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Review: Genius Defense Force

November 21, 2009



We gave you a sneak peek of Genius Defense Force, and now that it’s in the App Store for $0.99, let’s see how it rates. GDF_craboss

The Good

Genius Defense Force is a definite unique take, which is a rare find in the App Store. Rather than using the usual gameplay mechanics, you use math. In the face of multiple asteroids and aliens, you have to solve simple mathematical equations to blast them out of the sky. Anyone can press buttons to fire, but what about figuring out math problems. You’re given a set of three numbers, and two symbols (+, -, x, /). Each asteroid has a different set, and a different answer you need to solve for. The game is extremely challenging in this respect, though the problems are easy. The time constraints really muddle your thinking, so simple problems seem difficult, and that’s what makes this game so tough. Multiple asteroids come quickly, and some have special abilities requiring multiple hits. The game gets extremely hectic relatively quickly with tons of items hurtling towards earth. GDF_story A great story is included that has a nice overarching plot which gives back story to the game. Rather than blasting asteroids for no reason we get a little story why, but I don’t want to give it away. The story comes in parts with a little bit in between each level, and it contains some good comic one-liners. The game is nicely designed from the character artwork in the story to the the asteroids flying towards Earth, and being blown up by you. The explosions are nice, and the anime art style of the story is top-notch, and all for $0.99. All 30 levels included are graded depending on how many asteroids made it to earth. Also boss battles are included every 10 levels, and there’s an actual conclusion to the game wrapping up everything. GDF_asteroids

The Bad

It’s a good thing there is a conclusion, but you could say it’s relatively quick. 30 levels though seems like plenty for me for only $0.99. The sound effects are basic, and could have been more. Plus the game is entirely local, so no online high scores, just grades. G.D.F. is solid, but not noteworthy, or ground breaking. Overall though it succeeds at what it sets out to do. Another slight problem with the game is that sometimes you get a set that is unsolvable. You will waste time on it, when there's just no right answer which can be quite frustrating. I confirmed my suspicion by taking a picture of one I was especially stumped on, and never solved it.

The Verdict

Genuis Defense Force is a unique game that provides gameplay not often seen. You get to brush up on basic math as you help save earth from various asteroids and enemies. It’s nicely designed from the anime style cut-scenes, to the exploding asteroids. The storyline is great to read, and the simple math is actually fun. The game is solid, but doesn’t do anything special so it’s worth $0.99, but nothing more.

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