KK1.pngBrazilian developer Ilusis's recently released Krinkle Krusher is a tower defense game in which the player is a large, sentient glove working to help a wizard fend off incoming hostile creatures. Rather than placing defenses and watching to see how they fare, however, the player must cast spells directly in front of the enemies to damage them, giving the game a more action-oriented feel.

The game is shown with the place being defended at the bottom of the screen and a long lane arching away from the player. Enemies come from the far end of the lane. The left stick moves the player's avatar, the right stick moves the camera, and the face buttons are used to cast spells. As the game progresses, the player also gains access to items like a cart full of meat which lures in the incoming monsters temporarily. These are deployed using the D-pad.

Spells are given to the player one at a time as the campaign progresses. Each spell has different characteristics such as delay between casting and effect, size and shape of the area of effect, and whether or not it applies damage over time. The player can't just spam the spells, though; using a spell too many times in a short amount of time breaks it temporarily, making it unavailable for a time.

This encourages player skill and precision, and although the controls are as good as they can be with a controller, I found myself wishing for a mouse once the game introduced enemies that zig-zagged quickly and at random. On the plus side, difficulty comes from qualities like enemy variety, positioning, and density, rather than length of play. Each level is pretty short, so failing doesn't feel like a great waste of time.

KK2.pngOne thing the game does really well is visual indicators. There are different icons for every spell; it's obvious when a spell hits an enemy and what kind of damage it's doing; and even when the castle is offscreen, far behind wherever the player is in the lane, rocks fly out of the bottom of the screen if the castle takes damage.

If you're given to frustration with the inaccuracy of controllers, then Krinkle Krusher might not be for you. However, it's a neat take on tower defense with a bit of an arcade feel to it. The game retails for $9.99 and is cross-buy.

[Krinkle Krusher]