Android Central

Defender 2 is a popular wave defense game that seems to have struck a chord with Android gamers looking for a free, customizable, multiplayer experience.

Defender 2 puts players on top of a castle wall with a ballista, with which they must fend off an incoming attack from a variety of monsters. Early on, it’s fairly easy keeping up with mindless drones flinging themselves against the castle walls, but eventually you face down more powerful demons with ranged attacks and challenging new tactics. Luckily, players gather a broad array of new powers and weapons to defend their wall.

Graphics and audio

Android Central

There’s a lot of original animation and interesting-looking monsters in Defender 2, backed up by reasonably nice stage backgrounds. The user interface has smooth transition animations, but banner ads cramp the active viewing area. Something feels just a little bit off about the overall style of the game; maybe it’s the system fonts, maybe it’s the simplistic premise, or the altogether weird monsters, but something about the flavor stopped me from getting overly excited about Defender 2.

There are a couple of effects that sound suspiciously like ones from other games, such as the Sonic wind-up sound once the cooldown on Fireball was up, and the Counter-Strike HE grenade explosion sound for casting the fireball, but maybe that’s my imagination. Most of the sound effects and music aren’t really high quality anyway, but they’re easy enough to ignore or turn off.

Gameplay and controls

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Gameplay is fairly straightforward. Holding a finger down unloads an unending volley of projectiles in that direction, while spells are dragged up from a toolbar and dropped in the play area wherever you want it to be cast. The real bulk of the game is taking the coins and gems you earn throughout gameplay and spending them on a wide variety of upgrades, including lava moats, fancier crossbows, elemental spells, and more power arrows. Of course, you can buy coins and gems through in-app purchases if you’re the impatient type. There are also a variety of titles that players can earn by doing regular actions like buying items and casting certain types of spells. Aside from vanity, these achievements provide real in-game bonuses.

In addition to the linear progression of the single-player game, there’s also multiplayer, whereby players are paired up online and are tested to see who can last longer against a particularly relentless force. This can be challenging if paired up with a well-equipped opponent, but I was generally happy with the matchmaking mechanism. There’s a glass floor in multiplayer matches where you can get a sense of how well your opponent is doing, along with a health bar that sits beside yours for direct comparison.


  • Fast, animated action
  • Tons of customizability


  • In-app purchases and ads

The bottom line

As with any free title on Android, be prepared to deal with in-app purchases and ads in Defender 2. They aren’t the pushiest I’ve seen so far, but they may still be a major turn-off for many players that just want to pay for their game up-front. The core gameplay of “kill all the things” is a little on the dull side, but the extensive combinations of upgrades offers a lot of long-term strategic thinking. Multiplayer is also a well-balanced, fast experience, even if it amounts to little more than a single-player match that runs concurrent with someone else online.


Reader comments

Defender 2 review - wave defense with magic and a big honkin' crossbow


Just wanted to say thanks to Simon for his remarkable job in reviewing apps and games, really nicely done. I liked Josh's way but Simon took it to another whole level, especially with the video reviews. Keep up the good job :)

On topic, this looks like a nice time killer, will try it out. Thanks again.

I have been playing this game for awhile it is extremely addictive, great time killer.

Also want to add, In App purchases are not required for anything but getting upgrades faster. I haven't spent anything and have almost all upgrades.

I am SOOOOO tired of these WAVE DEFENSE games. Go through the market and tell me we dont have a slew of these. Wheres all the creative minds at. I appreciate all game dev's, but why not make something different. We need more HIGH Quality games.

I am an Android Fanatic and hate iOS, but one thing the Iphone has over us are way more Quality games. I know FRAGMENTATION and PIRACY, stops devs from wanting to develop games for Android, but PLZ DEV'S, I beg of u,"MORE QUALITY GAMES".

Ok , so what kind of game do you want ?
Very easy to say we need , but is very hard to develop something realy new and cool
If you have some new ideia for a "more HIGH Quality games" , you can bring and we can talk about.
Let me ask , what you want to see in a game ?

I downloaded this game last night after reading this and was hooked for 3 hours straight. It is really addictive and fun to compete head to head against someone living/breathing. Thanks for the review that pointed me to that game.

I dont care about the ending , but i want to know how they choose the oponents ?
By level , by strenght , by XP ? sometimes i fight with some guys from asia (i know by the names ,i dont understand nothing cause of kanjis).
Somebody knows ?