One day, Gabrielle accidentally sneezed her soul out of her body, and she was able to temporarily visit the monster world and make friends with a lot of silly spooky characters. Gabrielle and her paranormal pals have starred in lots of video games from Natsume, including a music dance game on the 3DS, and a few iOS titles as well. In her newest game: Gabrielle’s Sweet Defense, Gabrielle has returned to the monster world, and to celebrate, her friends are making a bunch of yummy desserts. But the smell of these sweet treats have attracted some unwanted visitors: Humans! Help defend the desserts in this free-to-play iOS game that’s like a reverse Plants vs. Zombies game (iPad version reviewed here).
Humans will approach from the right side of the screen, and if they make it to the left side and whittle down the hit points on the gate, it’s Game Over. So you must send monsters out to intercept them. As time passes, a point counter rises. When it’s full enough, you can spend those points to bring in monsters to fend off the humans. More powerful monsters use up more points, so you have to use a little bit of strategy. Flick up or down to send monsters into lanes you want them to be in. If you can get your monsters to the human gate on the right side of the screen and destroy it, you win the round!
At the end of each round, you’ll earn experience points. You can spend these points to upgrade monsters you already have, or buy new ones to use in the game. Every now and then, you may earn Screamites, which you can use to buy even more powerful characters. But Screamites are hard to come by, and they’re the only thing you can buy as an in-game purchase. You can also view character descriptions in a picture book as you unlock them. While Gabrielle’s Sweet Defense isn’t too terribly amazing or original, it’s still a fun little free-to-play game especially if you enjoy titles like Plants vs. Zombies.
Violence is pretty minimal. When humans and monsters clash, they just raise their arms up and down in the air, and defeated characters just get knocked back and disappear in a puff of smoke. Reading skill is helpful for the instructions and menu navigation. The game starts off pretty easy, so even younger gamers should be able to enjoy it. As a free-to-play game, there are in-game purchases so parents may want to watch out for that. I think that kids will like the silly and spooky characters, though. I think they’re way better than stuff like Monster High, for instance.