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Parents' Guide to

Defenders of Time

By Carolyn Koh, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Complex tower defense game lacks tutorial, online players.

Game Mac , Windows 2014
Defenders of Time Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Defenders of Time lets players explore both a single-player campaign and a multiplayer mode that pits players against one another in one-on-one, two-on-two, and four-on-four matches. The game is very fast-paced and requires quick hand-eye coordination, fast decision-making, and good spatial cognition for success. Players need to understand how enemy paths change when obstacles are placed in their way to beat each level. Fortunately, there's good information on the game's website, and its tutorial can be replayed multiple times if you get confused. Plus, each tower's abilities are distinct and unique enough to require new tactics. You'll also find that the visuals are very slick and engaging. But one problem with the tutorial is that it's the same as a full-campaign mission. The tutorial doesn't move slower, and the waves of enemies aren't smaller, so you won't get a chance to learn what each new tower does at an easy pace. The developers also rely on their website as a manual, which is confusing; they could have included this info in a separate digital manual to make it easier for players. Also confusing are the sheer number of enemies that flood the screen with each wave; it can be difficult to tell whether you're effectively repelling the threat given the massive amount of robots launching attacks.

The multiplayer game brings an interesting layer of complexity. One player in the two-on-two and four-on-four matches acts as a team commander and decides the types of turrets used by the team. But currently, the community is small, and there may not be anyone to play with. This can be a big turnoff, as the multiplayer portion of the game is what you have to pay for. Ultimately, Defenders of Time is complex and fast-paced with a steep learning curve. Dedicated players will have a challenging experience -- if they're willing to constantly search the game website for help and so long as there are other players.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac , Windows
  • Subjects: Math : estimation, patterns, sequences
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning : analyzing evidence, decision-making, strategy, thinking critically
  • Pricing structure: Free (The single-player game is downloadable and playable for free; the multiplayer game costs $20.)
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Valve Corporation
  • Release date: November 4, 2014
  • Genre: Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
  • Topics: Robots , Space and Aliens
  • ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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