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Inkub Review (WiiWare)

I’m not Tony, just in case any of y’all forgot.  I can’t play Plants Vs. Zombies with my eyes closed.  In fact, I don’t play a lot of tower defense games.  I typically find the genre boring after playing for about 20 minutes.  I’m also not the biggest fan of micromanaging; which is probably the big reason I am not so fond of RTS games.  However, because of what we do around here, I ended up volunteering to review Inkub without knowing what it was.  Turns out it is a tower defense game and despite all that I just said, I ended up having fun with the game. 

What You Need To Know
You control INKUB, an incubating enterprise which travels through space to offer contract incubating to endangered species.  You travel the five different worlds, composed of eight levels, and fight off invading creatures, tower defense style.  Your base is in the lower middle of the screen and several hamster tubes lead to it. The tubes are where the invading monsters will travel and where you will build your defenses.  In these tubes, some sections are covered up to keep you from placing weapons or seeing enemies.  Par for tower defense games, you can upgrade your money generators and weapons as the round last longer.  Simple point and click controls are used to buy and place weapons.  The distinguishing characteristic of Inkub is how the hamster tubes exist on three planes; foreground, middle and background.  You can only interact with the foreground and middle so you have to flick the Wiimote the rotate your base 180 degrees; switching the background to the foreground.  Even though you can’t work on the background it is still visible to let you can keep an eye on things.  As you kill enemies you build up a special bar and can activate some perks such as healing your weapons or getting a money boost.  Just as tower defense goes, victory if you sufficiently protect your base and defeat if too many enemies invade it.  Besides the adventure mode there is also a survival mode where you try to last as long as you can. 

Difficulty Spikes
These can be a common problem in tower defense games and unfortunately, Inkub is not immune to them.  Worst of all I hit them rather early on; the fifth level to be exact.  I suppose you could contribute it to my lack of experience with the genre if you had to.  I did get past the fifth level after a few tries only to hit another wall a few levels later.  After beating that level and hitting yet another wall I decided to turn the difficulty down to the easy setting; which I played through the entire adventure mode.  I feel I have a better understanding of the game now and I could probably fair better if I ever decided to retry on normal.  However, since I have already seen all that Inkub offers I don’t feel the need to. 

Useless Weapons
One factor to the difficulty spike resulted from me using weapon upgrades I received as end of level rewards.  It turns out that some of these weapons are an absolute waste of time.  Most specifically the block that keeps enemies from advancing temporally.  They do stop the enemies but typically end up bunching them together and overwhelming whatever defenses you can build up.  Through the game I only used four of the eight weapons. 

Good Sound Cues
Before the enemies appear on screen, each will make a noise to let you know they are coming.  It is kind of frightening when you hear the menacing sound of a strong bad guy when all you have ready are little pea shooters.  Likewise, when your weapons are destroyed you know due to the loud pop that sounds.  I also liked the sound effects from the weapons firing and upgrading.  Also, when the base rotates it makes a nice mechanical whirring sound followed by a steam discharge.  To top it off the music is really god too.  I would like to get the soundtrack if the developer ever makes it available. 

Sense Of Panic
I suppose this is the other side of the difficulty spikes.  Knowing that a lot of enemies are about to stampede down the hamster tubes and you not being prepared makes it more satisfying when you end up succeeding.  It is a risk/reward system that is common with tower defense games but due to the amount of difficulty I had, it happened to me a lot.  Overall I would say the difficulty was more rewarding that frustrating by the end of things. 

Conclusion
I ended up enjoying my time with Inkub even with the amount of difficulty spikes I hit.  It is a standard tower defense game that has one or two tricks up its sleeve but typically sticks to the set formula.  For a $5 USD price you wouldn’t regret your purchase of Inkub.  However, you could possibly find other tower defense games that offer more.  You could possible get your money’s worth from the survival mode; which I lost on the first wave of enemies multiple times.  If you want to be punished while hearing some catchy music, Inkub is the game for you.  But don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself right here

Final Score – 3/5
Total play time – 7 hours
Completed the game on easy difficulty
Attempted (and quickly failed) survival mode a few times

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  1. January 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

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