Coast Defense Free is a fun, no-cost preview of Coast Defense, a straightforward arcade wargame with some similarities to castle-defense-type games. Your objective in Coast Defense is simple: gun down waves of enemies as they advance on your bunker, from infantry (with bazookas or rifles) to tanks and troop transport trucks. The interface has you looking out from your foxhole, with enemies charging from left to right across a beach--and you can tilt your device right or left to scan the entire beach (close to twice the width of your screen). You aim with your left thumb, with a touchscreen crosshair, while you pull the trigger and switch between weapons with touch-screen buttons on the right. You can choose between a variety of weapons, from an M16 assault rifle and M60 machine gun on up to an M40A1 sniper rifle, M9 bazooka, and even F4U Corsair bombing runs and nukes.
You can buy all of these weapons, along with ammo and bunker repairs and upgrades, in between each level (or "day" of the assault), and this is where the strategy of the game comes in: You're rewarded with gold based on how well you cleared out each level, but then you need to decide which weapons to buy (all of which vary in damage, accuracy, and fire rate), how much ammo, and whether to invest in enemy-clearing bombing runs and nukes. If you're bunker is destroyed you have to restart the level, but not before visiting the resupply screen again--but with all this resource management, it's possible to paint yourself into a corner if you haven't made the right choices earlier in the game, forcing you to either get much more efficient at gunning down enemies or go back to earlier levels to choose different weapons (or both).
The game isn't perfect--for example, the interface makes it hard to shoot enemies at the bottom of the screen, and the app will sometimes fail to load--but Coast Defense Free provides a lot of fun for a free title. Fans will definitely want to check out the inexpensive paid version, which offers even more levels, weapons, and enemies.