I am always fascinated by stories in which you are invited to understand the motivations of the bad guys. I think it’s why I enjoy the movie Wreck-it Ralph so much. So, when Tower Offense The Legend of Evil came across my digital desk, its cutesy sprite style flipped the script on a Castlevania-esque story and I was intrigued. This is our review for The Legend of Evil for Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Evil is a tower offense game in which you control of the most ancient of evils: Bill. Bill is a vampire-like humanoid in the service of darkness. And when I say “in the service of darkness,” I mean, he’s middle management. He calls some of the shots, but he’s really just there to get his job done.
In his own words:
What job is that?
Well, in The Legend of Evil, every several thousand years, an ancient evil rises to dominate the world of men. Unfortunately for the forces of evil, so does a hero. And that hero will rally all of mankind to his side to fight for all that is good and right in the world.
“Like that even exists…,” Bill would surmise.
It is up to Bill to make sure that the hero falls, but he needs some minions to help. This is where the towers come in. You can summon towers at specific locations, each with a different minion associated with them. Each tower costs a certain number of souls – the game’s currency – to build and can be upgraded. The towers themselves generate soul energy, but you can upgrade the incremental summoning times its denizens, soul generation, a slowing field, and much more. Each monster has their own set of abilities to counter the human contenders, so you will need to read the field to find out what you need.
While the fiends are off at play, it is Bill’s job to manage tower, select upgrades, collect souls, and dig up shiny coins with his trusty shovel. The game is advanced and evil triumphs when enough damage is dealt to one of humanity’s rune stones within an allotted period of time.
Outside of its main campaign, The Legend of Evil also has a Rogue Conquest Mode which allows you to play with customized minions. You will have access to many different modifications across a series of eight mixed up missions as you battle through four different biomes. Each enemy type within a match will be different each play through, so choose wisely! If you do find yourself struggling to beat a level, you do have three attempts before the conquest it lost.
From a gameplay perspective, you will have a ton of trial and error with The Legend of Evil. Each monster you put out on the field has strengths and weaknesses. Choose poorly and you are toast. What makes this even more punishing is that if you happen to have a tower built up and upgraded, if you destroy it to send other units out, you only receive a fraction of the resources back, setting you back in achieving your missions.
Each campaign mission has a series of objectives to clear in the level, some of which require later level power-ups to complete and some that you have to figure out. There is an option to play each level on easy mode will slow down the rate at which enemy troops advance and increases your passive collection of souls. It helps a little, but unless you select the right troops to counter the humans, you are still toast. Burnt toast.
I don’t mind the challenge so much if a game gives you a clear direction forward, but The Legend of Evil really does not do that much for you. Instead, you are left to fight the game mechanics and the clock in order to move forward… which is a very, very slow march.
Yet, somewhere in the midst of the frustration, I keep coming back to it. Its art style is whimsical and the chip tune music masterfully crafted, both capturing the essence of an era long gone. It plays on just the right amount of the Castlevania-esque-humans-versus-monsters themes that scratches an itch… but, unfortunately, it doesn’t always hit the right spot.
The Legend of Evil is available on the Nintendo Switch store and for PC on Steam for $7.99 USD.
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Note: Our copy was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by PR.