You are Lock, a young Archineer. Which is a fancy title combining the titles Engineer and Architect. Archineers are able to manipulate the mysterious resource ‘Source’ and create buildings and most importantly, defences into existence. Archineers really are kind of like the knights in shining armour in the Kingdom. Looked upon to by the people in their greatest time of need.
Nintendo DS on current systems
Lock’s Quest is a remake of a Nintendo DS game from 2008. THQNordic decided to keep pretty much all the artstyle and graphics as they were on the NDS with the obvious resolution update and remade UI. The remastered soundtrack is still, or should I say again, a pleasure to listen to. The absence of voice-overs is disappointing and seems like a missed chance when polishing up Lock’s Quest for current systems. Speaking of more powerful systems, it does make one wonder why there are framerate drops during the more busy battles. Nothing worth quitting the game over, but very noticeable non-the-less.
Not just tower defence
The battle system is really where Lock’s Quest distinguishes itself from the tower defence or strategic games it is easily compared too. Every battle starts with a building phase in which you get a set amount of ‘source’ to spend building up your defences. After a short timer expires, you go into the battle phase and this is where the fun starts.
During the battle phase, there is more then enough to do for the player. You are in charge repairing you structures. This can be done by simply running towards a building and pressing a button. However, in order to increase repair speed, you can choose to ‘Ratchet’ by rotating the control stick.
Aside from repairing, you can also take on the enemies yourself. Much like repairing, this is easily done by walking up to an enemy and pressing a button. Also much like repairing, you quickly learn an ability to increase your damage output by correctly pressing the buttons appearing on the screen.
These actions in the battle phase make what I first expected to be the ‘dullest’ part of the game into what turns out to be the most frantic and exciting part of the game! Hardly ever did I get a chance to stand still and take in the environment during the battle phase.
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Whenever a battle starts, it’s difficult to know what really to expect. You get an indication on where the enemies will come from, but only during the battle phase will you really see how this will turn out. It’s always sad to see your amazingly build wall at the South hardly challenged while you battle of the big wave coming from the north!
Luckily most fights are fairly short and you can easily restart each battle or map with the option to keep or rebuild your defences.
Overall the game is a joy to play, the battles are interesting and challenging. Over the course of the story you get more and more buildings, traps and other ways to spend your precious Source. This ensures the combat will never grow stale and simply reusing the same setup in every battle is unlikely to succeed. Coupled with an interesting story with several twists and turns, makes for an interesting journey well worth taking.