Sentinel has arguably been one of the best tower defense games since the first one was released, hot off the whole Fieldrunners hype and the explosion of the tower defense genre on the App Store. I’ve generally had a lot of fun with a lot of tower defense games out there: Fieldrunners, Bloons TD, and Elemental Monsters TD to name a few.
And the premise of Sentinel 3 is oddly familiar, except this time you’re on the alien’s homeworld and invading their territory (before it was the aliens invading Earth, prior to that Mars). This version of Sentinel has, by far, the most content available with 20 maps, along with a new, powerful commander you level up during the process.
Along with that, instead of receiving all the turrets at the beginning, you slowly receive more types of turrets as you progress through the campaign. You also need to purchase a turret slot before being able to “equip” the turret for your battle, which may sometimes require you to play levels over again just to be able to equip another turret.
And while that sounds all fine and dandy, I honestly don’t see many differences between Sentinel 2 and Sentinel 3. Sure, they’ve added a commander, but that doesn’t really add a lot to the strategy. If you keep the commander healthy and have it guard the gates, you should be more than fine. It doesn’t require a genius to have the commander stay in one place and level up its stats accordingly.
Also from my extensive hands-on time with the game, I haven’t seen any new enemy types. There may be one boss that I haven’t seen in the previous Sentinel, but other than that, everything else is the same.
One of my major gripes with Sentinel 3—actually all of them—is the fact that the screen becomes pixelated once you zoom in. It also makes me not want to zoom in, but when you zoom out all the way to full-res, the towers become too small to accurately upgrade and such.
But one of the major pluses for the game is still intact which is the game balancing; tower defense newbies should be able to get past through a lot of levels while tower defense gurus should be faced with huge challenges when it comes to the Psycho mode. The revamped musical score is also quite refreshing and one that I absolutely love.
But other than that, there’s really nothing too new about this one.
Musical score: I have to hand it to Origin8 for improving their soundtrack and producing one of the better-sounding tracks on the App Store. I, personally, really enjoy the background music added in Sentinel 3 and MUST give props to Origin8 for their music.
Balance: This is one aspect that Sentinel tower defense games boast, and I’m glad they didn’t mess it up here. There’s more than enough difficulty levels in this game for anyone to be able to pick it up and cruise through a couple of levels.
Commander: While the Commander quite frankly doesn’t add much to the gameplay, it’s a welcome addition. It does kill off those last minute enemies that your turrets can’t quite reach, and leveling it up does add a sort of RPG aspect to the game. You also might have the itch to level up the Commander to unlock abilities—it has six—that are able to do things from healing the barrier to shooting some extra guns.
Nothing really new: I honestly don’t see much change in the game. Not that Sentinel 2 really needed a lot of change but hey, it would be nice to put in a little imagination to add some new features or something amazingly cool like online multiplayer. It really doesn’t feel like a sequel as of now; something more along the lines of an expansion pack. They even “forgot” to add new enemies if I’m not mistaken, and the new maps aren’t all that groundbreaking or “new”.
Zoom in: I don’t know why Origin8 continues to pixelate the artwork once you zoom in. Retina graphics my butt. It’s been nearly a year and a half, probably more, since the first Sentinel was released. You would think that they would have fixed this problem right now, but alas, even in their third installation of the Sentinel series, they fail to improve.
I’m more upset about their lack of improvement than the game itself. The game is fine, it’s just that faithful Sentinel fans will find this new sequel to be a little lacking. They’ve really only added a Commander, and they still have decided to keep the artwork pixelated when zoomed in. And at $3.99, I’m honestly going to suggest you to pick up Sentinel 2 instead—$0.99, and basically the same thing. I didn’t even include the fact that Sentinel 2 is a year older. Bottom line is, there’s little to no improvement.