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Kingdom Rush review (iPad)

January 29, 2012

“Swords against the kingdom
Time against the tower”

10 word description: Action fantasy, strategic defence game. Tower upgrades & specialisations. Game Center.

What do you think happens if you keep tapping the sheep?

10 word review: One of, if not the best tower defence I’ve played.

It's that simple. Well, actually, no it's not

You will like this if you enjoy: Tower defence games. No, really? Sorry, I know it’s obvious, but I have to say it. Also, even if you’re not particularly a TD fan, and you’re just looking for a glossy, polished and very fun new iPad game – here it is.

The boss fights are fun, rather than the game just getting a free shot at making you look silly

The good news: Small but very detailed and attractive characters and backgrounds. Towers and upgrades that make logical sense and function pretty much exactly as you expect them to. Separate upgrade paths for each tower & special attack, based on earned stars and which can be reset and tailored whenever you want to change anything. Really nice progression through levels, with complexity building gradually and an an almost endless supply of new and diverse enemies. Three main challenges on each map, two of which rely very heavily on strategy, with restrictions on what you can use and how far those defences can be upgraded. Difficult at times, yes, but not to the point where it feels unnecessarily or unfairly frustrating.

4 screens of achievements; some tough, some amusing

The bad news: iPad only. This may cause a degree of sadness to those without one.

Arcadelife verdict: I’d got to the point where I’d given up on iOS TD games. Too frustrating, too much of the same old thing, long and tedious grinds ending in a futile attempt to stem the flow of impossible-to-defeat enemies. Rather incredibly, Kingdom Rush seems to have somehow evaded those issues and given me a game that I have been playing for quite a long time and has still not annoyed me into quitting in frustration and rage. Well done. It’s interesting, because it feels fresh and fun despite almost going back to the real basics of TD.

Instead of creating bizarre towers that require a fifty page FAQ to understand, you get barracks (a few blokes standing in the road to fight and delay enemies), archery towers (shoot arrows), mage towers (shoot magic bolts) and artillery (big cannons). Two special attacks allow you to call in a couple of reinforcements or bombard the enemy with a meteor attack. Everything can be upgraded. The fun comes from seeing your strategies working and the endlessly amusing fights with great battle effects and sounds, plus Batman (Adam West era) style “Pow!” and “Sok!” exclamations from the combatants. All told, it’s a great gaming experience and an easy recommendation for iPad gamers.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 9/10
Audio – 9/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 9/10
Fun – 9.5/10
Final rating – 91/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.2
iTunes link

Kingdom Rush website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPad (OS 5.0.1)
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