Wicked Lair is a vertical take on the tower defense game. It takes place in an underground lair with multiple dungeon floors instead of a multi-lane ground. As the lord of the lair, you need to fend off invading heroes from the town by building dungeons and deploying guarding minions.
The structural change aside, Wicked Lair shares the familiar strategic core from typical tower defense games. You deploy your resources before a battle starts. You can build extra dungeon floors above your base and hire different creatures and/or set traps to withstand enemy heroes. The more, the better, right? But the limited amount of coins asks you to plan and calculate when you choose the dungeon types and corresponding minions and traps spawn there.
Wicked Lair provides 9 distinct dungeon types, each with its unique bonuses. Your minions guarding or passing through Tree of Life in Growth dungeon are healed briefly, while the orc & goblins’ Citadel makes enemy heroes cough up an increased amount of gold if dropping dead there. And some dungeons reduce the respawn times, curse intruding heroes or facilitate your battle in other ways. Building dungeons has a cost. And the more you set up, the higher the price.
And your choice of dungeon types will also decide the creatures and traps you can bring to the battle. Every dungeon has 1 trap, 1 boss-like creature and 4 minions at three levels. The first level minions do not cost anything and can be upgraded later to higher levels during battle. So it is up to you whether you directly hire powerful minions or save the coins for a scary yet expensive trap or boss. And you need to consider the minions’ roles, too. There are defenders, gatherers, patrol and invaders and so on. Based on their roles, minions will act differently – guard a position, shuttle between base and heroes’ town to steal treasure and wreck havocs to the town.
Compared to full-fledged tower defense titles, Wicked Lair is weaker in the contents. Instead of levels, it has only two game modes. In the Town Attack, you can build up to 10 floors and destroy the town to triumph; while the Endless Survival is self-explanatory but raises the floors max to 50 and rewards you with gold by destroying town. That is disappointing and an omen that it won’t stay long on a player’s devices. What increases its replay value is that you can try the town attack in three difficulty tiers. But that does not make up for its lack of contents.
Wicked Lair is free to download. But if you want to stand a chance in the survival, you have to buy Expansions for real cash to unlock the six better dungeons as well as minions and traps inside.
Wicked Lair offers strategic fun with its variety of dungeons, minion, traps and spells. But the fun won’t last long because of a lack of solid and fresh contents. Its idea about tower defense & dungeon-building blend is great but is carried out in a lousy way. It needs improvements to earn a recommendation.