Tower defense goes itty-bitty in Ironhide Games' Kingdom Rush, but the clashes are no less fierce! Foul creatures are storming the land, and if you want your rolling green fields and placid sheep to keep looking all idyllic and whatnot, you're going to have to take up the mantle of protector and set to work defending the countryside from swarms of orcs, goblins, and other nasties. Combining snappy, addictive gameplay with a stellar design and sense of style, Kingdom Rush is a real winner and a serious contender to wear the crown for the defense genre.
Enemies appear from one side of the screen and march along a path towards the other. Place towers on patches of land alongside the roads, choosing from several types that each deal a different type of damage... important to consider since some foes resist one type but are weak against another. Heavy brutes like orcs can wade through your soldiers, for example, but don't hold up to a magical bolt to the face from your mage towers quite as well. You'll need cash to fund your defenses and tower upgrades, naturally, which is gained by defeating enemies, but you've also got an ace up your sleeve in the form of special abilities that can be played in each battle... call in reinforcements where you need them the most, or go with the good ol' fashioned Rain of Fire if you're a more sentimental sort. These specials are on timers, so use them as much as you want, but think before you throw them out there. You'll want to really strive to complete each level as quickly and tidily as possible, since doing so earns you stars that you can spend on the valuable upgrade tree between stages. If you're feeling particularly tough, you might also want to try replaying levels you've already beaten in Heroic or Iron Challenge mode.
Analysis: Kingdom Rush is an absolute gem of a defense game, and probably one of the best examples of the genre to date. Not only does it look and sound fantastic, but the gameplay confidently strides that invisible line between being too complicated and just strategic enough for players to really sink their teeth into. This is not to say that the game is easy; slapping towers down willy nilly without giving much thought to how they might play off one another's strengths is a good way to get yourself thoroughly massacred in short order when enemies really start swarming in greater numbers. Since you can not only adjust the difficulty for each stage before you play it, however, but also reset your upgrades any time you please to tweak your strengths, it's unlikely that you'll ever find yourself at a stalemate and unable to proceed.
Speaking of which, it doesn't take long before the game kicks off your training wheels and starts demanding your lunch money. Initially you might find yourself wishing for a button to speed up the play, but after a few stages as new enemy types are introduced and you have to manage and potentially tweak tower placement on the fly against huge swarms of enemies, the last thing you'll want is for it to move more quickly. Some stages do tend to drag a little, with so many waves made up of so many baddies, but it still doesn't hold the game back from being a joy for fans to play. If you love tower defense and secretly think huge hairy ogres are adorable, you need to check Kingdom Rush out. It's a fantastic, peppy, beautiful little game that will steal your time and your heart!... no, I mean literally! Seriously, dude, that bandit is about to cross the finish line!
Play Kingdom Rush everywhere!