas repeatedly to get maximum reward, but it never felt like grinding. A word of warning to those looking for a fast-paced game experience: This isn't your game. If, however, you enjoy RPG puzzle strategy games that force you to outthink your enemy instead of outclick him, you are going to really enjoy this one. Lastly, Dofus Battles 2 supports Game Center Achievements for all you achievement hounds out there.

Graphics

The fun-factor of DOFUS Battles 2 is significantly enhanced by the game's superb graphics. Everything is rendered at an appropriately high resolution (although, it doesn't appear that the new iPad's retina display is natively supported at this point), and the "charming without being too cute" style of the monsters easily rivals anything that Nintendo has ever put out. Even ol' Jeff Stobbs is so well-drawn that he oozes loveable dorkiness, especially when he does his signature quadruple fist-pump at the conclusion of each level. Seriously, this game is as fun to look at as it is to play. Like its predecessor, the production values of this game are completely off the chart.

Sound

While this isn't a game that will have you reaching for your headphones, the music of Dofus Battles 2 is charming without being irritating, and I found myself leaving it on as I played (a rarity, indeed). The sound effects are also first-rate, and significantly enhance the personality of the game.

In-App Purchases (IAPs)

Dofus Battles 2 thankfully offers no IAPs of any kind. In my experience, this generally means that the game is not only complete, but optimally balanced right out of the box.

Conclusion

Dofus Battles 2 is an excellent game, and deserves a look from anybody who enjoys tower defense, monster collecting, and/or role playing games. The fact that it's based on the mature world of the Dofus MMORPG means that you not only get a fun game, but also a rich story and loads of personality for your gaming dollar. Highly recommended.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Super crisp, smoothly animated, and so cute you just want to pinch its cheek

Sound: - 5 - Music and sound effects that enhance gameplay without ever getting repetitive or old.

Controls: - 5 - An accurate touch-based interface, obviously designed from the ground up for iOS.

Gameplay: - 5 - A great reinvention of the original Dofus Battles with strong puzzle-solving and strategic elements.

Playing Hints and Tips:

Start on the easy setting (it is not on by default) until you learn the game mechanics. Take the time to really learn the capabilities of your armies and those of your foes; doing so is the key to success. If a battle seems unwinnable, go back and re-fight some of your previous battles until you get 3 stars in all of them. This extra experience can make the difference in monster levels, equipment, and most importantly, your skill. 



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