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For those of you who love handheld gaming such as myself, you may well have heard of Lock's Quest. It was a real time, strategy, tower defence game and the perfect blend of action, building and story, released back in 2008 for the Nintendo DS. But how does it stack up now?
Firstly, this remaster is beautifully done with enhanced graphics, character portraits and soundtrack that make for a stunning feel. Each battle begins with a build phase in which you can spend the points you earn in the last battle called Source. Each wall, turret, trap and other defences cost this currency and it carries over, so the more you save, the more you have to spend but of course the less you have to defend yourself and your objective. After you have built your defences it is time to battle.
Each battle is real time. The enemy, Clockwork army, will spawn from a number of places on the map and it's your job to keep them at bay until the time runs out. This means that your defences are very important and you need to repair them so that they can help you hold out until the timer hits zero. The walls wont hold out forever though as enemy units can attack your carefully placed defences. If enough damage is done the wall or turrets HP will hit 0 and they will be lost forever. The most interesting aspect of battle however is that you actually take control of Lock, the hero of our story and he can hold his own in battle. You can engage your foe in battle by running up to them and hitting A that will then see Lock begin to attack, watch your health however, if you die, then its game over. To counteract this you can move away from an enemy while your health returns but this of course means you leave your walls defenceless. As you progress through the story you will gain new walls, turrets, traps, units and attack combos to help you through each of the 75 days.
Lock is a young man trained by his grandfather and Master Tobias to be an Archineer, an arcane builder, with his sister Emi in a coastal village . As events unfold Lock has to defend first his village and then the kingdom of Force throughout 75 days of warfare against the Clockwork army and their leader Lord Agony. Lord Agony, presumed dead from the great war previous to this one, was once the greatest Archineer known as Agonius who attempted to imbue robots with Source to bring them to life. The King and the people were afraid of this idea however and Agonius was commanded to stop his work or face banishment. Choosing the latter option Agonius took on the mantle of Lord Agony, raised his clockwork army and went to war.
Our story starts when Lock is sent to repair the sea wall to protect the village and its farm lands from the sea. This acts as a tutorial to teach you how to place walls. Once completed, Asaiah, a royal Archineer, then stumbles onto the scene, injured from his escape with the Clockwork Army. Lock then has to defend Asaiah from the army that was in pursuit and the events of this lead us to the main campaign.
For anyone looking for a challenging game with a well told story and interesting game mechanics, then this game is very much worth the money. Even on normal difficulty the game is quite a challenge so may not be ideal for the most casual of gamers.
Lock's Quest is available from the Microsoft website for £15.99
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