HandyGames is one of my favorite mobile game developers so I'm embarrassed to say that I missed Guns'n'Glory when it was first released. I only discovered it when they FINALLY released an update to Panzer Panic. Once a game company reaches a certain level of quality you know that each of their games deserves to be checked out.
Guns'n'Glory - Bring in the cannons!
Guns'n'Glory is a tower defense game which is a genre that's really made a splash with mobile, touch screen devices as the interface works so well for such a game. If you don't know what I mean by a 'tower defense' game here it is in a nutshell (otherwise you can skip the rest of the paragraph). In a tower defense game you have something to protect aka 'the tower'. You also have weapons that you deploy to defend the tower. Once you've placed these weapons the baddies show up and march their way on over to your tower in the most direct way possible even if it means a machine gun is pointing right at their skull. Weapons fire, baddies march, you gain money for each baddie killed, you lose life for each one that arrives and assaults your tower. You then reinvest any money gained (even during a round) to buy new stuff and make it even harder on the baddies, but the baddies get even baddier. So, there's this tug of war going on with you building your defenses and them getting stronger with improved speed and firepower until they finally overpower you. It's fun and strategic.
Guns'n'Glory takes this formula and brings it to the wild west. Settlers are arriving by the truckload, but the local cowboys and Indians don't take too kindly to strangers in their land. The new arrivals have found a nice, little canyon to march in such that a) they have a nice path to their destination and b) so that they can be sitting ducks for the onslaught of force about to take place. The player then controls the cowboys and Indians and positions them along the canyon wall so that they can pick off the settlers before they reach their destination. As the game progresses you'll note that different characters (or units) are more/less effective against certain types of settlers. For example, the flaming arrows the Indians use are really great for setting a stagecoach on fire
GnG's graphics are nice, but are a little on the small side. As you'll have to select characters on the touch screen with your finger sometimes I found that difficult when characters were close together. Sound is great in true HandyGames style. And, aside from the closeness issue due to the small graphics, the touch screen control of tapping on guys and then dragging to move them worked reasonably well. Touch screens were made for tower defense games!
One of the differences in this game from other tower defense games in that you're not building a maze with weapons that are fixed and thus are not trying to slow the enemy by forcing them to have to move a greater distance. Instead, your position along the canyon walls plays a greater importance as your defenses can move. This allows you to open fire on one side of the canyon and then catch the settlers again for a second round on the other side if you are quick enough.
HandyGames has elected to try the Glu Mobile method of selling this game in that there's a full featured free version with advertising in it and a paid version that removes the ads. However, Handy has done a better job of making sure the ads are annoying. I can't imagine anyone that likes this game and really gets into it won't want to sacrifice the $3 it takes to get rid of the ads that are ever present at the bottom of the game's screen throughout the duration of your game.
In summary, this is a really nice take on the tower defense genre whether you're a seasoned veteran looking for another challenge or have never heard of this kind of game before. It certainly isn't enough to really stand out in this over represented genre, but is certainly at the top of the heap. I also like the 'free with advertising' model of distribution although I wonder if that will be deemed to work. Maybe it is as we're seeing more and more games move to that model and it's tough for the paid games to compete against free. But it's not easy building revenue off of advertising as I know from firsthand experience. 4.5/5 stars for another great game from HandyGames.