The second iPhone/iPad/iTouch game using the Unreal graphics technology that made last week's Infinity Blade look so stunning is out on Thursday. We played it today. This is Dungeon Defenders: First Wave.
The game is a sort of a tower-defence adventure - players setting up structures that can kill or block waves of enemies - but you also have a character under your direct control. And a whole lot of World of Warcraft aesthetics, plus stats. Lots of stats. Loot. Levelling. Money. Mana. Getting the picture?
Kotaku boss Brian Crecente and I played a four-player online game with the Florida-based developers at Trendy Entertainment. This was an online match, though you can also play the game solo. As you watch, notice the many, many options to upgrade, level-up add loot and so on. The basic structure here is that you start a level and alternate between build and battle phases. During build phases you can level up your character and place towers. During battle, you rely on those towers and your character's own direct combat abilities to fight enemies.
There are a variety of levels and characters, the latter with unique abilities and towers they can build. Many of the build and combat options are added as you level up.
The whole thing might be confusing at first glance, but it is fun. My main complaint is the lack of a follow camera, which the developers say was tested and didn't work. Otherwise, this looks like a pretty good game for $4. It launches Thursday for iPad, iPhone and iTouch. It's also slated to come to consoles as a downloadable game.