What do you think would happen if Command and Conquer and Fisher Price had a secret love child? Well, I think you would get something like McDroid.
McDroid is a tower defense game, with a lot of cutesy stuff going on. Don’t be fooled by the cartoony graphics and somewhat childish story line, what we have here is something far more complex, and perhaps frustrating…
McDroid sees gamers take control of a dog like robot who’s on a mission in his talking space ship. Following a run in with some space debris, McDroid crash lands on a planet over run with bugs and creatures. Of course it’s up to you to rid the planet of said bugs and be on your merry way.
The game starts of easy enough, but made difficult from the lack of tutorials. There are boards with illustrations littered around the levels but with no words you sometimes can’t understand what they are trying to tell you. Anyways. It’s up to McDroid to collect seeds, plant them and then harvest the strawberries which is a form of currency which in turn can be used to buy guns for your various turret placements dotted about the level. It’s a bit clunky at first works as a solid tower defence game.
Things take a turn for the annoying when a secondary currency is introduced, diamonds. It turns out this is the real currency that allows you to upgrade bigger and better weapons and equipment. It’s a bit weird, it’s like having a free to play game where you need real world cash to get the upgrades without it being free to play and not having to buy the diamonds. It’s a bit of an odd thing really.
As expected the levels get more complex the further you go, with some puzzle-esque elements thrown in. In some cases you can’t progress until you ‘bliss’ the land by slapping a Bonzai tree in one of the turrets, or planting some redwood trees. This means you’ll need to do some clever planning on what goes where, it’s not always a case of placing the biggest gun front and centre. You’ll need to think about things a bit more. In theory that’s fine, but in reality you feel a bit short-changed. Aside from level one, every other level after that forces these new mechanics on you and you simply don’t have the armory to cope with the challenges and can easily boil down to trial and error, 3 maybe four times until you nail it.
The only other way to approach the later levels is to go back to some easier times and start farming for crystals. This will allow you to get more unlocks and upgrades, but not all as you’ll still need to find the blueprints in later levels. It feels like the developers are trying too hard. If they had kept things simple, then this would be a lot more fun.
In general though McDroid is a fun tower defense game, it has all you need with a little more added on top, whether that’s needed or not is up for debate. The graphics are bright bold and cute, which for the most part work well, but because they are so bold when you’re in a tight spot it can get confusing as to what is what. Many a time I placed my rocket launcher in the wrong slot or walked away with a gun attached to my head rather than it being placed where I wanted it.
So it has its flaws, but I had a lot of fun with McDroid, it starts simple, and gets far more involved that you might expect. The currency system is a bit weird though and the trial and error nature of the levels can leave you feeling annoyed. But if you want to put in the time to do some diamond and strawberry farming, you’ll soon see the fruits of your labour
McDroid is out now on PS4. PC and Mac
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review we were provided a review code from the publisher.