Robocalypse: Beaver Defense Hands-On

We defend ourselves against the wrath of an angry beaver.

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The wisecracking robots from the original Robocalypse return, this time on WiiWare as a tower-defense game. You don't have to have played the game on the Nintendo DS to follow the story, which is written by SpongeBob SquarePants writers Jay Lender and Micah Wright. In Robocalypse: Beaver Defense, you're defending your headquarters against a legion of robots that have been reprogrammed by an extremely intelligent and angry beaver.

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Who's Making This Game: The game is being developed and published by Vogster Entertainment, whic is headquartered in New York City and has development studios Moscow, Russia, and Ukraine.

What the Game Looks Like: Beaver Defense has a kid-friendly and quirky design that retains the cartoony look from the previous game. Outrageous weapons and kitchen appliances will make an appearance, keeping in line with the humor of the game. There will be a variety of maps (10 total), but we had a chance to play only the first one, which is set in a clearing with only one entrance. Judging from the screenshots, there will be opportunities to play on a variety of terrain, with choke points and obstacles that you'll have to plan around.

What There Is to Do: The only thing you should be doing is defending your base, which you can do by building defense towers and bringing out a single hero (six to choose from) to stop the waves upon waves of enemies. Heroes are handy because you can direct them to any point on the map, and they're usually armed with big guns. There's the single-player Story mode, in which you defend against anywhere from 10 to 20 waves of enemies, whereas the Survival mode is a nonstop flow of robotic minions. You start off each map with a specific amount of scrap metal as your currency, and you'll gain more as you destroy enemies. There are also two modes of online multiplayer, Last Man Standing and Best Defender, which you can play with up to four people. Unfortunately, there is no offline play.

How the Game Is Played: Using the Wii Remote, you essentially point and click to drop different types of cannons in the field--hopefully in a strategic manner--and then upgrade them as you go. You can bring out a hero, which is a powerful unit that you can boss around. Little minion robots basically function on their own, so they'll mill around and automatically attack when needed. Some will heal when it's required, and others will repair structures. It's a surprisingly simple game that requires a good amount of strategy because the AI is quite smart.

What They Say: "Dam that beaver!" and "Robocalypse: Beaver Defense offers madcap weaponry and uproarious destruction in a "tower defense"-style game."

What We Say: Robocalypse: Beaver Defense is a fun, good-looking game that is accessible to newcomers of the genre. We didn't get to see much of the story, but the silly one-liners that appear are enough to make you chuckle. The game is expected to come out this summer and no price has been set, but we were told that it should remain in the midrange, around 8 to 10 dollars.

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