New to the iPad world is the tower defense game we all love to love, Kingdom Rush HD from Ironhide Games, a port of Kingdom Rush for browsers released not too long ago. The team had a bit of a problem when an unauthorized clone appeared on the iTunes App Store weeks before release. The knockoff was spotted and eventually removed (whew), leaving space for this excellent port of an already excellent game to wow and surprise gamers in the iOS device realm!
Here's the scoop if you haven't already fallen for this lovely little game. Kingdom Rush HD sends waves of nasty creatures stomping through your kingdom, ranging from orcs and goblins to wulfs, ogres and shaman. Armed with a dozen types of towers and a fistful more of special abilities, you have the task of eliminating them one by one, gathering gold and inflating your ego as you go.
Kingdom Rush HD is very strategy-oriented, even though the complexity is never too much for a casual gamer to handle. You won't get by with plastering buildings all over the place and kicking back with a grilled cheese sandwich while the coins roll in, however. Placing forts to send melee soldiers out to stall enemies while ranged attacks hit them from above is a good start, but enemies can also be strong or weak to your attacks, so you have to cater tower placement to keep the damage flowing. Not only that, but managing the skill tree with over 35 things to unlock takes some thought, and deciding whether to upgrade a tower versus building new ones carries more weight than in most tower defense games. No sleeping allowed, you've gotta pay attention!
Along with the usual set of towers to place, Kingdom Rush HD also gives you a helping of special powers you can summon during battle. The staple "call for reinforcements" will get a lot of use, as it allows you to bring a few soldiers in to place anywhere on the map. But then there's the "rain fiery meteors of death from the sky" spell, which, naturally, is a lot more entertaining. Abilities are on a timer, so you can't just spam them over and over again, but they do add quite a bit of strategy and a little action to the mix.
Analysis: Armed to the gills with features, options, upgrades, achievements and stages, Kingdom Rush HD has the feel of a full-fledged console or PC game crammed neatly into your touch screened iPad. You almost wouldn't believe it began its life as "just" a Flash game! This amount of content will keep you busy many afternoons in a row, and once you start seeing new terrain and big bosses, consider yourself hooked!
Kingdom Rush can be filed in the thin folder marked "games that are pretty much perfect". The visuals are superb, with excellent artwork lining every level. The units and enemies are on the small size, but when they attack in swarms, you can't really have goblins the size of your thumb walking around. The slowly building strategies involved in mastering the game are well-timed, and your hand is never held while you play, apart from a few tips during tough waves and a tiny four screen tutorial at the beginning. You're on your own to figure things out, but it's an absolute joy to do so!
If you need a game that's going to draw you in to its own little world, Kingdom Rush HD fits the bill. It's got loads of content, plenty of unlockables to keep you driven to play wave after wave of enemies, and it looks so good you don't want to peel your eyes away. The touch controls are arguably more intuitive than a mouse, making this the perfect game for kicking back on the couch and playing until well beyond your bed time!
Play Kingdom Rush everywhere!