Onion Force, the hybrid action adventure/tower defense game with 30 levels of butt-puckering mayhem from developer Queen Bee has had us singing its praises as one of the best indie titles around. At a glance Onion Force may come across as a cartoon animated tower defense title with a bit of charm, however upon taking a closer look you find a compelling and unique tower defense /RPG gem, which is never short of being challenging. Currently available on Steam, iOS and Android, Onion Force offers 3 playable heroes, each with their own unique abilities to be exploited across the games 6 fully fleshed out locations.
During your tower/base defending travels you will find yourself literally collecting onions to trade for a wide variety of power-ups, with thousands of pieces of equipment to collect. Yet, please don’t be fooled by the Saturday morning cartoon animations (we watched cartoon on Saturday mornings when I was kid, just saying), Onion Force will have you laughing while forcing you to take the intelligent approach to victory… if only you can figure that out sooner. No worries because you will still love the punishment.
Onion Force left such an impression on us we thought it only necessary to track down the masterminds behind the game to have a few of our question answered. Thankfully Queen Bee’s co-founder and creative technical director Steven Cassidy found some time in his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us about Onion Force.
GI: For the sake of our readers who may have yet to play the game, what is Onion Force?
QB: Onion Force is a single player mash-up of Action Adventure and Tower Defense, with some strong RPG elements. We tried to encompass what we liked about the respective genres into a whole new experience.
GI: How long has Onion Force been in development?
QB: Phew… 2 and half years, however the final product looks nothing like the initial conception. It evolved drastically over it’s life. Initially it was a simulator, then went to a more MOBA style game… a heck of a lot of trial and error until it felt right.
GI: Our time with the game offered a unique tower defense experience with varied characters and their upgradeable abilities, how did the idea of Onion Force come about?
QB: It was all very organic. Like I mentioned above, we did not have a final product in mind at first. We just kept throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what stuck. We’d draw influence from wherever seemed right.
GI: Can you talk about the RPG elements of the game and how it plays apart in the experience?
QB: There is no right or wrong way to play. Essentially we’ve given the player a series of challenges, and it’s up to the player to figure out what works for them, and where it works for them. If the player gets to a particular level they simply cannot beat, then they need to think for a bit, and decide what they can do to succeed. Maybe they need to level up a particular tower that the enemies are weak against, or equip a weapon with a specific elemental power, select a specific buff… or maybe just straight up level their characters. Any or all of these options could be viable at any point in the game. It was important to us to give the player lots of freedom to approach the challenges in a way that suits them.
GI: Were there other popular games in which inspirations were drawn from in the developing of Onion Force?
QB: Yes, although in some cases it may not be obvious. The big one for me was Dragon Warrior/Quest, that series has a very specific tone that I’ve admired it since the original installment right up until Dragon Quest 9, and most of its spin-offs as well. Trying to create a world as captivating as the DQ series is in my opinion impossible, to me it is the pinnacle, so I at least tried to infuse some of that into Onion Force. Otherwise, there are bits and pieces from lots of other games, everything from Angry Birds to Dynasty Warriors.
GI: With the three character types to currently play as, is there a chance we might see additional characters added to the mix with new abilities?
QB: There is a chance, it’s not on the immediate schedule, but it is something that has been discussed.
GI: We immediately became fans of the games soundtrack, can you explain how the games musical charm came to be?
QB: The soundtrack was composed by Oxygenfad. His ability is world class, and he is an old friend of mine. The choice to get him involved was obvious, and we could not be happier with what he has produced. Truly a great talent.
GI: With some cool item drops and character upgrades for the different classes, Onion Force already plays like a refreshing new take on the genre, was the aim here to create a fun experience while spicing things up a bit?
QB: Not specifically. It was not a situation where we looked at any specific genre and said: “let’s make it more compelling”. It was more just: “let’s make a cool game”, and then it pretty much came together organically.
GI: I’ll admit, my time with Onion Force, though it has been a complete blast, was not without those pulling out my hair moments due to the games challenging nature. For those of us who love games that aren’t pushovers, Onion Force is a great compliment. Was it your intention to develop an adorable yet challenging experience?
QB: Very much so. It may not be apparent at first, but the challenge lies in the players decision making abilities. There is a bit of a learning curve as the player figures out their own unique approach, but I don’t think you can say that the game is “unfair”. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m confident I could beat it without dying at all at this point. It’s all about developing a strategy that works, and the winning strategy will vary from player to player.
GI: With the game currently available on Steam for only $9.99 and also available for Android and iOS for $2.99, is there a possibility we might see Onion Force launched for the PS4, Xbox One or even the PSVita, anytime soon?
QB: We’ve got a bunch of stuff on our plates at the moment, so I don’t have anything specific to tell you on this, but yes our goal is to get it on as many platforms as possible.
GI: With Onion Force what do you want players to take away from the overall experience?
QB: A sense of pride. I want the player to smile when they figure out something cool, I want them to get a rush when they make a risky decision that works out well. They key to victory lies in the minds of the player.