Onion Force is an Action/Tower Defense game created Queen Bee Games and was recently greenlit on Steam. I was allowed to play a demo version of this game while the full game is getting ready for its Steam release and I have to say I was thoroughly blown away. For the record I beat all of the “easy” mode levels in an hour and a half and still have not beaten all of the “medium” levels 6 hours later.
This game is spectacular. Although I had a few issues with the game, I enjoyed my overall experience. I especially like how the player had to beat the “easy” mode version of a level before progressing to the “medium” and “hard” modes. The game looks to ready for a full release.
The presentation is unbelievably perfect. The amazing graphics alone showcases professional level animation and artwork and I also like the story as well. While I still don’t have the full picture, essentially you are tasked with protecting the last king and maintaining is survival. As you progress through the levels, you face more and more enemies that have the intent of killing your king. The game effectively its uses the animation and the surrounding environment to create a pseudo 3D environment that one could hardly tell is actually a 2D plane. The environment does this especially well by clearly separating the foreground image and the objects within the game. Also if that wasn’t enough, the game uses weather effects to affect levels and in turn affect the players on an emotional level. To clarify, on a sunny level, the player may be engaged in playing the game because they like it, but on a raining level, the player would be completely focused on the game because they are trying not to get hit by lightning. This emotional connection is brought out by the graphical changes of onion force and the same can be said for the music as well. While the music doesn’t affect the emotions as much of the graphics, when the player hears the music change mid-battle, then they are immediately informed that something is about to happen. Be it a boss or a failure screen, the music helps to keep the player aware of their surroundings.
As with most Action games, Onion Force’s primary source of engagement comes from pure adrenaline and wanting to beat the level. As the waves of enemies increase, the player has to react quickly to the multitude of things going on. Keeping a track of the enemy closest to you king while also maintain a good amount of health and creating much needed towers and all affecters for adding adrenaline to the game. For hardcore gamers, another source of engagement would be to achieve a perfect score on one or all of the levels. Now where Onion Force starts to show its faults, or rather fault, is in the gameplay. Despite how much I love the game and the presentation, I have to say that the main moving mechanic can be rather infuriating. My best description of how the characters move is like that of a pinball. Much how the ball in pinball will change its speed and direction if it hits anything, the characters in Onion Force do the same thing. The characters start out running and kicking and will bounce of anything (including enemies) if they collide with it. Now the player can change the direction of the character on screen by having them point in the direction of the mouse, but when navigating through a small space or trying to collide with one specific object, that is when the moving mechanic becomes unbearable. For if the character touches something on the side of them, they immediately change directions despite where you wanted them to go. This also functions as the main attack option for the characters besides a limited ranged attack that not all characters have. Essentially the goal is to bump into an enemy and bounce of other enemies, all while giving and receiving damage from the collision. While this is a nice and simple game mechanic for attacking, for regular movement it starts to become less of a perk and more of an unwanted feature. However, that seems to be Onion Force’s only fault which is good considering this Queen Bee Games first game. In regards the rest of the gameplay, the game functions much like other tower defense with some RPG aspects as well. In addition to being able to purchase towers, you also are able to control a character who can attack incoming enemies. This character has health, mana, can equip weapons, and gain levels like an RPG character but is also the one who goes to buy the towers needed to help you out. As with other tower defense games, towers can only be placed in certain areas so you much navigate your player to that spot to purchase a tower, all while defeating enemies and making sure they don’t get near your king.
I have to say try it yourself when the game comes out. I didn’t like the moving mechanic but others might love it. Besides, that was the only thing I disliked about the game which tells you that this game is pretty much spotless. Definitely play it if you like Tower Defense games, Action games, RTS games, RPG’s, or Strategy games. If you like those genres, I think you will like this game too.
You can access the Onion Force’s greenlit page here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=543218593
Happy Game Making!