ZaciSa: Defense of the Crayon Dimension! (Wii U) Review

By Sandy Wilson 03.10.2015

Review for ZaciSa: Defense of the Crayon Dimension! on Wii U

Indie title ZaciSa was released for Wii U in North America in 2014. Just over a year later, an update expanded on, what critics cited as, its small amount of content. At the same time as the update announcement it was also revealed that ZaciSa: Defense of the Crayon Dimension! would be released in Europe. Have these updates fixed the problems that were originally dragging the game down?

The short answer is "almost." The EU version features twelve levels, which is six more than the original, more music, Miiverse support and online scoreboards, as well as a couple of new game types. The scoreboards and Miiverse are crucial to this game's longevity as it has no campaign mode, unlockables or any means to progress from its base state. ZaciSa is a tower defence style game, meaning that in each level the goal is simply to survive for as long as possible, garner a high score, then come back later to try and best that score. The idea is solid and the execution is decent, but it can't help but feel like a mobile title.

The gameplay is actually pretty decent here. Each map contains a point to defend and other points to place turrets on. Rounds pause in the middle, allowing a short break to place new turrets or upgrade existing ones. These upgrades cost points and are gained by killing enemies and surviving waves, as expected, but it also offers up an interesting loan system. The loans allow for a certain amount of points to be borrowed. Once borrowed, the funds are available instantly for upgrading and buying new units, although it has a very heavy aftereffect. For the next X amount of rounds, a percentage of points earned go to the bank, draining the ability to keep things moving. This adds extra tension as fewer points are earned, enemies get harder and no upgrades can be afforded.

Screenshot for ZaciSa: Defense of the Crayon Dimension! on Wii U

The subtitle here is a puzzler: "Defense of the Crayon Dimension!" It sounds pretty epic, yet there is very little to do with crayon or dimensions. The art style is where the crayon reference comes into play; each circle displayed on the GamePad (during off -TV play) has a vague crayon texture to its colour. In fact, both the art and music are slightly lacking. There just isn't enough dynamic animation, such as particles and lighting, and the music tracks feel limited, despite it having a much larger library than the original release. It would have been great if the music would change more dynamically based on how well the level was progressing to build up tension or to make the game a little more exciting.

Despite all its drawbacks, ZaciSa can be, and is occasionally, fun and challenging. It's not the most visually interesting game, but something about the scoring and being able to share high scores on Miiverse is cool. It also gives a much needed revisit value - after all, who doesn't like beating their own and others' high scores? The difficulty curve is pretty steep, as well. It doesn't relent when it comes to waves of enemies battering the defence point, while un-upgraded turrets barely scratch the sides. During the review, the highest wave reached was fourteen, and that was on easy mode. Maybe under the surface there is some deep system that's really well hidden, but many people will probably stop after just a couple of levels and never return.

Screenshot for ZaciSa: Defense of the Crayon Dimension! on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Not the best of the bunch, but certainly far from the worst, ZaciSa is a barebones tower defence game with some interesting ideas and systems that is let down by its small amount of content and simple presentation. With a proper feeling of progression it could have been excellent, but, instead, it's decidedly average. If tower defence is a genre that means something to the customer, they will have a blast; if not, then there isn't much here to miss. It feels somewhat like ZaciSa would have been more suited to a 3DS eShop release, rather than Wii U, as the structure would be a suitable pursuit during a morning train commute. It is full of potential, but it never quite utilises its ideas, leading to a rather average indie title.

Developer

ZeNfa

Publisher

ZeNfa

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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