Sentry Paragon describes itself as an isometric action game where you fight droves of enemies while using the skulls they drop upon death to purchase weapons to try and survive as long as possible.
On the face of it, that sounds like a fun little game to play and kill some time. Which I suppose you could say if you have a very relaxed definition of fun and that ‘some time’ means five to ten minutes.
See, there is almost no content to speak of in Sentry Paragon. You start with a pistol and have the choice to purchase a SMG, a shotgun, or a rifle. You can buy these from a shop vendor that doesn’t have any dialogue or personality. Beyond that, you can buy one of four sentry weapons to place, and then there are random upgrades that you can purchase at the end of some rounds.
None of these weapons need to be unlocked, and there are no ways to improve them apart from the aforementioned random upgrades. You can spend some skulls to repair them, but that cost is fixed and doesn’t change based on the sentry damage.
I came across a grand total of three different enemies to fight throughout my time with Sentry Paragon, one of which I’d consider the boss – a giant crab that occasionally shoots out red balls randomly. The enemies all spawn in a circle around you, and the only strategies you need to worry about when playing are to shoot at enemies while they shoot your turrets. Or run around in circles while they follow behind you, and then shoot at them. Your call.
The ‘map’ plays as just a large empty space with some random decorations, completely void of any personality either. And then the sound that accompanies the ‘action’ is nothing more than the same track on a loop; which I could see getting annoying if anyone had planned on playing long enough for it to feel redundant.
In fact, the one positive of Sentry Paragon is that you can get a cool 1000 Gamerscore added to your Xbox account for about five minutes of playing. After that, you’ll spend a little bit more time with what is on offer, before coming to the conclusion that there isn’t anything left to experience in the game.
I’d go as far to say that I’ve played web browser games with a more substantial amount of content than what is included in Sentry Paragon, and those are completely free. It’s not a good sign when every feature of the game can be discussed in the space of six short paragraphs. What is even worse is that isn’t even an exaggeration. Four guns, four sentry weapons, and three enemies. None of which are blocked off by constraints or requirements, and all of which can be purchased and used within five minutes of playing.
There’s just no content to speak of.
Most people want to know if a game is worth their time and money and while it’s not a pricey game, Sentry Paragon barely has enough content to be called a game. You’d be better off buying something that actually has content to enjoy. I mean, those previously mentioned web browser flash games had more content and were more engaging. Now granted, there were some pretty solid and addicting web browser games being made a few years ago, but even simple ones managed to fit more content into them than Sentry Paragon does. At the very least, many of them provided something unique or had some personality.
The only reason I can think of to pick up Sentry Paragon is that easy 1000G. Sure, the game works and plays like it’s intended to, but there is so little content and absolutely no ingenuity or special features. Even the names and the descriptions of the achievements feel like the quality of work you’d expect someone to turn in when they forgotten they had a deadline in five minutes. I mean “Take A Damage”, “Welcome The Game”, and “Go to Wave 3” are three of the achievements and the descriptions are just copied and pasted. They couldn’t even be bothered to run a grammar check.
Sentry Paragon feels like a cash grab in the worst possible way. There are plenty of other affordable games with simple gameplay loops that at least manage to inject some type of style. An immediate one that comes to mind is Akane – a simple gameplay loop and limited enemy variety, but it provides a fun challenge and has some replayability. In fact, that is probably the perfect game to compare Sentry Paragon to. Both are single stage games that take place in a square arena, and have a simple gameplay loop.
They both suffer from a lack of enemy variety and limited content, but Akane manages to make up for that with skill based gameplay and personality. Sentry Paragon meanwhile does absolutely nothing to try and set itself apart, and instead feels like a soulless imitation of something from years ago. Admittedly, the game hasn’t crashed or shown any bugs, and honestly it probably could be a decent game if this was just a test of things in an Alpha state, but I have no expectation that Sentry Paragon will see any updates in the future.
Sentry Paragon isn’t the kind of game someone who is actually passionate about game design should feel comfortable taking money for. If there were best-laid plans, it wouldn’t be released in this state.
Sentry Paragon is on the Xbox Store