Kingdom Rush (Video Game Review)
Kingdom Rush plays like a traditional tower defense game, and as such, it doesn't contain much of a storyline. Players take control of one of nine different heroes to protect the kingdom from the onslaught of trolls, orcs, dark wizards and more. There are nearly twelve stages that make up the game's main campaign and additional stages available in bonus content for the game that comes with the Steam release for free. The travels throughout the game's main campaign will take players from the forests near the castle to snowy mountaintops and dark and dreary wastelands.
In true tower defense fashion, Kingdom Rush features gameplay that forces players to build different types of towers around levels to kill hordes of enemies that follow the different lanes that make up a stage. There are only four different towers available for players early in the game, but upgrades and unlockable towers allow players to utilize many unique attacks and abilities such as improved arrow barrages or different elemental spells for wizard towers.
The four common towers available to players in the early game include the archer towers that deal heavy damage to enemies on the ground and barracks that summons melee soldiers that deal damage while slowing enemies progress simultaneously. Mage towers are more expensive but shoot powerful magic spells that penetrate armor to deal damage to even the most powerful enemies. Dwarven bombard is the final tower and the most expensive to build. The tower deals area of effect damage that deals lots of damage to a group of enemies all at once. Strategy is key when placing towers to deal the most damage to enemies in the lanes they occupy.
Building any tower costs gold that is earned through killing enemies, but players obviously need to manage their gold carefully to continue building new towers. Since there are only so many plots to build towers, players can also use resources to upgrade existing towers, and there are a lot of advanced towers available to build. These produce some of the most powerful attacks in the game and are necessary to complete missions later in the game.
One unique feature of Kingdom Rush is the hero the player selects before beginning a match. Each hero has different attacks, fighting styles and statistical ratings. Heroes aren't just for aesthetical purposes in Kingdom Rush, and they are actually deployed on the battlefield and work as movable towers. Players can summon the hero to different lanes to deal massive damage and slow enemy progress. Defeating enemies nets heroes experience points that allow them to level up and get stronger as well. There are nine heroes in the game total thanks to the additional content being included in the Steam release.
The Steam version of Kingdom Rush includes additional content only available as additional purchases on mobile and includes additional levels, heroes and towers. The game now has additional Achievements to unlock including Steam Achievements that will have players attempting to clear stages with a variety of different tasks to earn all stars and unlocks. One final feature for the Steam version allows players to get future updates to the game for free that will add additional heroes, campaign levels and other content.
One of the biggest contributors to the success of Kingdom Rush is likely its excellent presentation that features colorful levels, though there are only three themed worlds, and tiny sprites that battle on-screen to bring the action to life. The game also features strong sound design including sound effects and some catchy themes. The game controls well on Steam despite losing its natural touch screen controls, and managing towers may actually be a bit easier on PC when compared with mobile devices.
Kingdom Rush is an addictive game that is worth a purchase on both mobile and Steam. The game costs a larger amount on PC but does come with plenty of features and additional content that makes it well worth the purchase on the platform. Tower defense is a genre that may be overdone according to some gamers and experts in the video games industry, but if you're looking for a new game to sink some hours into, you can't do much better than Kingdom Rush.
Kingdom Rush is now available for Steam, iOS, Android and Kindle. For more information on the game, check out the official Kingdom Rush website.
- Single Player
- Tower Defense Gameplay
- 9 Playable Characters
- Additional Campaign Missions
- Achievement Support
Developer & Publisher: Ironhide Game Studio
Platforms: PC (reviewed), iOS, Android & Kindle
Release Date: January 6, 2014
- Addicting gameplay
- Colorful levels
- Strong sound design
- Not many base tower types