March on Oz (iPad only) by City State Entertainment is an epic tower defense title that takes place in the wonderful world of Oz. Players first customize the main character by selecting clothing, size, accessories, gender and more, then are whisked away to aid the Ozians in their quest against RoggeDoh and the Evil Alliance.
The enemies faced throughout the trek along the yellow brick road are N.O.M.E.S. – mechanical creatures who are wreaking havoc in the land of Oz. Through more than 50 levels, players work their way down the yellow brick road to rescue Princess Ozma and do away with the intrusive N.O.M.E.S.
With similar road defense game mechanics to the uber-popular Plants vs. Zombies, players place units in rows to defeat oncoming enemies that advance down the road, all while waiting for currency-creating units to create more currency – which, by the way, is cake. The additional cake allows for the purchase and placement of additional units.
March on Oz, however, pushes a faster pace and requires a little more strategy. For instance, players are awarded additional cake for putting together specific battle formations with various units. These formations, however, have to be discovered during game play. Once unlocked, these formations are viewable in the encyclopedia which also houses ally and enemy information, unlockable comics and a game reference guide.
With three levels of difficulty and more than a dozen unlockable mini-games, the 50+ levels in the main game are more than enough to keep players busy for hours and hours. The game also includes an online save file for progress transfer between devices, with Game Center integration promised for the next update, which is due out before the end of the year.
Where March on Oz really shines are the fantastic 3D graphics, effects and animations, and the beautiful full-musical soundtrack. The music is whimsical and epic, yet never gets boring or repetitive. The 3D graphics are stunning on the iPad, especially on the Retina display.
If there’s one complaint about the game, there’s an awful lot of narration and dialogue throughout the game – no doubt so players can enjoy the beautiful depiction of the world of Oz. There’s also a lot of time spent simply walking down the yellow brick road in between levels. The graphics are pretty to look at, but having to wait 10-20 seconds which the characters walk to the next level seems excessive.
For those that enjoy the tower defense and road defense genre, March on Oz is a welcome addition to the fold. With an emphasis on graphics, music and storyline, and well-balanced RTS, March on Oz is definitely worth checking out. It’s easy to see the developers put a lot of hard work into this one, and I have no doubt many fans will enjoy it.