If you are familiar with the tower defense genre, you will know the general format of using towers to defend a particular target as waves of enemies attempt to penetrate your defences. If you are unfamiliar with Kingdom Rush, however, then you are missing out on possibly one of the best-illustrated and most addictive tower defense games out there. It follows the same format as most other tower defense games, but its design, upgrades, and elements of fantasy make it significantly more worthwhile of your time than most other dreary tower defense titles.
In Kingdom Rush, you are in charge of defending your kingdom which is under constant attack from enemy forces. These enemy forces enter from a predetermined location whilst you have the responsibility of building towers at strategic locations around the level. Once the enemy waves begin advancing, your defensive capability and tower-placement strategy will be tested to its limits. You have a limited number of lives per level, with one being lost each time you let an enemy storm successfully through your kingdom.
Though it sounds like a standard tower defense experience, Kingdom Rush is anything but. The four basic tower types are: Archers, which fire arrows; Artillery, which can direct explosive force towards the enemy; Mage Towers, which use magic to attack the foes; Barracks, which are the final type of tower which release troops to slow down the enemy. Each tower can in turn be upgraded several times to increase its effectiveness and also change its appearance (a feature which is aesthetically pleasing and shows the sheer attention to detail from the developers). There are also heroes in the game that can be controlled and used occasionally to turn the battle in your favour.
There is also a wide range of variety in enemies, which all possess different stats according to their type. Enemies range from standard orcs to fearsome ogres, gargoyles, and other mystical creatures of varying power and resistance to attack. The environment also occasionally throws up foes such as spiders emerging from dark woods, as well as producing forces that help you such as goblins that give you assistance.
Aside from the number of upgrades available, one of the most notable features of Kingdom Rush is the graphics, which are based on carefully-drawn illustrations and whose level of detail is remarkable. Each type of enemy, ally, and building has its own unique animation, backed up by some quirky sound effects and brilliant design. The whole game possesses a distinctive cartoonish style with hints of fantasy and a clear sense of humour.
Kingdom Rush and the 2nd game Frontiers offer gameplay that can rival even the most formidable of tower defense games out there, and has an aesthetic that is unparalleled in the flash-based world of gaming. The game’s quality is such that it should be a rite of passage for anyone wishing to experience the tower defense genre at its best.