While you wait for a true Plants vs Zombies sequel – rather than the admittedly cracking FPS games – you may want to pay attention to Guards, a new lane-based strategy game. It’s been stripped back to the simplest of parts, but it captures a lot of what we love about Popcap’s classic series. Guards is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch.
The rules are simple. You have three lanes, but four guards. That means one guard will always remain at the rear, healing every turn. The other three attack the lanes in front of them, and choosing which lane they guard is the core strategy. Ranged units like the Sniper will pick off enemies from afar, while melee units like the Witcher (toss a coin to them) are best for close combat.
The neat twist is that you can also swap a unit with the one in the rear, and – whenever you do so – the new unit will perform their special attack. Knights stun every creature in their row, while the Valkyrie will throw a chakram that bounces to hit a chain of enemies. Moving heroes in and out of the fray gives Guards a strong layer of strategy.
There are eight heroes to unlock and they can each be upgraded multiple times. To do so requires gems, and you get these from getting further and further into the levels. You can also spend this currency to unlock new heroes, or buy items from the shop. You only have a few inventory slots per run, but socket an item into them and you can do things like resurrect a fallen guard, buy more upgrades while participating in a run, and buff a hero’s health.
There are three difficulty modes and a survival mode, and Guards withholds upgrades until you have beaten the final boss on a difficulty, so you’ll have to master the game if you want to see everything.
- An original turn-based battle system
- Eight heroes with unique abilities and battle techniques
- А lot of additional skills, a variety of magical items
- An unlimited choice of game tactics
- Additional difficulty levels, which will become a real challenge even for the most experienced strategist
Our review of Guards on Xbox is live, giving you the chance to find out whether this minimalist turn-based strategy game can hold the attention.
Guards is out now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and starts at £4.19 from the Xbox Store. For the first week or so, it has been reduced to £3.35. It’s also out on PS4, PS5 and Switch.
Play by the 4-heroes team. Defend against the hordes of monsters, plan your moves, improve your abilities. Defeat all the enemies on each level and join the deadly fight with the Boss ! The main feature of the game is a unique turn-based battle system. You command a team of 4 heroes, 3 of which are fighting on the front line, while the 4th is recovering health behind his team-mates. To make a move you need to change positions of any two heroes. If the hero moves from the back line to the front, he uses superattack. For example, the knight is thrilling the land, stunning all the enemies on the line, while the huntress is charging a bow with energy, simultaneously firing arrows at all the enemies.