Are you a fan of Puzzle Quest? Are you thinking "Man, I just have to play another game that's an RPG mashed up with some other genre!"? Then boy, do we have the game for you.Defender's Quest is an indie game created by Level Up Labs that blends the addicting gameplay of a Tower Defense game with the story and tactical depth of an RPG. The game begins when Azra, the royal librarian of the Ash Kingdom, contracts a plague that turns those infected into horrifying monstrosities known as Revenants, and is thrown into a plague colony known as the Pit as a result. Fortunately, she quickly discovers that, not only is she immune to the malady, but the infection has gifted her with strange powers that allow her to fight against the Revenants.A very extensive demo of the game, consisting of the entire first two (of seven) acts, can be played for free here. Once you've beaten that, you can purchase the full version (and very handily transfer your save game from the demo to it) here!A sequel, Defenders Quest II, was announced on October 13th, 2013. Release date uncertain.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Every new hire costs more than the previous one, regardless of what their class is or what ass-end town you hire them from. And after they've drained your scrap supply, you still have to buy them equipment.
Big Damn Heroes: And it comes from the last person you'd expect. Just as a seemingly-invincible cultist is about to kill Azra, Zelemir suddenly appears and saves her.
Bittersweet Ending: Ending C, "A Painful End", is very bittersweet. Eztli-Tenoch is still alive, Bakal and Markos are dead, and many of the Pit inhabitants die or go hungry. On the bright side, some people did survive, and Eztli-Tenoch has been permanently sealed, meaning the events of the story will never happen again.
Dreaming of Times Gone By: Azra has several dreams about Tletl-Meztli's life with Eztli-Tenoch, which Azra writes down in her journal. You don't really figure this out until after the final sidequest though.
Gameplay and Story Integration: The quality of the ending you get after the final level is tied to your performance during it. You get the worst ending if Zelemir dies, a better ending if they are only injured, and the Golden Ending if they are unharmed.
Extra recruits are never mentioned or referenced in the main story, and only really seem to be there to make gameplay easier.
Extra ice magi in particular are rather awkward, since Wrenna's backstory seems to imply that her powers are supposed to be unique.
That's only if you fail to pay attention to the story. When Wrenna tells her story how she came to wield ice she also says: "I am not the only one who has had this experience. Many survive this plague and return changed." Actually every story character explicitly explains where other recruits come from except Slak and Ketta, because, raging half-naked nomad warriors and female nomad bow wielders are just way too common among Nomads and don't require any extra explanation.
Also, it is entirely possible to revisit levels (or even towns) that you shouldn't be able to access according to in-story events.
Jack of All Stats: Rangers, roughly. They're well-equipped to deal with a wide variety of enemies (as opposed to most classes, which are geared towards eliminating a single enemy type). Which is probably why many enemies in the New Game+ have abilities specifically designed to nerf rangers.
Mighty Glacier: Knights. Their attacks are all single-hit and they have the slowest attack speed out of all the classes, but they hit like a truck.
Mood Whiplash: Frequently. Scenes love to swing from deep, serious philosophizing or plot exposition to lighthearted jokes or even madcap comedy in the span of a single second, and vice versa.
In particular is the ending of Wrenna's sidequest. After her tough shell fractures and she spills her heart out to Azra, detailing the horrors of the Quaid genocide that she experienced, the scene ends on...
Azra: Wrenna...do you want a hug? Wrenna: What's a "hug"?
Multiple Life Bars: The Final Boss uses the first variant; they have five health bars that must be depleted in sequence. They also become invincible after each one is knocked off until you expend some psi.
Necromancer: Zelemir. Also, given that the infected have visions of him, Eztli-Tenoch is probably one as well.
New Game+: However, enemies are buffed up (and given special abilities) to be on par with your godly levels. You also get access to seven optional levels.
Our Dragons Are Different: According to Wrenna, dragons were originally a rough equivalent of angels — creations of the Quaid's fire god, sent to watch over the realm of mortals. Unfortunately, many were corrupted by greed, leading to their hoarding and pillaging tendencies. Others also forgot their original purpose over time.
Path of Most Resistance: At the end of the game, the levels branch — you either fight one easy level, or a series of much harder ones. The former will get you the bad ending, the latter will get you the good.
Power-Up Letdown: Azra's books. Their description makes them sound like they just have awesome effects — what theydon'ttell you is that they also have negative drawbacks, such as tripling the cost and quintupling the cooldown of the relevant spell. In many cases, this makes the powerups simply not worth it.
Redemption Promotion / Redemption Demotion: When Zelemir joins your side during the final battle, both of these apply to an extent. They basically become a copy of Azra, so their spells are weaker, but can be used more frequently. Their massive, boss-level HP is also cut down to be comparable with Azra's.
Self-Imposed Challenge: The game is very generous with the options it gives the player. There is nothing stopping the player from attempting to beat the game by only using hero characters or cutting xp gain in half while playing on the highest difficulty.
Sequential Boss: The Final Boss transforms every time you knock off one of their his bars, requiring you to expend some psi in order to keep damaging him. However, other than HP, his stats and battle tactics don't change between forms.
Shipper on Deck: On the final page of the final entry in the journal, which is obtained by beating the New Game+ then going back into the game (and might require getting the Golden Ending to boot), and is an epilogue written months after the events of the game, it is revealed that Slak thinks Azra wants Markos.
Brick Joke: ...and that Azra kept the soup ladle, that useful instrument for interrupting Slak when he is being annoying.
Side Quest: Seven, three of which even have a connected subplot. They're only available in New Game+, however.
Tsundere: Ketta. Slak is merely a "tolerable comrade in arms"? Even Azra sees through that. This gets on peoples' nerves, to the point that Azra claims to have seriously considered letting the dragon eat her.