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Lock's Quest (DS) artwork

Lock's Quest (DS) review


"THQ as a company can be summed up in one word: shovelware. All those bad movie tie-in games you see? That’s THQ. I don’t think THQ has ever published a worthwhile game in their entire history as a company. They’re attracted to bad games like flies to shit. Then I heard a select few morons saying that THQ had finally published a good game – Lock’s Quest. Naturally, I downloaded it to see what was up. What I expected was a bad Western shovelware title, and that’s pretty much exactly what I got. "



THQ as a company can be summed up in one word: shovelware. All those bad movie tie-in games you see? That’s THQ. I don’t think THQ has ever published a worthwhile game in their entire history as a company. They’re attracted to bad games like flies to shit. Then I heard a select few morons saying that THQ had finally published a good game – Lock’s Quest. Naturally, I downloaded it to see what was up. What I expected was a bad Western shovelware title, and that’s pretty much exactly what I got.

The first thing you’ll notice about Lock’s Quest is just how shitty the game looks. The artwork looks like it was done by the untalented hack that is Tim Buckley, creator of the webcomic Control-Alt-Delete. The characters all have the same hideous, retarded-looking B^U face that Tim Buckley made famous. Half the time the characters look constipated, the other half they’re ANGRY and constipated. Then you have the sprites, which look like a direct ripoff of Naruto. That the main character, Lock, is a kid with spiky yellow hair and a karate suit was enough to tip me off right away. Seriously, I’ve taken turds that look prettier than this game.

The gameplay itself is a direct ripoff of a custom Warcraft 3 map known as “Protect The Guy”. Combat has two phases. The first one is Lock running around and building mazes of walls and towers to prevent enemies from raping his ugly Naruto-ripoff ass. Buildings cost “source” and “scrap”, both of which are prevalent drops from the hordes of robotic enemies that consist of this game’s cannon fodder. There’s three types of defensive buildings – walls, towers, traps, and “helpers”. Buildings must be unlocked by going into “scrap mode” and solving an extremely simple puzzle where you put parts together so they look like a picture the game provides. Towers shoot directly at enemies, but also take up lots of space and block the enemy’s path to you. If an enemy gets stuck, they flip out and begin killing your precious buildings. Traps are the solution to this – they don’t take up space and help slow down enemies walking down the path. “Helpers” are buildings that give bonuses (extra attack speed, extra damage) to the other buildings. There are a couple of other minor strategic things – placing walls next to a tower increases the tower’s defense, and putting your towers in the wrong direction makes them take double damage.

The second phase of combat is watching your buildings kill enemies. The game has a very basic “aggro” system whereby enemies will automatically attack whatever has done the most damage to them. Therefore, if you build a tower and have it start hitting enemies, you can move in with Lock and hit them without Lock taking damage. Of course, you can also just hide behind your walls and repair them. Usually having Lock take damage is the better solution, considering he has essentially infinite life and him taking damage saves you from spending resources repairing.

The main thing that makes Lock’s Quest into crap (apart from the horrendous graphic quality) is the controls. Everything is done on the touchscreen, which makes for an extreme annoyance when attempting to repair buildings, especially the smaller ones (such as that vital 1x1 square wall giving your tower an x2 defense boost). It can be extremely annoying when four or five enemies are gangbanging a tower and Lock won’t repair it because he’s too busy running around in circles.

Also annoying is the extremely long wait times before anything actually happens. Most enemies move extremely slow, and so you get to wait a full minute until they actually hit your towers. Damage is done very, very slowly and all the waiting turns the game into a giant borefest. I think the only actual fun I had was placing the towers, and even then it got boring fast once I realized that if you make a decent enough maze and repair it properly, nothing is ever going to get through it. Levels only last a few minutes tops, but it feels like hours when you’re waiting for the slowpoke robots to finally hit your wall of death.

The final word on this game: it’s mediocre and not worth the $35 price tag. For the same price, you can go out and buy Warcraft 3 and its expansion and play the same type of maps (albeit buried in ten thousand games of DOTA) with a far greater variety. Hell, there’s flash tower defense games out there that are better than this. Consider that War3 also has co-op/competitive multiplayer defense maps whereas Lock’s Quest has no multiplayer whatsoever.

Rating: 3/10

timrod's avatar
Community review by timrod (September 13, 2008)

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