Once players have made their decision, they can jump into the game’s single-player, level-based campaigns. Levels require energy to undertake, which recharges automatically over time. Players can build towers during combat, but will also have access to a variety of Champions, key characters from the Star Wars universe, which can be commanded at will during battle.
Each static build location can be outfitted with different kinds of towers, from ranged towers that are good at shooting enemies across long distances, to melee towers that send out their own troops and delay the progression of enemy forces, and so on. Players can employ strategy during each battle, selling towers and building new varieties as the enemy situation demands. Towers require currency to build, which is earned by defeating enemies, and towers can eventually be upgraded into stronger versions during combat.
To stop things from getting too out of control, users can equip support cards before heading into battle. These may offer orbital bombardments, base fortifications and more, which are activated during battle by tapping on the Support icon in the bottom left corner of the screen. An orbital bombardment, for instance, causes massive damage to all enemies along the entire length of the level’s path.In terms of Champions, users can tap on these units and then tap on the battlefield to move them to different locations based on the current need. Each Champion has a skill bar, and when filled, users can double-tap on the Champion’s portrait to activate their particular skill. Darth Vader, for instance, uses Force Choke to slow and damage all nearby enemies. Boba Fett shoots missiles at enemies, Luke Skywalker calls in a bot that damages and slows enemies, and so on.
Players earn up to three stars on each level, which impacts their high score. By logging into Facebook, players can compare their scores with their friends, or simply compare their scores with other players around the world. Each level can be completed multiple times, and players unlock higher difficulty levels as they repeatedly complete the same stage on lesser difficulties (unlocking the “easy” difficulty, for instance, happens after finishing the stage on the “novice” difficulty). These difficulty levels have higher score multipliers, so players can increase their high score.At the end of each stage, Champions and towers receive experience points and can level-up. Players can have up to three active Champions at once, but must unlock slots to hold the extra two Champions by completing story missions or spending premium currency. New Champions can be recruited by spending free currency, and players can spend premium currency to instantly level them up. Both towers and Champions can be further outfitted with relics, which are discovered while playing.
Rounding out the experience is a hefty achievements system, which offers a whopping 888 achievements to unlock at launch.
“Star Wars: Galactic Defense adds its own flare to the traditional tower defense genre and brings the excitement that was once limited to a galaxy far, far away, right to your fingertips,“ said Barry Dorf, vice president of partnerships and alliances at DeNA, in a statement. “The game packs beloved characters, iconic locations, tactical gameplay, and heart-pounding battles into one exciting mobile experience.”
Star Wars: Galactic Defense is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. The game joins another recently released strategy game set in the Star Wars universe, Disney’s own Star Wars: Commander.