reviewed on NDS
The Best Laid Plans...
Defending these structures from advancing enemies is not quite as fun. You move Lock with the stylus a la Phantom Hourglass, and fix walls or engage enemies by tapping them. The trouble is, there is always a lot on screen, and it can be difficult to select the one thing you want. It is infuriating, as battles can often be decided in a split second. I kept finding my defenses breached because the game misread a command I gave. Lock’s Quest also uses an isometric camera that fights you every step of the way. Characters too often go behind a structure and become just about invisible. With no way to control the action from an overhead view Lock’s Quest’s combat feels cluttered and sloppy.
The other flaw with the campaign is the repetition – every one of its hundred days feels virtually the same. After the first couple of days the novelty wears off, and you will just be repeating the same motions until you have finished the game. Build your fortress, fend off enemies, make repairs, repeat indefinitely… that is basically the single-player Lock’s Quest in a nutshell. The only breaks you get from this routine are optional Siege Mode missions, but they are a complete waste of time. Basically a Defend Your Castle rip-off, they didn’t provide nearly enough depth to keep me entertained for more than thirty seconds or so.
Thankfully Lock’s Quest also includes a multiplayer mode, and it is actually a lot of fun. When you are going head-to-head you are forced to be offensive as well as defensive, which gives the formula a welcome twist. In the multiplayer, you go one-on-one with a friend. You each have limited time and resources to build your defenses as well as an army to storm your opponent’s side of the field. The great thing about this mode is there is really no limit as to what can be done. Being able to build a perfect fortress as well as creating my own waves of Clockworks and determining their route was a ton of fun. Providing you can find a friend with equal skills, Lock’s Quest’s multiplayer matches can go on indefinitely. It is a great way to spend an afternoon if you have got a friend with his own copy.
Not Quite a Zerg Rush
Visually, Lock’s Quest is quite similar to 5th Cell’s last game, Drawn to Life. Every character and item is a 2D sprite, and they're all very well animated. While the graphics may be initially a bit unimpressive, Lock’s Quest can have upwards of 200 sprites on the map at the same time. Over all the time I have spent with the game, I never encountered slowdown even once. The epic battles are accompanied by a majestic score, which is among the best on the DS.
Awesome balanced out
Much like Drawn to Life, Lock’s Quest is a game that looks great on paper. In practice, however, many of these ideas prove to have numerous problems. If the game sells well enough, perhaps we will see a sequel addressing the game’s numerous problems. Lock’s Quest’s awesome gameplay ideas are balanced out by poor execution, and the final product is a mere shadow of the game’s full potential.
No Pros and Cons at this time