Contemporary videogames have a tendency to possess an abundance of chore like mechanics. First of such games was Mafia 2, which featured an open=world environment, which in truth was nothing more than an overly large, level select menu. However, now this trend has now migrated straight to the indie scene.

Recently released on PlayStation 4, McDroid, a tower defence game created by independent development studio, Elefantopia, is sold as classic of the genre. However, while the set of its core mechanics oscillates around the idea of a tower defence title, McDroid is a much more complex game, and not in a good way.

An outstanding tower defence title, no matter how big or small, has to be above all, accessible. Bloons Tower Defence series, was composed of incredibly simple yet enjoyable titles. There was no unnecessary combat mechanic, players were not forced to forage for resources, and turret positioning and upgrades of such were always a single touch away and in comparison, McDriod, is a complete antithesis of the Bloons series.

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Instead of a single point and click cursor, McDriod features a protagonist which is used to handle everything from deployment of towers, all the way down to collection of fruits, which within the world of McDroid are used as the main source of resources. However, while such an option may seem progressive and compelling to some, in reality it is just a time consuming chore. Instead of being able to simply move a cursor, from point A to B in a matter of few seconds, players are forced to walk from one end of the battleground to the other to complete even the most menial task. Previously mentioned resources, are also a subject to the lugging routine, and if the player forgets to complete his/hers ‘loot route’, he/she will fail instantly, as without active stream of resources it is impossible to defend the base of operations proficiently.

Mundane and unnecessary mechanic of a walking simulator, also exists outside of the main battle grounds, as in order to choose a level, the player needs to navigate a levitating platform which is a host to the level select screen. And considering the fact that McDriod features a large number of unique levels, it is going to take players some time to uncover the entire menu. It could be argued that there are things to be done outside of the usual level select screen, but outside of the stamps and coat hangers, which are used to decorate the titular McDroid, the menu area is basically empty, and in all honesty, unnecessary. This entire segment of the title could have been simply replaced with a straightforward list of levels, instead of this lifeless, labyrinthine platform. However, as painfully stubborn as McDriod is mechanically, it is much worse graphically to the recipient’s eye.

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McDroid’s visual façade is fairly common within the world of indie games, as in its entirety, it is designed to have a cell shaded look. And while many games can pull such off without any major, eye shattering blunders, McDroid unfortunately cannot. Blurred out textures, ragged edges, and all sorts of digital artifact’s are present throughout. Even the opening menu screen which hosts ‘help’ and ‘options’ is of laughable quality for this generation. First of all, the McDriod logo, leafs which surround it, and the main menu follow three different art styles, which within themselves, are flawed. The logo, to put it bluntly, is just ugly, and the previously mentioned leaves which entail it, look like they’ve been pulled straight from the PlayStation 2. And to hammer the final nail into McDroid’s coffin, the menu slabs which are slap bang in the middle of the screen, are on par with all the Angry Birds clones which can be found on the Android’s Google Play Store.

McDroid, is a game which has been clearly developed by a team with great ambitions, but ultimately failed to reach its desired heights. It’s like a creation of Dr Frankenstein, a product of a landslide of influences and ideas, which ultimately gave birth to a monster, which is repulsing in its appearance, difficult to control, and ultimately has no personality of its own. And its size alone is not enough to grant it a free pass within the current competitive market, as even much smaller creations, overshadow it on each and every step.



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.