Lock's Quest is a game from 5th Cell, developers of Drawn to Life, Scribblenauts, and Hybrid that mixes elements of real-time and turn based strategy games with RPG mechanics to create a Tower Defense title with several twists.
Gameplay is broken down into two main phases: Build and Battle.
During the build phase, players place turrets, traps, walls and/or support towers [with the stylus] that all work together in order to defend a certain building or people. If the build day is not the first day in a mission, then players will often repair damaged towers attacked by enemy clockworks in the battle phase. There is a time limit to Build mode, usually lasting from 2-4 minutes; players can skip to the end of a countdown if they finish construction early.
In the Battle Phase, the player controls Lock with the stylus and camera with the D-Pad/L button. Like in Build phase, there is a timer here; if the objective is not met by the end of the time, the player loses and are asked to try again. Lock is controlled simply by tapping where the player wants him to go; tapping on an enemy attacks it and brings up a little mini-game menu. If the player succeeds in the mini-game, which typically lasts a couple seconds, they either give the enemy a negative status effect, increase Lock's attack power or deal extra damage (depending on which attack is selected). If Lock is in combat enough, he gets to perform a Super Move, which can either heal all towers in the map, deal a large amount of damage to nearby enemies or give status effects. During this phase, Lock can also repair structures that he has deployed in Build Mode. A small minigame may pop-up occasionally should the damage to the structure be severe. Succeeding in this minigame will allow Lock to repair the structure more quickly. Until useful support towers are introduced, Lock will also be needed to repair towers while being attacked by advancing clockworks.
Lock finds an Archineer of Antonia injured near his seaside village and helps him in defending his village from evil Clockwork robots. During the battle, his sister disappears. Realizing his isolated village is no longer safe from the dangers of the outside world, Lock travels to Antonia in the hopes of finding his sister and helping the people fight back against the Clockwork invasion. What he finds is corruption and a secret of monumental importance to whether it will be humans or clockworks who control the world.
Lock's Quest has been received positively. Its lowest scorer deemed it "just a few design tweaks away from being a fantastic game." 1UP gave it an A-, praising its innovation in the Tower Defense genre. IGN gave it an 8.6 and September Game of the Month, despite being outscored by Disgaea DS. The game's inaccurate controls and repetive combat were widely recognized, however. Lock's Quest sports an 82% and 81% on Gamerankings and Metacritic respectively.