Thank you Ancient for sending us a review code for this game!
Gotta Protectors is an 8-bit themed hack n' slash with tower defense elements that’s a sequel to Protect Me Knight. The prequel was released in 2010 for the Xbox 360. Gotta Protectors was originally released in Japan in 2014 and thankfully it arrived in the United States two years later.
The premise is similar to the original game, but now there are six warriors called upon to protect Princess Lola. These quirky but strong warriors include a fighter, an amazon warrior, a ninja, a mage, an old guy, and an archer. Each warrior has different strengths and weaknesses in regards to power, health, speed, and magic.
Like many tower defense games, you have to set up turrets and blockades to withstand attacks from swarms of monsters. There are two kinds of monster spawners: limited and infinite. The limited spawners will eventually go away, but in order to complete a level, all of the enemies and spawners must be eliminated. Many of the one-hundred story levels have blocked off areas that must be opened by finding the similarly colored key. Whenever you unlock a new area it’s pretty much guaranteed that new spawners will appear on the map.
There are a wide variety of enemies including goblins, skeletons, minotaurs, succubus, dark knights, zombies and werebears. Stronger variants of the monsters will also spawn and they are recognizable by their different coloring. Bosses and mini-bosses are not to be underestimated with their increased health and strength that enables them to move and destroy your defenses quickly.
With one-hundred levels and the ability to create your own with the hard to find level editor, there’s plenty of variety and lots to do in this $12.99 title. The map editor is in the fighting menu and you have to select user maps instead of the story chapters. Once you get into the map editor it’s pretty easy to use and share your maps via co-op play or through QR codes.
Co-op play is fun and download play lets people join your session even if they don’t own the game (yet). The download version is only limited to two playable characters, but it’s enough to get a good feel for the game. As a tower defense game, Gotta Protectors won’t disappoint. What won me over was its sense of humor and warm fuzzies that it gave me as an old school gamer.
For gamers who have played games on the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Gotta Protectors will push many of the right buttons for you. It’s been a while since I have had to blow into a game to get it to function properly. When you first launch Gotta Protectors it will ask you to blow into the microphone to launch the game. You can skip this “feature” by pressing the start button, but I’ll admit that I played along the first time around. My son didn’t realize this step was optional and is now familiar with this long forgotten ritual.
The 8-bit graphics and low quality voice acting are also fitting to the retro theme. The background music is excellent and is composed by Yuzo Koshiro (Ys, Etrian Odyssey, 7th Dragon). There’s a $7.99 DLC option to purchase a higher definition version of the game’s soundtrack.
Aside from the hard to find map editor, and a glitch where a boss didn’t leave the screen once defeated, my 18.5 hours of playing this game have been fun. After completing the story on the easy or normal mode, a hard difficulty becomes available. If the awards/achievements are any indication, there is also a hell difficulty level. A music player also becomes unlocked after your first play-through. Overall, Gotta Protectors is a great game with a quirky sense of humor. If you enjoy hack n' slash or tower defense games, this is a must buy for your digital 3DS library.