Little Protectors


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Rating: 4/5 (70 votes)
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BradLittle ProtectorsSome things will never change. Undefined's Protector series is clearly not one of those things. Little Protectors, the latest release, is still a tower defense game, but apart from the control scheme, that's where the similarities end. Ready to fight some Big Butts and Burny Men?

The game primarily uses the mouse, plus the [shift] to place multiples of the same unit and [spacebar] to cancel placement. You still face down waves of elemental-based enemies, hire your units with gold, and you have a set number of lives each level that decrease if an enemy reaches the other side of the map. Fend them off, and you'll gain treasure and ultimately a skill point to boost your unit abilities.

That's where the similarities with the rest of the series ends. Now, you have three basic units: the warrior, the mage and the archer. Little Protectors does away with the level system of its predecessors and replaces it with items, or toys as they're called in-game. Each class has their own specific weapons and equipment and all of the items have their own effects. In addition, most items add to the unit a buff that could slow enemies down, steal lives or teleport the enemy back to the start of the path. How do you get these toys? Well, that's Little Protector's biggest change.

Before you just had gold to worry about, now there's four additional resources: wood, metal, crystals and souls. Except for souls, which you earn by killing enemies, you get some resources to start out with, but they'll run out quickly, so you'll have to have units harvest them by attacking resource points on the map. When you have enough resources you can click on a unit, hit the craft item button and make yourself a new weapon or piece of equipment. In the beginning, there won't be a lot to choose from, but as you complete maps more and more blueprints become available and you get more and more options for customizing your units. Accessories can be looted from enemies, and you've even got a mana pool and some spells on hand to help knock them down.

Little ProtectorsAnalysis: Gameplay is so different it almost feels like it's from another series, and luckily the changes are all fun and put a new spin on the series and the genre. This time around there are no flying enemies, which means there's no longer rounds where your warriors will sit there like lumps. Also, no more paving! You can put your units anywhere the grass is green.

In addition to all those new features, Little Protectors brings in a brand new aesthetic in the form of a top-down view and softer environments that are reminiscent of SNES graphics. The enemies are look cartoony, to be more suitable for the li'l killers, and instead of flying eyeballs and rats, you get pink elephants and snowmen. A lot of attention has been paid to small details, too. The weapon a unit holds changes to reflect the weapon you equip it with and the armors can radically change a unit's appearance.

There are a few annoyances. There's only a handful of achievements and they're very generic, most concerning how much of a resource you have or how many times a unit has attacked. A more gameplay-pertinent problem is if you equip an item on a unit, it's marked as belonging to that unit and can't be equipped on a different unit. This makes sense from a balance perspective. Since you can equip your units while paused, you could easily pass a damage boosting accessory down the line as needed. However, sometimes you'll get units with the same name on a map, so if you're switching equipment out you have to figure out which fire elemental spellbook belongs to which Jorrell. A bigger annoyance is the fact that only one unit can be harvesting resources at a time. This means you'll have to decide which resource you need more and you'll often have units out of enemy range doing nothing because the resource you need isn't near them. Finally, it feels like you never have enough mana to make it worthwhile. You'll get a few spells off, but then it's spent and the regeneration rate is so slow that it rarely works its way back up.

Little ProtectorsThe biggest drawback to Little Protectors is difficulty. The game can be absolutely punishing sometimes if you're not playing it the way it wants to be played. You can get stuck on maps if you aren't using the "correct" strategy, and it doesn't help that there's a ton of variables that could be tripping you up. Are your skill points invested right? Do you have the right equipment for the map? Are your units placed in the best positions? It can be discouraging, but fortunately you can always reinvest skill points and try another method.

Fortunately, with so many ways to customize a unit it can be fun figuring out the right way to beat a map, since unlocking new blueprints is a great motivator. Even nicer, as we saw with Protector IV Undefined is very open to player comments. As a developer they've shown that while they want their games to be a challenge, they also want them to be enjoyable for everyone. If everyone seems to be in agreement about something in the game, it won't be surprising if Undefined gives it a little tweak.

The Protector series has always had this strange power. It can knock you down, endlessly beat you and call you stupid, but you keep playing it because it's a good game, and despite the punishment it's a lot of fun. All the new changes just make it more fun to feast on Little Protectors' knuckle sandwiches. Enjoy it and remember little protectors our are future, teach them well and let them lead the way.

Play Little Protectors

Walkthrough Guide


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Equipment Upgrade Skills:


Warrior:
Level   0   | 3   | 6   | 10
Speed:  3.0 | 2.9 | 2.8 | 2.6
Damage: 7   | 8   | 9   | 10

Mage:
Level   0   | 3   | 6   | 10
Speed:  3.0 | 2.8 | 2.6 | 2.2
Damage: 3   | 4   | 5   | 6

Archer:
Level   0   | 3   | 6   | 10
Speed:  2.0 | 1.9 | 1.8 | 1.5
Damage: 2   | 3   | 4   | 5

27 Comments

Gotta say I'm not impressed. It's a cute concept, and definitely has potential. However, resource harvesting is a complete mystery even after the tutorial. Either it takes 40 years, or I'm doing it wrong, and there is no way to get more information in the game.

Without tons of resources, you can't use those shiny blueprints while keeping enough "protectors" on your field. And without using blueprints, you won't pass anything past the first three levels.

Replaying levels gives absolutely no benefit. The game just feels unfinished as it is.

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Zazazu, the resources are harvested when your protectors deal enough damage to completely destroy it. You'll notice the health bar as it gets damaged.

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I am a long time Protector series fan, but I am disappointed with this one. It might be better if I could beat the second level...

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I'm really not that great at the Protector games, but I always enjoy them! This one is no exception. I find the resource harvesting to be an interesting twist, it makes things much more complex. I like complex... not great at complex, but I like it! Now, to play more...

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Remember that you can view the entirety of monster characteristics before you start the battle. In fact, it is recommended to do once and then quit and plan a strategy/redo your skills to deal with it as unlike IV, (and much more like III) it can be quite difficult.

One major difference about this and other protectors is that there is no individual level gain or damage increase, so all the micromanagement of making sure about which heroes kill how much is removed. Enemies also have no spell abilities or resistances, besides armor and weakness. This simplifies the tactical decision making quite a bit, which I find refreshing rather than weakening the gameplay.

However... in its place is the resource gathering, which though interesting, as you are possibly diverting your damage from the enemy towards some immobile rocks, will cause you to toggle resource gathering on and off or between different resources as the wave progresses (and the fact that each wave simply ends when the last enemy dies, giving killing everything at the beginning some definite disadvantage in regards to resource gathering).

Anyway, despite the name and graphics this probably isn't a "kiddie" game or even intended towards that demographics, but simply a protector game with some different gameplay mechanics (gathering SOULS? and the noted difficulty at times). IV is still probably the most casual of them due to the lower difficulty and freedom of specialty.

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@Brent: I needed about 20 protectors to beat the second level. Don't worry about equipment at first, just focus on increasing the number of units.

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I like the Protector series, and this one seems like a nice variation. However, on my computer, this game is super slow, especially when a lot of enemies or protectors are involved (ie nearly all the time!). I didn't have this problem with Protector IV (or at least much less). My computer is not new, and I run Ubuntu, so maybe it's not the fastest version of Flash, I don't know , maybe it's just my configuration.

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I'm saying this as someone who has played and enjoyed many defense games in the past, not particularly as a fan of protector.

Three major complaints on things that make absolutely no sense:
1. WHY can I not move units? They're clearly PEOPLE, so why can't they move around when I want to reconfigure them?
2. WHY the "ownership" with items? Is every one of my troops just so much of a jerk that he won't lend his woodcutting axe to another for even a few seconds?
3.WHY would you keep attacking a resource when there's an enemy in your sites? If the units had a very simple logic that said "gather resources UNLESS there's an enemy nearby, then kill the enemy" there wouldn't be such a mess with the resource gathering. And man, it IS a mess.

Partially because of these, the game often just turns out impossible, even among the first few levels that are supposedly "really easy".

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Upon further playing, I find this has grown on me quite a bit! Some of the things others appear to find as bad points to the game I see as "the rules"... The challenge is how to be victorious within those rules.

Having gotten through the first 8 levels so far, here's some advice for (modest)sucess: use the pause button. A LOT. I use it at the end of each wave to tweak everything. Also, thinking about grouping of units, use the ability to target. I really really like that ability. And last but not least, why not make resource harvesting do double duty to clear out some of those prime spots for placing additional units but are currently blocked by pesky crystals and whatnot?

Hope that helps others find their super fun happy play time! Yah!

PS if I were to wish for anything in the game, it would be that there was a hotbutton for "pause". And that you could see the names of the waves more easily... they're really funny.

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Archer flaming bow and critter critter seems to be the most soul shadow efficient combos.
Archer hits far and fast, flaming bow for group mobs while critter deal around 7x for 90 souls.
Investment in mage or knight are just too expensive imo.

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I don't get how i'm supposed to do level 2. I don't see anything else I could be doing. I built as many dudes as i could, i only have one skill point. I don't get it.

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@chitzk0i: For level 2, I went with a formation like this:


 ###############  |
    W          MW |
------------------|
|WMA         A
|M###############
|WMA         A
|-----------------
              AMW|
 ###############M|
              AMW|
-----------------
|

Upgrade the Mages to Fire, and the Warriors to Mighty Maces as possible. Upgrade the warrior in the upper left to a woodcutters axe to farm trees.

Use your critical spell against the first boss.

Add more units as necessary.

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I'm over halfway through the game and the skills that i thought are best are:
1:high resources
2:mid-high mana
3:mid-high recruiting
P.S. this depends on your amount of skills points.

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on the maps that are (scarcity) maps, if you have any skill points in master crafting, reset and put those points in other skills because on those maps, you won't get the bonus resources.

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Equipment Upgrade Skills:


Warrior:
Level   0   | 3   | 6   | 10
Speed:  3.0 | 2.9 | 2.8 | 2.6
Damage: 7   | 8   | 9   | 10

Mage:
Level   0   | 3   | 6   | 10
Speed:  3.0 | 2.8 | 2.6 | 2.2
Damage: 3   | 4   | 5   | 6

Archer:
Level   0   | 3   | 6   | 10
Speed:  2.0 | 1.9 | 1.8 | 1.5
Damage: 2   | 3   | 4   | 5

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Well, I eventually got past level 2, but now I'm stuck at the point where several levels open up.

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What is smunch?!?!

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@chitzk0i: I think part of the fun of protector games is trial-and-error. In this case, part of the trial-and-error is which levels you can beat with your current skills. I suggest

"Field of Dreams" and then "Braaaaaains".

@JIGuest: Smunch makes the bad guy take more damage from other protectors while he's smunched.

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Well, I've beaten braaains and old forest, but field of dreams eludes me.

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i cant seem to beat braains at all and it is really making me angry lol

feald of dreems seems harder then brains... i have only really played it twice tho so ill give it a few more tryes... i just wish there was a youtube vid on how to beat these lvls

has anyone beaten the instent death lvl yet?

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For field of dreams, try placing warriors in the tree rows, archers in the mountain rows, and mages in the center row.

The monsters on this level have some pretty high armor, so farshooter, hotknife bow, or critter critter are good weapon choices for your archers. Make sure all of the mages have cold damage. If you don't, these guys might not do any damage at all through the armor.

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yes at first it's very difficult, but the rewarding system is enough to keep me playing. Anyway i see a map called "non-existant special level 9 - this map hasn't been finished and should be removed, if you see it I suck" lol.

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Certain levels get much easier once you have particular toys. Braaaains gets waaay easier after your rangers can do fire damage and splash, for instance. Just keep pluggin' away and try various levels: any level you beat will give you new equipment blueprints or new magic to use, which may put a difficult level within your grasp.

What annoys me is how vague the difficulty descriptions are. Is 'Tough' harder than 'Difficult'? Is 'Very Tough' harder than 'Quite Tough'?

I've also noticed that sometimes some of my rangers will ignore a harvest order when there's enemies around. Also, a couple times, the item description window has stayed on the screen, which is kind of aggravating.

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Yeah, I have no idea what the difficulties are. I also don't understand how piercing really works (% of what exactly? What the heck does 300% piercing do?) or what berserk does.

Elemental weakness is a joke and the game overstates the difficulty of Drainage maps.

One trick that makes the game a lot easier: You can cast "This is a Robbery!" multiple times in a single round. So if you cast it 3 times on the first round, you generally get 8 gold per mob.

Also, Wizard's Bow rocks. Just note that the range is 2, not 3, so your archer will have the range of a standard Wizard. At least 6 Wizard Bows will give you enough extra lives to survive. Plus you'll be able to cast as many spells as you want.

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I just can't beat "Splishity Splashity," no matter what I do, the wave of grouped zombies just goes right past me, I can't even kill a single one of them with splash damage (physical attacks can do it, but I need something with splash). What am I doing wrong? Can anyone help me?

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so im not the only one who feels like an idiot playing this game yay

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If you go to your spellbook, you can select undefined spells, which are ones you haven't earned yet. If you use them, it gives you infinite mana. This should be fixed.

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