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Core Defender

Score: 45%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: CentriZone
Developer: CentriZone
Media: Download/0
Players: 1
Genre: Arcade/ Shooter/ Real-Time Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

Core Defender does a fair job at getting you involved in the action with the music and sound effects included in the download. The music actually keeps a fast pace, equal to the insanity taking over your computer screen. The sound effects are equally good, as every laser blast and explosion can rumble your ear drums. But the downfall is that the same audio gets very repetitive, and without menu music, there’s nothing to ever really break it up except for the empty wind sound between rounds.

Graphically, it can be easily seen that Core Defender is a low-budget download title. There really isn’t a great deal of variety due to the limited number of characters and other on-screen objects. What’s there is okay, for sure, but it would have been nice to see more, either through better textures or even lighting changes.


CentriZone’s Core Defender download can actually be quite addictive, in that a session can go by fairly quickly, so you don’t have to invest many hours of gameplay each time you sit at your computer to be satisfied. The unfortunate side of these quick sessions is that it is due to the game being very straightforward and not that deep in the gameplay department.

Think of Core Defender as half Shooter, half RTS. The entire state of the gameplay is based on you protecting your base (and your own vehicle, for that matter) from attacking aliens. Why are they attacking? Well, your guess is as good as mine, but one thing is for sure... they attack in great numbers and you’ll have to maneuver your tank around the screen to get into a position to shoot the randomly-spawning alien machinery. You will have to be careful, however, not to shoot your own buildings. So you won’t be able to just sit in one spot and point-and-click at the enemies.

After each successful round of defending your base, Core Defender acts out its RTS half. You’ll be able to build new buildings, defensive weapons, and replenish your ammunition based on your available cash, which is earned by how well you do in your defense. You can actually earn combos as well, which will help boost your score. As you play, you’ll also be able to pick up weapon upgrades that appear after dispatching aliens.


I actually found Core Defender to be quite difficult, in fact. While the game mechanics are extremely simple -- just maneuver, point, and shoot -- advancing to the next round can often be daunting. After a few successful rounds of play, it is often very difficult to keep going, as your resources diminish and the enemies become more difficult. Your funds to build new buildings or increase your ammo, likewise, seem to always get lower and lower as you play, too, so you’d do best to defend your base as fast as you can, to keep production high.

Game Mechanics:

If you can navigate a mouse, you can navigate Core Defender’s gameplay. You’ll use both hands, but you won’t be searching your keyboard for a number of hot keys. All you need is the standard WASD keys (which can also be remapped to your liking) and the mouse. You navigate your tank with the keyboard, and point around the screen, clicking the left mouse button for lasers and the right mouse button to launch some powerful bombs. Line of sight is key, however, so be careful not to destroy your own property.

Core Defender is a fun little game that has an addictive quality to it. The feeling that I wanted to play "just one more game" went over me more than once. However, the game is actually quite repetitive and doesn’t have a lot of replay value (no hidden gems or areas to explore) beyond that. At $20 for the download, it would be wise to check out the free demo first, and see if you like this little shooter/RTS hybrid called Core Defender.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/SE/ME/2000/XP; 1.0 GHz CPU, 128 MB RAM; OpenGL or DirectX Compatible 3D Graphics Accelerator, DirectX compatible Soundcard

Test System:

AMD Athlon 2700+ CPU; Windows XP Pro SP2; 1GB (2x 512MB) PC3200 DDR400 RAM; ATI All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro 8x AGP Video Card; NVIDIA nForce MCP Audio; DirectX 9.0c; 16x DVD-ROM used as main 32x CD-ROM; Sony DRU-500A DVD±R/RW; 6 USB ports; Cable Modem Hi-Speed Internet Connection

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