The Tower Wars genre is not one that you can say has been as saturated as Tower Defense. The two are similar, but instead of simply defending a location from a set number of attackers (and thus, strategy comes from varying your tower types, knowing the waves, and managing cash flow), tower wars involve sending your own units forward through enemy towers while the enemy sends theirs through your defenses unendingly, until one of your bases has been destroyed.

Defenders of Ardania is the latest in the genre, taking place in the world of the Majesty fantasy-kingdom-sim series. The campaign's story isn't very related to the rest of the Majesty titles though, seeing you lead a campaign against an evil that threatens your kingdom (as always), with some dubious voice acting and a plot that isn't really that interesting. The problem is, neither is the gameplay. And the visuals, while pleasing for the most part, absolutely fall flat when it comes to units. Bad models and bad animations make it look like janky ants are running back and forth across the battlefield.

It's simple: you build towers on a grid, and your opponent does the same while. Send units out, reach his base, and destroy it while defending your own. Defenders of Ardania features a sort of territory control, where you can only build within four spaces of any towers you own, as well as spots on the map that are beneficial to own: you can get extra resources, powerful attacks, or just extra range. In theory, this means a strategic balance of trying to unseat your opponent from strategic locations while defending your own. However, this strategy never really comes into play, and is mostly just about who can reach the places first. Unfortunately, there's no real way to pause the game to get an overview of the map, so there's no time for strategy anyway.

There's roughly half a dozen types of units in the game, ranging from quick runners, slow tower-attacking tanks, swarms of weaker units, and more. Each unit has a tower that is strong against it, but there are pretty much only a couple towers that you'll use anyway, since the rest are nearly useless against anything except what they're attacking.

The other aspects of the game aren't very good either. There's a tower and unit cap, which should mean prioritizing locations while balancing money and keeping an intelligent mind about what units to send forth to attack. What this means is reaching the tower cap almost immediately, and just spamming units until you win.

I constantly found myself at the maximum limit of cash that I could hold, randomly clicking on units until I won. The enemies of a particular level don't get significantly stronger, so once you have a suitable defense, you're more or less done. You can upgrade towers too, which is great since the tower limit tends to be so low, but since there are only three levels, it's not long before you're just staring at the unit screen, sending wave after wave of troops ahead until you win.

Defenders of Ardania isn't fun. Even when I played multiplayer with a friend, we found ourselves bored, whether we were playing against each other, against a computer, or in survival mode (which emulates the tower defense genre by removing units and simply having you defend against waves). The game doesn't do very much well, and instead ends up being a non-strategic game in a genre where strategy should be king.